Welcome to the “Shropshire Way 80K” Festival
After the success of the inaugural SW80K in 2018, in 2019 we will be hosting four events; the 3.5km fun run, the off-road Tusker 10k, the Mammothon trail marathon and the flagship SW80K.For details of these events, please see the individual event summaries provided.
The festival is a fundraiser for Grow Cook Learn, the charity which operates from the Centre. Our mission is to connect people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills and we feel that this is a brilliant way to do just that. After all, what better way could there be to explore what the area has to offer than to walk or run through its delightful scenery whilst tasting the wonderful food heritage of the Shropshire Hills?
These events take in some of the finest parts of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, taking place over the weekend of April 6-7, 2019. The routes follow almost exclusively the Shropshire way on either the Main Route or its subsidiary paths. Along the routes, at the checkpoints, you will get to taste some of the amazing local food that this area has to offer as you quite literally “eat the view”
BOOKINGS- Bookings for all the 2019 events are available through SI entries. If you would like to enter, please click here.
There is also more information on the SW80K festival Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShropshireWay80K/
SW80K Event description
The SW80K is a mass participation challenge run or walk taking in some of the finest parts of the Shropshire hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, taking place over the weekend of April 6th/ 7th 2019. The route is 80km (50 miles) in length and the aim is to complete the circuit in less than 24 hours, although the fastest time is just over 10 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”. You will sample Shropshire Fidget Pies and eat local lamb stew in a barn high in the hills. Veggies and vegans don’t worry. You will be well catered for too!
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 iconic Long Mynd. 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, which at 536 metres, this is the highest point on the whole route. 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 the fact that you are now following Offa’s Dyke , King Offa’s eponymous Saxon earthwork, as it climbs through the enchanting borderlands.
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.
Mammothon event description
The mammothon (42KM) is the new event in the Shropshire Way 80K Festival’s line up, taking place on Saturday, April 6th 2019. Run over a full marathon distance, but with a 12 hour time limit, this event is accessible to hard-core runners and long distance ramblers alike. The route follows almost exclusively the Shropshire way on either the Main Route or its subsidiary paths. Price includes food and drink at the checkpoints, a meal at the finish and a badge.
Leaving the Discovery Centre, you head up onto the limestone escarpment of Wenlock Edge before doing a short spur towards Flouders' Folly, this is just to get the distance up to a foll marathon! Returning to Wenlock Edge, the route takes us along the top for a further 3KM, before turning north across farmland, passing through Acton Scott, home to 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. Here the Mammothon splits from the 80K route and continues south along the full length of the wide whaleback ridge of the Long Mynd, before descending into the Onny valley at Plowden. After crossing the river, we undulate through woods, hamlets, lanes and farmland before clipping at the trig on Wart Hill, the iron age farmstead which was first inhabited over 3000 years ago.
Next, we climb up to Hopesay Hill where you may be met by 80K runners joining your route from the west. This wild place is home to wild ponies and red kites. From here you should be able to smell your meal cooking as it’s an easy couple of miles down to journey’s end at the Discovery Centre.
Tusker 10k event description
A new addition to this year’s lineup is the Tusker 10k, an off road route with over 400m of ascent. We provide full digital timing, with a certificate and badge. As food is a theme running through our events, there will be a piece of the famous Shropshire Bara Brith waiting for you at the end.
The route takes you across the river Onny into the hamlet of Whettleton, scene of a bloody skirmish in the civil war, when the Parliamentarians defeated Royalist troops in a fierce battle. The route climbs steeply up to the Iron Age hillfort of Norton Camp, before emerging from the woods to reveal a huge vista over the Clee Hills, and Shropshire’s highest summit of Abdon Burf. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to climb this one, it’s just for looking at!
There is a descent to Norton village, and then we climb back into Norton Camp woods along Rotting Lane before returning to the Centre along the banks of the river Onny.
Fun run event description
This 3.5 km fun run is the shortest and easiest of all the events. It is aimed at families and people who are beginning to enjoy the delights of the countryside. This self-guided route is available as an anytime challenge to be completed at your own pace. The entry price includes a route guide and a drink at the finish.
The route starts and finishes at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and takes you along the river Onny as it winds through the water meadows. Here you may see sand martins, kingfishers and dippers, bobbing in the river.
The route returns through the ancient hamlet of Halford with its beautiful and ancient church dating back to Norman times.