Walking in the Bishop's Castle & Clun Area
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Bishop’s Castle and Clun are excellent centres for exploring the unspoilt hill country of the area – most of it in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Well way marked paths go through many of the hillside and valley villages of the Rivers Clun and Upper Onny, making walking straight from the towns and villages a real pleasure. Both towns are on Shropshire Way, a short distance from the Offa's Dyke Path, a national trail, and near the pre-bronze age Kerry Ridgeway,
The Jack Mytton Bridleway goes through Clun and near to Bishop’s Castle. The Shropshire Link Bus and the Shuttle Buses make it easy to choose these linear routes as day or half day walks (see below for details).
Bishop’s Castle and Clun are a “Walkers are Welcome” towns and a special effort is made to ensure public footpaths are in good order. A guide to the “Walkers are Welcome” towns of the area is available here (link). “Walking for Pleasure” long and short walk leaflets are available from the Visitor Information Centre and downloadable >>HERE<<.
The Bishop’s Castle Ring - the bcring - five days of walking in the area (www.bcring.co.uk) is a challenge for seasoned walkers. Clun. It also has excellent walks straight from the town and “Clun Valley & borders, 33 favourite walks” is available for £4.95 locally from Caractacus on The Square, Davies’s Newsagents, the Old Surgery Gallery on the High Street, Bright Flowers and Bridge Coffee Shop by the bridge. Or on-line from https://sites.google.com/site/clunwalkinggroup
The following walks are downloadable:
The Shropshire Way -
Route 2 Bishop's Castle to Clun,
Route 3 Clun to Craven Arms
Jack Mytton Way -
Route 5 Plowden to Clun,
Route 6 Clun to Llanfair Waterdine.
Other walks in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
and The £10 Cakes and Ale Trail a trail by Bob Bibby
Other walks in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and The £10 Cakes and Ale Trail a trail by Bob Bibby “Walking with Offa” also has a series of twelve way marked pub walks and four Days Out in the area, available as, a £5 walks’ guide, free leaflets or downloadable from www.shropshirewalking.co.uk
Walking Groups & Events
The biggest walking event in the area is the Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival (www.walkingfestival.co.uk) - four days of walking in June. Long and short guided walks with experienced guides to interpret the landscape and evening entertainment. “Walks from Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival” is for sale, £3.50
Bishop’s Castle Round & About Walk
(12 or 22 miles, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and
The Clun Valley Challenge Walk
(16 or 26 miles www.clunvalleychallenge.co.uk) are both in May.
Bishop’s Castle Russet Ramble
(a 12 mile sponsored walk email:email@example.com) takes place in October. Both towns have walking groups which visitors are welcome to join (see below).
Bishop’s Castle Footpath Walking Group
Organise weekly walks throughout the year from the Harley Jenkins St. car park at 9.30 a.m. Some quite strenuous all day walks of 9 - 15 miles (A), moderate all day walks of 8 - 10 miles (B) and gentler morning walks of up to 6 miles (C). a.m. Visitors are very welcome. Guided countryside walks available. Contact: the Tourist Information Office (01588) 638467.
Clun walking Groups are:
Clun Ramblers meet at the Memorial Hall car park. Visitors are welcome to join in. All-day walks of 10+ miles take place every Wednesday. From April to August walks usually start at 9.30 a.m but times may vary; from September to March at 10.00a.m: see local press for details. Contact: Peter James (01588) 640027
Clun Amblers/Shamblers meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays throughout the year starting at 10.00 a.m. for 3 - 5 miles walks.
Contact: Wendy Lantos (01588) 640263/ Betty Saunders (01588) 660468
Clun Peramblers meet every Wednesday at 10.00 a.m. for 7-8 mile walks. Contact: Jean Smith (01588) 640551.
Details of all walks can be found at www.clun.org/walking. Sorry but no
dogs on any of the Clun walks. For easier day-long parking in Clun, walkers should use the 70 space Clun Memorial Hall free car park, at GR: 302811, easing pressure on the essentially short stay Clun Bridge car park.
