Miles from a motorway, the Shropshire/Herefordshire borderlands have remained unspoilt with little traffic. Add in fantastic scenery and great food, and not surprisingly, it has become a mecca for cyclists. Here’s some & ideas for great cycle rides.
Wheely Wonderful Cycling has been based here for the past 25 years, providing cycling holidays to thousands of cyclists. Wheely Wonderful Cycling operate over 30 different tours through Shropshire Herefordshire and Wales. There are holidays to introduce people to cycle touring and challenges for cyclists, who want to ride further. All tour prices come with top quality bikes, accommodation, luggage transfers and our unique route guides & maps. All the tours are listed on our website https://ww.wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk . We also have a full range of quality bikes to hire by the day – with great cycle routes from our base.
Cycling maps You can buy Cycling for Pleasure cycling maps covering Shropshire , Herefordshire and the Welsh borders are available from tourist information centres or direct from https://ww.wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk or you can visit www.shropshiregreatoutdoors.co.uk for downloadable Pdfs of routes in Shropshire.
National Cycle Network routes in the area
- Six Castles Cycle way (NCN route 44) – Shrewsbury-Ludlow-Leominster – Hereford & Symonds Yat
- Mercian Way (NCN route 45) – Whitchurch-Shrewsbury-Ironbridge-Bridgnorth-Wyre Forest-Bewdley
- The Radnor Ring – Kington & Knighton to Rhayader.
For more details about the National cycle Network visit www.sustrans.org.uk
Shropshire’s most scenic cycle route. Chris Dartnell, partner in Wheely Wonderful Cycling says “this has to be the ride between our base in the Teme Valley (4 miles west of Ludlow) and Clun. It’s the reason we based our business here. The route along the Teme and Redlake valley, gradually leads you uphill through a cleft in the hills. In fact we call it cycling uphill without noticing it. There are pubs, teashops and castles at all the right places. You go though hamlets with absurd names like Leinthall Starkes & New Invention. End up at the top of the Clun hills, then take a two mile downhill all the way to Clun. Perfect”
Family Friendly cycling
The reason the area is so popular for cyclists is the lack of cars on the tiny country lanes, and the network of lanes following river valleys, that offer easy cycling. The Cycling for Pleasure maps list the best routes and family friendly cycle routes can also be found on www.shropshiregreatoutdoors.co.uk There is a family off road route at Hopton Woods and Wapley hill and if you travel a bit further afield there is a fabulous route alongside the Severn Valley railway from the Severn Valley country Park. Youngsters can also learn to ride at the Shropshire hills Discovery Centre’s special 200m trail.
Cycling from South Shropshire’s Market Towns
Each of the Shropshire market Towns has a set of cycle routes and map, with circular cycling routes of different grades. For details see www.shropshiregreatoutdoors.co.uk
For a cycle ride with a difference try a Tweed cycle ride from Ludlow. Ludlow’s ‘Tweed Ride’ is the antidote to those who think cycling has to be about skin suits and aerodynamic helmets. Throughout the summer, a group of people get together periodically on Saturday afternoons to return to a time when cycling was an altogether more genteel pastime. The riding is very gentle with not a bit of lycra or carbon fibre. Anyone who wants to step back in time is welcome to join the ‘tweed ride’ that sets off from outside Ludlow castle at 2pm on the fourth Saturday of every month throughout the summer. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0779 6687 134.
Is available for leisure and family cycling from Wheely Wonderful Cycling near Ludlow and for mountain bikers in Ludlow from Pearce cycles and Blazing bikes at Marshbrook on the Long Mynd.
Shropshire has a big range of specialist, expert cycle shops & businesses – all drawn to the area because of the excellence of the cycling opportunities.
