A 20 mile circular route from Church Stretton, with a few testing climbs and steep descents over the Long Mynd, rewarding you with fabulous views and the opportunity to watch gliders at close hand. The traffic-free section through the Forestry Commission land is on a well-made stone track, suitable for most bicycles.

Distance

19 miles

Terrain

Along quiet country roads and well-made stone forestry tracks

Start from

Church Stretton Railway Station

Nearest to

Church Stretton

Parking

Church Stretton Town Centre

The route

Cycling is one of the best ways to explore the dramatic landscape of the Church Stretton Hills. These rides have some quite challenging gradients in places but the attractions, picturesque villages and breath taking scenery they take in are worth the, at times, testing climbs. Cycled over a day, with a picnic lunch or a stop at a local pub, this really is a great way to explore the area. These cycle routes have been chosen to suit a range of interests and abilities, the shortest route being 13 miles and the longest 22 miles.

Places of interest:

Church Stretton

Church Stretton is an historic Market Town situated in the heart of the South Shropshire hills on the English/Welsh border known as The Marches. It is the only town in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the first Walkers are Welcome town in the Midlands. The area is renowned worldwide for its geology, with some of the oldest rock formations in existence.

Long Mynd

The Long Mynd (from the Welsh ‘mynydd’ or bare mountain) is a huge whale-backed plateau of ancient grits and shales, owned and protected by the National Trust. Some ten miles long, rising to 1700 feet above sea level, and covering almost six thousand acres, it provides some jaw-dropping panoramas.

The Portway

This an ancient track that runs along the entire length of the 10 mile crest of the Long Mynd. Riding along the track, you are following in the footsteps of Neolithic traders, while in the Middle Ages it was a King’s Highway. Towards its southern end the track passes a large flat and grassy area occupied by the Midland Gliding Club. From here scores of gliders swoop and soar in Welsh/Shropshire thermals while just beyond one can glimpse far below the patchwork of little fields on the western foot of the Mynd.

Asterton

The road from the Gliding Club to Asterton is considered by many to be the most dramatic and picturesque in Shropshire. The Crown Inn at Wentnor offers a welcome stop. Deep ditches help drain the wet lands around Prolly Moor.

Ratlinghope

Pronounced ‘Ratchup’ by the locals, this is a scattered village in a lovely wooded valley. All the nearby hills contain prehistoric remains.