Bishop’s Castle and Clun Parish Paths Partnerships, whose volunteers
look after the paths, extend a warm welcome to all walkers.
The Shropshire Link Bus can be used to help people walk the excellent linear walks in the area The Southern Shropshire Way, recently upgraded, Offa’s Dyke Long Distance Footpath and the ancient pre Bronze Age Kerry Ridgeway
The following bus stops are available on the Shropshire Link. Please quote the references when booking. Telephone: 0345 678968
1. Pentreheyling - Opposite Blue Bell PH - stop reference 10130 (Available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Bishops Castle)
2. Offas Dyke/Kerry Ridgeway Crossing at Crowsnest - stop reference 17019 (Available Monday to Saturday)
3. Newcastle - In centre of Village near pub - stop reference 10194 (Available Monday to Saturday from Bishops Castle)
4. Blockwood car park picnic area at Ceri Wood Car Park - stop reference 17018 (Available Monday to Saturday from Bishops Castle)
5. Bridges - Horseshoes Inn - stop reference 10220 (Available Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Bishops Castle)
6. The Bog visitor centre - stop reference 10408 (Available Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Bishops Castle)
7, Clun - (Available Monday to Saturday from Bishop's Castle)
New for 2013, a Shropshire Hills Shuttle Bus “ Castle Connect” linking Clun & Bishop’s Castle with Knighton and Ludlow will run every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday twice a day. The Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle runs in a figure of 8 with the Bridges Inn at Ratlinghope at the centre. It links Church Stretton with Pontesbury and Minsterley on the Shrewsbury
The wood is a remnant of ancient pasture woodland, once part of a large Elizabethan deer park. It is dominated by unusually shaped 400 year old veteran oak trees which are home to rare lichens and beetles. The wood, which lies in a small valley below Bury Ditches Hill Fort and is protected from extreme weather and pollution, is now under active management after years of neglect. Bluebell, primrose, violet and sorrel carpet the wood in springtime and it is a haven for much wildlife. It is off the lane which runs between the villages of Brockton and Clunton and the Shropshire Way runs through it. As does the “Walking for Pleasure” around Clunton, Leaflet 5 walk which can be downloaded from www.bishopscastle.co.uk.
Contact: The National Trust, Cardingmill Valley, Church Stretton, telephone (01694) 723068
Shropshire Wildlife Trust Reserves
Clunton Coppice, &and Rhos Fiddle and Lower Shortditch Turbary and Lurkenhope.
Bury Ditches Bronze Age hill fort, Caer Caradoc, and Chapel Lawn
Bishop’s Castle Town Walks
Guided tours of Bishop’s Castle
The small, medieval town with a fascinating past of power and prestige out of all proportion to its size. The walking tours, which start at Lych Gate of St. John the Baptist Church and last about an hour are every Tuesday and Saturday at 6.30 p.m. from April to September. Charge £2.00 adults, children free. Adults in groups of 6 or more £1.50.
Tours at other times by arrangement Telephone (01588) 630271
Contact: (01588) 630271
The Town Trail
This gives a short history of the 12th Century planned town as illustrated by its streets and buildings and costs £2.00 from the Tourist Information Centre and other town premises. Starting from the Parish Church (originally 12th Century), the trail takes the visitor to The Castle Site at the top of the town before working its way back to the church. It is published by the local Civic Society and is downloadable from the website.
Bishop’s Castle - Within easy walking distance of the town centre, has two parks suitable for picnics. The town’s main playing fields lie off Union Street - as you walk along Church Street towards the parish church, turn right. The park is a well maintained grass area with children’s play equipment and pleasant views. The land adjacent to the site of the town’s ancient castle forms the second picnic site - it lies at the top end of town off Castle Green, above the Castle Hotel gardens. This small area offers magnificent views of the town and surrounding countryside and has benches and picnic tables. Part of the old castle walls can be seen.
Clun - Clun Community Area has a children’s play area and the Castle ruins and river make an ideal picnic spot and riverside walk. The Ford at Waterloo,½ a mile from Clun centre, is a small quiet picnic area at the foot of Waterloo Drive and Vicarage Road.