Wheely Wonderful Cycling – cycling holidays, hire
Pearce Cycles – mountain bike specialist
Isla Bikes – specialist children’s bikes manufacturer
Epic cycles – road bike specialist
Blazing bikes – mountain bikes
New Street cycles – electric bike specialist
Lands End to John O’Groats – Lejog in Shropshire
All summer long cyclists pass through Shropshire on their epic cycle of 800 miles from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats at the very tip of Scotland. Generally Lejog cyclists spend about 2 days travelling up the English/ Welsh border…so an overnight stop in Shropshire is always a good idea. The best places for overnight accommodation are Clun, Ludlow and Church Stretton. All offer a good range of accommodation, great places to eat close to the accommodation and can deal with larger groups. Look for the “Cyclists Welcome” to know that you will stay in a place that provides everything a weary cyclist needs. The Lejog summer finishes with Ludlow welcoming the Deliotte Ride across Britain in September, with nearly 1000 cyclists overnighting in Ludlow. In between there are plenty of cyclists raising money for charity, or completing a personal challenge. And there are decent bikes shops for spares at Ludlow and Marshbrook near Church Stretton.
For mountain bikers – Shropshire has long been a popular destination for mountain biking. The Forestry Commission and National Trust have worked hard to provide some great routes. .
- Hopton Woodnear Craven Arms, managed by the Forestry Commission, is a prime mountain biking site which hosts national level competitions, and has both cross-country and serious downhill trails.
- Eastridge Woods near Pontesbury is also managed by the Forestry Commission and has a short easy loop, a longer difficult red route (the Revelation Trail), plus some serious downhill runs.
- There are also off-road cycling trails atMortimer Forest and Bury Ditches.
- The Long Mynd also has a great variety of tracks and ‘natural singletrack’ trails. It is a sensitive area for conservation, managed by the National Trust, so please follow onlyapproved routes,
Pearce Cycles of Ludlow also offer Uplift days at Hopton, Bringewood And Bucknell forests
They use Landrover 110s that pull custom designed trailers that carry your bike safely and securely up the hill for you. Then all you have to do is cycle downhill. The Uplift is suitable for downhill bikes, trail and enduro bikes . At most venues there are trails of all grades accessible from the uplift drop off points. This service brings downhill training to a new level, giving you the opportunity to do up to 20 runs a day! As well as these organised days Pearce can provide uplift for private bookings with a minimum 10 riders. contact 01584 879288
Top cycling events – Shropshire is host to some brilliant cycling events ( see the list below) and in June it peaks with three great cycling events .
“The Shropshire Highlands Challenge”, run by the indefatigable Danny Mason for the last 25 years. This is not a race, but a challenging 65 mile (and 6,000ft of ascent) ride on quiet roads and lanes among the beautiful Shropshire hills. You never know who you may be riding alongside – anyone from former World champions to Tour de France competitors. www.shropshirehighlandschallenge.co.uk
The world’s only “Tandem Triathlon”, starting from Bishop’s Castle, involving a 1km swim (one person), 35km tandem ride and 10km run (1 person). Then celebrate the ride by staying for the Bishop’s Castle Carnival the next day. (www.tandemtriathlon.org.uk)
And the family friendly Tour d’Arts, starting from Clun and raising money for putting on films and theatre in local village halls (Flicks in the Sticks and Arts alive)
Shropshire Devil sportive
Storm the Castle Duathlon – Ludlow
Ride the Shropshire Marches (start Wistanstow)
Pearce Downhill MTB Series Bringewood
Shropshire Highlands Challenge . www.shropshirehighlandschallenge.co.uk 65 miles & climb 7000ft.
Tandem Triathlon Bishops Castle – – the world’s only tandem triathlon.
Tour de Arts alive – starting from Clun
Pearce Downhill MTB Series Bucknel
Ludlow Cycling Festival – Sunday 21 September. fundraising event for MacMillan Cancer Relief charity
South Shropshire Tors – start Ludlow
Pearce Downhill MTB Series Hopton Woods
Autumn Epic – starting from Knighton
Storm the Fort Duathlon – Clun
Pearce Cycles Christmas Uplift Day
Pearce cycle Uplift days at Hopton, Bringewood And Bucknell forests contact 01584 879288
Tweed Rides – starts outside Ludlow castle at 2pm on the fourth Saturday of every month throughout the summer. Contact email@example.com or call 0779 6687 134.