100 miles of spectacular countryside and some fantastic circular rides
The Jack Mytton Way travels through nearly 100 miles of Shropshire’s most beautiful and unspoilt countryside. Rural byways, bridleways and quiet country lanes lead you through historic market towns and sleepy villages, across open moorland and past ancient earthworks. The southern loop, over secluded parts of the Shropshire Hills, means that you can now do a circular ride. Open to horse riders, cyclists and walkers the majority of the route is off road.
Dependant on your level of experience it should take you between 5-7 days to complete the whole 100 miles on horse back.
The Jack Mytton Way starts in Cleobury Mortimer and the guide splits the route into 8 rides, some long, some short, so you can choose how far you want to go. There is a sketch map and directions for each of the rides, though it is recommended that you also use the Ordnance Survey Explorer series of maps.
Routes 1 to 6 take you on a 75 mile (120km) linear ride from Cleobury Mortimer to Llanfair Waterdine. For a 60 mile (80km) circular ride follow routes 1 to 3 from Cleobury to Roman Bank then routes 7 and 8 from Roman Bank back to Cleobury Mortimer.
The whole of the route is also available to walkers and cyclists though some sections can be muddy. The off road sections on routes 2 to 6 are mostly stoned tracks so may be more suited to cyclists. Walkers may find some road sections tiring. On the few main road sections care is needed, particularly by horse riders. The only roads shown on the map are public roads, though you will come across other roads and tracks. Public footpaths, bridleways and byways are also shown to aid navigation.
Cyclists please be horse aware, your sudden appearance may startle horses. When approaching from behind please give a verbal warning.
Parking and transport
Convenient parking locations are marked on the maps in the leaflets. Where possible these are at the start or end of the routes. Cyclists and walkers are encouraged to use public transport and the Shropshire Hills Shuttles stops at a number of places along routes 4 and 6: www.shropshirehillsshuttles.co.uk
A new MP who quits the House of Commons after half an hour never to return can’t be all bad. The dull speeches which drove Shropshire’s Jack Mytton from Westminster ensured he now had time to turn his life into an undying legend.
Born only eight years later than Lord Byron, the original “mad, bad, …” Mytton merited the nickname Mad Jack. To test the jumping ability of a horse he was trying, he galloped his carriage at a closed tollgate. The lead horse leaped over, broke the traces and destroyed the carriage. Jack and his companion were thrown out.
Disguised as a highwayman, he held up two gentlemen who were riding over to dine with him. Once he jumped his horse over the table laid for dinner.
He inherited good looks, charm and a fortune. He possessed courage and unusual skill with horses. He was a talented sportsman with gun and horse and a great lover of the countryside. Soon all was dissipated. “There he stood before me, a round-shouldered decrepit, tottering old-young man, bloated by drink, – there was a body as well as a mind in ruins … a wreck over whom all the storms of life seemed to be engendered in one dark cloud” wrote his biographer, a horse-dealer and sporting journalist.
An ulcerated leg turned gangrenous and he died in a debtor’s prison aged 38. Crowds lined the roads along the fifteen-mile funeral route, the church bells tolled, and every shop was closed.
Simon Barnes wrote recently in The Times “When you enter the horsey life, you make a pact. … The deal is that you will find incomparable joy in the beauty and the wildness of the life. The payback is that horses will break your bones, your bank and your heart.”
It could be Mad Jack Mytton’s epitaph.
There are ten Ride Shropshire circular routes , many of which connect with the Jack Mytton Way. These can all be completed in less than a day.
The Humphrey Kynaston Way links to the Jack Mytton Way and can be used to extend the route north.
Other bridleways and promoted routes are available, please use the interactive map to see how they connect and to see the other Rights of Way across Shropshire.
Routes in the Jack Mytton Way group
Jack Mytton Way Route 1: Cleobury Mortimer to ChelmarshDistance: 15 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 2: Chelmarsh to Much WenlockDistance: 17 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 3: Much Wenlock to Roman BankDistance: 9 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 4: Roman Bank to PlowdenDistance: 16 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 5: Plowden to ClunDistance: 9 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 6: Clun to Llanfair WaterdineDistance: 8 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 7: Roman Bank to WheathillDistance: 9 miles
Jack Mytton Way Route 8: Wheathill to CleoburyDistance: 10 miles
Routes in the Jack Mytton Way Circular group
Ride Shropshire Route 9: The Betchcott RideDistance: 8.5 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 8: The Ratlinghope RideDistance: 13.5 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 7: The Habberley Valley RideDistance: 9.0 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 4: The Minton Hill RideDistance: 9.5 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 6: The Stiperstones RideDistance: 12.5 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 1: The Wenlock Edge RideDistance: 9.0 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 2: Rushbury RideDistance: 16.0 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 3: The Acton Scott RideDistance: 8.5 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 5: Wentnor RideDistance: 22.6 miles
Ride Shropshire Route 10: The Acton Burnell RideDistance: 13.0 miles