The Mighty 80K

This 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 4th/5th 2020. 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”. You will sample Shropshire Fidget Pies and eat local beef stew in a barn high in the hills. Veggies and vegans don’t worry. You will be well catered for too!

Route overview

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 quint village of Little Stretton, you head up on to the Long Mynd itself, 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 including the iconic Castle hotel where you will find a watering station. 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.

See the full route description here.

 

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