WALKING IN THE AREA
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 Shuttle Buses and Bishop’s Castle Dial-a-Ride make it easy to choose these linear routes as day or half day walks. (see below for details).
Bishop’s Castle and Clun are “Walkers are Welcome” towns, two of six in the Shropshire Hills, and a special effort is made to ensure public footpaths are in good order. “Walking for Pleasure” long and short walk leaflets are available from the Visitor Information Centre and downloadable >>HERE<<. The Bishop’s Castle Ring, (five days of walking in the area www.bcring.co.uk) and the Bishop’s Castle Challenge Walk and Round & About Walk are challenges for seasoned walkers.
Clun, a “Walkers are Welcome” - www.clun.info - town, It also has excellent
walks straight from the town and “Clun Valley & borders, 33 favourite walks” is available for £5.95 locally from Caractacus on The Square, Davies’s Newsagents, the Old Surgery Gallery and The Maltings Café 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.
There are also 3 Clun walks downloadable as pdfs from the walking section of www.bishopscastle.co.uk
Other walks in the Shropshire Hills AONB area are in the “Walking with Offa” series - 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 Bishop’s Castle & Clun are ideal centres for walking group holidays offering a variety of accommodation and places to eat..
WALKING EVENTS & GROUPS
The biggest walking event in the area is the Bishop's Castle Walking Festival (May 1 - 25). A three week programme of guided walks in the Shropshire Hills - short, medium and challenging. This will include special interest walks such as map reading, wild flowers and singing! The programme will give details of these walks and how they fit in with the wide range of events and entertainment in and around the town. Full details available in late January 2015 on www.walkingfestival.co.uk.
Bishop’s Castle Round & About Walk
A circular 22 mile walk in May from Bishop’s Castle via Clun for Leukaemia research. Shorter 13 and 9 mile routes offered. www.beatingbloodcancers.org.uk/round&about, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Clun Valley Challenge Walk
A 16 or 26 miles circular walk from Clun in May. E-mail: email@example.com www.clunvalleychallenge.co.uk
Bishop’s Castle Challenge Walk
A 24 mile circular route with 13 and 11 mile options to the west and north of Bishop’s Castle through spectacular upland scenery. To raise money for the Town Hall renovation. www.bcchallengewalk.co.uk
Bishop’s Castle Russet Ramble
A 12 mile sponsored walk in October. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Both towns have walking groups which visitors are welcome to join:
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 (after mid June 01588 630023). Current programme.
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 throughout the year. From April to August walks usually start at 9.30 a.m. but times may vary.
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.
Bishop’s Castle Dial-a-Ride buses and volunteer car scheme 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.
Contact: Adrian Varcoe (01588) 638350 giving at least 24 hours notice. Dogs by arrangement but bus passes cannot be used.
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.
Bishop’s Castle to Shrewsbury scheduled bus service gives walkers access to the Stiperstones and Mitchells Fold and Corndon uplands http://www.minsterleymotors.co.uk/html/bishops_castle__shrewsbury.html
WALCOT WOOD – NATIONAL TRUST
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 andis 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, Rhos Fiddle, Lower Shortditch Turbary Lurkenhope.
Bury Ditches Bronze Age hill fort, Caer Caradoc, Chapel Lawn
WHAT TO SEE & DO
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 large grass area with children’s play equipment and excellent views of the surrounding hills. 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 Community Area has a children’s play area and the Castle