Shropshire Hills self guided walking vacation

“Explore wild upland landscapes, tiny hamlets and rugged Caer Caradoc on foot on this short self guided walking break in Shropshire.”


Self guided walking | two full day and one half day walk | Church Stretton | Long Mynd | Carding Mill Valley | Stretton Hills | ‘The Wilderness’ ridge walk | optional: climb up Caer Caradoc | maps, route notes, commentaries and nature guide | choice of accommodation

Description of Shropshire Hills self guided walking vacation

Take a short self guided walking vacation on the stunning Shropshire Hills that inspired AE Housman to write “Westward on the high-hilled plains, where for me the world began.” Follow routes through the most tranquil and beautiful scenery, well away from the crowds.

Our aim is to make your break as memorable as possible in countryside you will never forget, combining fresh air with exercise, tranquility and beauty, and insight into an area’s history and culture. Our carefully crafted walks will leave you refreshed, relaxed and restored. Our clients return year after year to this destination, and they always have a wonderful time.

Enjoy expertly crafted self-guided walks in some of England’s most beautiful countryside, with peace of mind knowing that routes have been thoroughly researched by the founders of the company, and tested by numerous walkers, so you won’t get lost. We include a marked-up Ordnance Survey map, and printed commentaries highlighting features of special interest to provide insight into the area’s history, culture and natural environment. You will have the freedom to breakfast at a time to suit you, walk at your own pace and linger as long as you like over lunch.

These routes are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk around eight miles on varied hilly terrain for up to four hours with a break of approximately one hour for lunch. As this is hill country, some ascents and descents are to be expected.

There is a choice of two excellent B&Bs at Church Stretton. You can enjoy excellent food with good country pubs for lunch and a choice of restaurants at Church Stretton.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Arrive at your B&B, read through your walking pack and have dinner at one of the recommended restaurants in Church Stretton such as the Housman.
Day 2:Today you explore the magnificent upland wilderness of the Long Mynd, a wide expanse of wild moorland, clothed in a rich mosaic of heather, bilberry and bracken, criss-crossed by prehistoric trackways. Here the light is ever-changing, kestrels and sparrowhawks soar above. The path dips to a remote hamlet, Mary Webb’s Ratlinghope, half-hidden in the fold of an elevated valley. A little-used byway leads you to tranquil water meadows and the delightful Horseshoe Inn at Bridges for lunch. Then, following in the footsteps of Wild Edric, the legendary Saxon warrior who fought the Normans, you regain the ridge to enjoy panoramas sweeping towards distant horizons. Descending to sheltered Carding Mill Valley, you'll marvel at the contrasting landscape, dramatically steep-sided, studded with springs, rushing streams and rocky outcrops. There may be time for tea at the National Trust tearooms before returning to your B&B. (Grade: moderate - 8 or 10 miles)
Day 3:Today you explore the dramatic landscapes and tiny hamlets of the Stretton Hills. Crossing meadows and climbing through woodlands, wonderful panoramas unfold in rapid succession, the bold outline of Caer Caradoc your constant companion. Short springy grass drapes the hillsides like velvet while remote paths wind through bracken to isolated farmsteads and, finally, to Cardington where you can lunch at the excellent Royal Oak, a 15th-Century free house hidden in this charming hamlet. After lunch you climb gently up to ‘The Wilderness’, a stunning ridge walk with dramatic views to the vales below and to distant horizons beyond. Then, an optional climb to the summit of mighty Caer Caradoc itself, highest of the giant Stretton Hills that face the Mynd. You'll explore Caradoc’s airy ridges and rocky outcrops while learning about how the summit was transformed into a hilltop town and Caradoc’s heroic stand against the might of the Roman army. You may well watch scudding clouds cast rapidly-moving shadows, defining the contours of Housman’s “blue remembered hills” and from this pivotal position and commanding height, you'll enjoy one of the best views in Shropshire. (Grade: moderate - 8 miles)

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

Toll free 1-866-821-6866

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Shropshire Hills self guided walking vacation


Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel and ensures that the environmental impact of our walking clients is kept to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport; if that is unavailable we recommend local transport companies to reach the start of the walk. We aim to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local rural economy. We accommodate our walkers in a small local inn or B&B, all being family run and central to the life of the village. They employ local people and prepare meals from locally grown produce as far as possible.

In our small home office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by keeping thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We keep our customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer.


We endeavour to balance the environmental impact of traveling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local economy. In choosing to lunch at local restaurants we are patronising establishments which employ staff from the local rural community.

We choose the best walks available which may not always start directly from the accommodation. Therefore provision has to be made to transport people without their own cars to and from the start of the walks. To achieve this we employ taxi companies. Over the years we bring repeat business to them.

Bringing people to a new region, arranging their accommodation and food, transporting them from place to place, walking the ancient footpaths, visiting their pubs and teaching through carefully-researched commentaries something about the area’s rich history, culture and folk law, has the effect of giving people a sense of community with the place. People often return on their own or with friends, visit the same pubs and renew their sense of being at one with the beautiful local countryside.


This carefully-researched and crafted walking vacation in a special landscape of the UK, promotes appreciation, respect and enjoyment of the countryside through informative commentaries. These commentaries relate to history, rural life and traditions, flora and fauna, geology and literature.

We walk in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We describe the views to be seen from the high points and our walkers always enjoy seeing the distant route they took earlier in the walk. We always explain something of the history of the area we are visiting and introduce into the walks topics of a literary nature such as poems, references to writers associated with an area and examples of the soothing power of nature.

We share knowledge about features of architectural interest and geological interest. For example, we may explain about the chalk downland turf or archeological features such as barrows and earthworks and explain how the land we see today has been shaped by the past. Or we may explain about a national trail, its history and its significance today. We include references to the economic importance of, for example, chalk, hardwood, coppices.

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