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The Shropshire Hills are made for walking!

10th November 2021

The last 18 months of lockdowns and COVID regulations have made us all seek alternative ways to entertain ourselves, and one of the key things people have found to do, is going for long walks with rewarding views! Here we have compiled a little bit of history about some of our favourite local walks and why we love them:

  1. The Devils Chair, Stiperstones

Up above the mining village of the Stiperstones, this odd-looking rock formation was said to have been put there by the Devil himself and to have been the ghostly haunting ground of Wild Edric! Legends and scary stories aside, it is a wonderful walk, and on a clear day the views are spectacular. Throughout the Stiperstones, there are also many fantastic relics and buildings from the mining that this village was built for, and the area itself is worth an explore – there is even a wonderful local pub to pop by afterwards!

  • The Lawley, Church Stretton

This one is a little more challenging, as instead of just one hill it is more of a ridge, so every time you think you’ve made it to the top, there seems to be a little bit more walking to go. Once you reach the top, your prize is quite clear, you can see for miles! The surrounding hills and beautiful greenery make this one well worth the harder climb. If you are feeling particularly energetic, the nearby Caer Caradoc also provides a tough walk – but with equally breath-taking views.  

  • Admiral Rodney’s Pillar, The Breidden Hills

This wonderful monument, which is about 1200ft high, is around 6 miles from Welshpool and can be seen in all directions. There are remains of an old hill fort en route which is said to be the location of the last stand of Caractacus. This marker was built to celebrate Admiral Rodney’s victory over the French in 1782 and was built by the people of Montgomeryshire who supplied the wood shipped that helped to build Admiral Rodney’s fleet! The smallest peak of this trio of hills is Middletown Hill at 1195ft and has remains of an ancient camp, Cefn-y-Castell. Moel-y-Golfa is the highest of the three peaks at 1324 ft and is largely wooded. Personally, I would say that this is definitely the hardest walks in this list, but the pillar at the top makes you even more determined to reach it!

  • Lake Vyrnwy, Powys

This one is a little different the others, and certainly a lot flatter! This reservoir has so much to see and do, that you can quite easily spend a whole day here. This lake was a manmade feat and the old village of Llanwddyn, was flooded to create it (don’t worry – the people of this village were relocated). The dam is impressive, and this 24,000-acre RSPB Reserve has viewpoints and hides all around the Lake to observe the amazing variety of birds and scenery. From wildlife to waterfalls, this place has it all. There is even a lovely café to finish off your day with a well-deserved ice-cream or coffee!

  • Hawkestone Park Follies, Shrewsbury

Last but certainly not least, this beautiful area just to the North of Shrewsbury has so much history, and so much to see! This 100-acre park is home to natural sandstone hills that were developed to include gullies, caves, towers and bridges. Owned by Sir Rowland Hill, the first visitors would have started in 1556, beginning the Hill family’s 340 year association with Hawkstone. It was one of the most visited landscapes in Britain during the 19th Century, but sadly in the 20th Century the landscape became forgotten by all but the locals. Luckily it had a new lease of life with a multi-million-pound restoration project enabling it to reopen to visitors in 1993. This Park features monuments, caves and grottos, bridges and more and is well worth a visit – there are easier walks marked out for those with limited mobility or little legs! The trails include lots of interesting buildings and stories, and fun for all ages. I could have easily spent several days exploring but unfortunately had to leave at closing time!