A brilliant 16 miles cycle ride around quiet country lanes. Easy cycling with a few short steep hills. The whole route will take you through the spectacular Bishop’s Offley and pretty Cop Mere. There is a short cut back through Cheswardine and also along the Shropshire Union Canal. A 24 mile option is also available.

Distance

16 miles

Terrain

Quiet lanes and country roads

Start from

Market Drayton Town Centre

Nearest to

Market Drayton

Parking

Market Drayton Town Centre

The route

One of four 6-24 miles cycle rides around Market Drayton following quiet lanes and country roads.

Cycling code

  • Always follow the Highway Code
  • Be considerate to other users, and give way to pedestrians and horse riders
  • Take particular care at junctions, when cycling downhill and on loose surfaces
  • Ride in single file on narrow or busy roads
  • Consider wearing a helmet and high visibility clothing

Places of interest:

Market Drayton

A market (so good the town was named after it) has been running in Market Drayton for over 759 years and remains one of the liveliest weekly street markets in the area. Market Drayton is also the home of gingerbread, however, the locals prefer to dunk it in port rather than eat it dry – which may explain why a certain Robert Clive - better known as Clive of India, who was born in Market Drayton – chose to climb the spire of St Mary’s church when he was a boy. The town itself retains much of its medieval street pattern with red sandstone and mellow brick buildings mingling with black and white half-timbered properties; and to add even more character to the town, the Shropshire Union Canal passes just a few hundred yards from the town centre. For more information visit: www.market-drayton.com/InDevelopment/

Hales

A traditional estate village with a grand hall and large sandstone church. Coal Brook Valley has a wonderful lake and marsh area teeming with bird life.

Bishops Offley and Cop Mere

Cycle through the deep sandstone cutting and you come out into Jackson’s Coppice and marsh Nature Reserve. The marshland has been created by the presence of two watermills. The dam for the Walkmill dates from 1250. Further on you come to Cop Mere, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The local meres were formed at the end of the last Ice Age.

Cheswardine

Cheswardine is renowned for its floral displays and has been voted one of England’s prettiest villages. The church is well worth a visit; it has a beautiful interior and has displays of art depicting previous churches on the site, dating back to the 11th Century. Next to the church is a moated motte, the last remains of a castle built by the Le Strange family in 1160.