“In valleys of springs of rivers,
By Ony and Teme and Clun,
The country for easy livers,
The quiestest under the sun,”
A E Housman, A Shropshire Lad
The Clun Valley has the highest concentration of watercourses in the Shropshire Hills and we can add the Unk, Kemp and Redlake to Housman’s list of rivers.
The word ‘Forest’ refers to the area’s status as a Royal Hunting Forest during the medieval period. Today only remnants of this forest survive.
This corner of the Shropshire Hills has been long fought over, and the Welsh place names and many defensive earthworks, such as Offa’s Dyke, Clun and Hopton Castles, are testimony to these turbulent times. These days, the rolling upland hills and meandering river valleys give the area a remote feel.
Things to Do
Take tea in the grounds of Stokesay Castle, a magnificent fortified medieval manor. For opening times visit www.english-heritage.org.uk.
The Shropshire Hills Shuttle Buses
A relaxing way to discover the delights of the Clun Valley. The Shuttle runs at the weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter. They depart from the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre at 10:36, 13:35 and 15:35. Visit www.shropshirehillsshuttles.co.uk for lots more information or ask at a Visitor Information Centre for a leaflet.
Bishop’s Castle and Clun
Both are colourful, country towns with plenty going on through the year, from fairs and festivals, to ale trails and agricultural shows. This is a beautiful area to walk in and you will find lots of walk leaflets and books at the town’s information points, or visit the webpage for Bishop’s Castle and Clun by clicking there links.
The best preserved sections of this mighty Dyke, that defined the frontier between England and Wales, run through this area. Climb Llanfair Hill above Clun and marvel at how this mighty monument was built in the 8th Century with little more than men and shovels. Any Welshman found east of the Dyke after its completion had his right hand cut off! The national trail follows the Dyke for much of its way. For more information visit the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton.