Welcome to the “Shropshire Way 80K” (SW80K)
Bookings are now open! Spaces are limited so to avoid disappointment book on 01588 676060. For more information contact us.
What is it?
Run by local charity, Grow Cook Learn, this is a brand new mass participation challenge walk taking in some of the finest parts of the Shropshire hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, taking place over the weekend of March 17/18 2018. The route is 80km (50 miles) in length and the aim is to complete the circuit in less than 24 hours. The route follows almost exclusively the Shropshire way on either the Main Route or its subsidiary paths.
Starting and finishing at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, the home of Grow Cook Learn, this walk will take you through the very best of Shropshire’s amazing, undiscovered landscape and some of its hidden market towns. Along the way, as you pass through our check points, you will be able to sample some of the wonderful local produce that this area has to offer as you quite literally “eat the view”. The charity is committed to connecting people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills so this event is the perfect way of achieving this whilst raising much needed funds for the charity to continue to it's mission.
Leaving the Discovery Centre, you head up onto the limestone escarpment of Wenlock Edge before turning north through farmland, passing through Acton Scott, the home of BBC’s Victorian Farm. You then climb Ragleth Hill, with views over the Long Mynd, your next challenge.
Passing through the old market town of Church Stretton, you head up on to the Long Mynd its self, reaching Pole bank, the highest point on the whole walk. The route then takes us down into the tiny village of Bridges and up onto Stiperstones, with its mystical jagged rock formations, including the fabled Devil’s Chair. The next climb is that of Linley Hill with its avenue of ancient beech trees before we drop down to the town of Bishop’s Castle, home to two breweries and numerous pubs. Please resist the temptations here as you still have lots of work to do!
Next, we head East beneath the Kerry ridgeway to the tiny hamlet of Churchtown where the route joins Offa’s Dyke Path. A vicious climb out of the hamlet is rewarded by turning to face north, where there is an amazing view of King Offa’s eponymous Saxon earthwork as it snakes its way through the undulating fields.
Several climbs bring us to the top of “Cefns” Welsh for “ridge”, with fantastic views and an incomparable descent along the wide, grassy ridge into the Clun Valley and the town of Clun, one of A.E. Housman’s “quietest places under the sun”. The ruins of the ancient castle still dominate this lovely small town.
The final section of our walk takes us high above the Clun valley across the massive Iron Age hill fort known as Bury Ditches, whose earthworks were only recently discovered when the great storm of 1987 blew down the trees which for centuries had hidden its secrets.. We then pass through the ancient woodland of Walcott Wood before our final climb takes on to Hopesay Hill, home to wild ponies and red kites. From here you should be able to smell the bacon cooking as it’s an easy couple of miles down to journey’s end where your breakfast at the Discovery Centre awaits.