Long Mynd - Ratlinghope - Bridges - Adstone

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This an interesting walk with much of the route following The Shropshire Way. It explores the little-trodden western side of the Long Mynd, which overlooks the market town of Church Stretton. The 'Stretton' part of the name is from 'tun', a farmstead or village and 'straet' a Roman road, in this case Watling Street, the basis of the A5. In 1214 the town was granted a charter for a Wednesday market by King John, but in 1337 King Edward III changed it to a Thursday for reasons now unknown and it is still held in the square on that day. A huge fire in 1593 destroyed many of the mediaeval half-timbered buildings, changing the appearance of the town completely, although you will still find examples and it is still a charming village with many pubs, shops and antique shops.

The walk as described starts at 'The Shooting Box', no more than an accredited parking place on the top of the Long Mynd ridge just west of Church Stretton at OSGB SO 42087-95343. It is possible to start the walk at Pole Bank OSGB SO 41312-93736 or at The Bridges pub near Ratlinghope OSGB SO39353-96484, all of which have adequate parking.

Starting at 'The Shooting Box', one heads north across the heather-covered ridge along a well-defined path, before turning west to walk on a track and path along high ground through grassland. All this section of the route has outstanding views of the Shropshire countryside and the hills of mid-Wales. The descent towards Ratlinghope is gentle and along a clearly defined path through woodland and at times alongside a stream. A very short section along a metalled lane past the youth hostel leads into Bridges, where The Bridges pub is situated on the junction.

Continuing up the road approximately 500m, one rejoins The Shropshire Way and makes a gentle ascent onto another ridge which gives excellent views of the westerly face of the Long Mynd and the route ahead. On descending the ridge one arrives at a cluster of farm buildings at Adstone. Passing between the farm buildings, some of which have been converted into smart dwellings, one follows the track along the valley floor until just past Holly Cottage. This is where a gentle ascent over fields and up a gradually steepening path leads to the summit of the Long Mynd ridge once again, at Pole Bank Cottage car park (in fact there is no cottage there any longer!) After 150m on the road one turns off onto the ridge way once again to reach Pole Bank, where there is a trig point and a brass plate which will enable you to identify every hill through 360 degrees. It is but a short walk along the ridge back to the start point at The Shooting Box.

England - Central England - Shropshire - Shropshire Hills

Features

Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Pub, Woodland
26/08/2012 - Peter Ford

Fantastic walk. The views of north Shropshire from the Betchcott Hills are marvellous, down to Bridges is incredibly picturesque and then the view from the end of Adstone Hill is fantastic - particularly if the Gliding club is active. The only problem is the punishing climb back up the Long Mynd at Stanbatch...

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7.5 Miles
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