Walk from Snailbeach out onto the Stiperstones and The Hollies visiting the old miners cottages at Blakemore Gate on the way
Snailbeach is also a gateway to the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve and other nature reserves close by such as The Hollies. Although the mines and mine buildings are the central attraction at Snailbeach the surrounding landscape holds more snapshots of the mining history that shaped the area including a number of remains of miner’s cottages and some recently restored examples.
The Stiperstones is a wild ridge of Quartzite tors surrounded by a sea of heather and can be instantly recognised on the landscape from many parts of the County. As well as its heritage and wildlife significance the Stiperstones also features significantly in literary history, its unspoilt landscape and spectacular views, being inspirational to both DH Lawrence and Mary Webb.
The main path to the Stiperstones ridge passes down the side of of The Hollies Nature Reserve home to Holly tress of exceptional character and age, some being over three centuries old. To look at the tree trunks you could not imagine there to be any life in them but they have a remarkable ability for renewal and produce growth where you least expect it.
Blakemore Gate is the site of some newly renovated “Squatters Cottages” which began to spread up the hill and across the common land in the late 1800’s to accommodate the workers at the lead mines. These dwellings were occupied until the 1950s but were then vacated and fell into disrepair. The renovated cottages give a real feel of how the mine workers of the area lived and gives an appreciation of how hard life was.
For more information on The Hollies Nature Reserve visit the Shropshire Wildlife Trust webpage.