Church Stretton – stay and walk awhile.
Church Stretton, in its spectacular setting, is the ideal base from which to explore the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These “Blue Remembered Hills” were lauded in the poetry of A.E.Housman and provided the setting for many of the children’s books by Malcolm Saville.
In 2008, Church Stretton became the first town in the West Midlands to be awarded ‘Walkers are Welcome status, with a host of way-marked walks for all abilities. 37 local walking maps can be downloaded free in the Church Stretton section of Walking in Shropshire. The area is also criss-crossed with 20 miles of bridleways for cycling and horse-riding – find out more on walks, riding and cycling at Shropshire’s Great Outdoors..
Church Stretton nestles in a wooded valley, retaining much of its Edwardian character with a variety of independent shops, traditional tea rooms, pubs and restaurants, plus a unique antiques emporium. Trace its long history on the Time-line tableaux in the town centre or follow the Town Trail to the Norman church of St. Laurence’s, with its rare pagan fertility symbol (sheila-na-gig). Don’t forget also to taste the pure Stretton Hills spring water, bottled in the town, and check out the many other Things To Do on churchstretton.co.uk
There is a wide choice of homely accommodation options – Church Stretton B&Bs, guest houses and farms and Church Stretton self-catering cottages, with direct bus and rail links to Ludlow and Shrewsbury. In the summer, shuttle buses can ferry you around the Shropshire Hills.
To the east of the town, rises the impressive Caer Caradoc, with its Iron Age hill-fort, offering a stunning vista across to Wenlock Edge and the Clee and Welsh hills, as well as to the other hills in the chain, the Lawley and the Helmeth and, further afield, the Wrekin, all formed 600 million years ago.
To the west of the town, you can walk up through the historic Rectory Wood (inspired by Capability Brown) on to the wild heather and bilberry-clad upland moors of the Long Mynd. This landscape, grazed by sheep and wild horses, is dotted with ancient barrows and intersected by picturesque little hollows, scoured out in the Ice Age, known locally as “batches”. The most famous of these is Cardingmill Valley where the National Trust run a tearoom and a varied programme of activities, such as bird-watching, geology, pond-dipping and astronomy. To tour the full ten mile length of the Long Mynd, you might opt to take the car, especially if you wish to visit the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve beyond.
Just south of Church Stretton is Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, a must-see local attraction, which offers a fascinating insight into farming life at the turn of the 19th century. That is why the Acton Scott estate was chosen as the primary film location for BBC2’s hugely popular ‘Victorian Farm and ‘Victorian Farm Christmas’.
Church Stretton Visitor Information
Visitor Information Centre – located next to the Library in Church Street. Open all year.
Tel: 01694 723133
Market Days – Thursdays (9.00am – 3.00pm)
More Church Stretton information on – www.churchstretton.co.uk
Shropshire Hills Shuttle Bus – a green and easy way to access the countryside –www.shropshirehillsshuttles.co.uk
Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural beauty –www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk
For more information about Shropshire, including Accommodation, Attractions and Activities, visit Virtual Shropshire
To download free walking maps, see www.walkinginshropshire.co.uk
See the leaflets “Walking in Strettons” and “Town Trail”, available from the TIC.
The Church Stretton and South Shropshire Arts Festival
28th July – August 12th 2018
For details , see www.strettonfestival.org.uk
The Long Mynd Hike
50th Longmynd Hike October 6th -7th 2018
A 50 mile competitive walk, www.longmyndhike.org.uk/home/
Other local events can be found www.churchstretton.co.uk/