This 31 mile ride, with optional short cuts, has fantastic views and the chance to visit two important market towns and some interesting villages. The area is renowned for its beautiful glacial lakes as well as the canals that survive the rail and car ages. This route is not suitable for young or inexperienced cyclists.

Oswestry Cycle Rides Route 4: Ellesmere Explorer image


40 miles


Quiet lanes and country roads

Start from

Oswestry Heritage Centre

Nearest to



Oswestry Town Centre

The route

One of four routes from 13 – 31 miles (21 – 50km) following quiet lanes and country roads around Oswestry. There is a wealth of beautiful countryside, with stunning views and historically interesting green spaces including Oswestry Iron Age Hillfort, the Old Racecourse and Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail, all of which can be seen when riding these cycle routes.

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:


Oswestry is an ancient market town located on the English/Welsh border, nestled in the foothills of the Welsh hills. Its position as a frontier town has given it a turbulent history.

This history is still visible in the encircling English and Welsh town walls and the foundations of the castle, which date back to 1086 and the town’s market which dates from 1190. The name ‘Oswestry’ is thought to be a corruption of ‘Oswald’s Tree’ or ‘Oswald’s Cross’, after the king of Northumberland who was killed in battle by the king of Mercia near Oswestry in 641AD. Most of the town centre is a designated conservation area.

There are lots of historically interesting buildings including the timber framed Llwyd Mansion, the Cambrian railway museum and St Oswald’s Church. Oswestry’s first school founded in 1407 is now the heritage and visitor information centre. The cycle routes in this leaflet start here.

There is a wide choice of places to eat, drink and stay as well as some great shops. The Cae Glas Park is beautiful to walk through when the flowers are in bloom.

Ellesmere College

Founded in 1884, Ellesmere College is now a coeducational public school for children aged 7 to 18. The school is a rugby academy and past pupils include former England rugby captain Bill Beaumont.


Ellesmere is a quaint market town nestled on the banks of a glacial mere created following the last Ice Age. There’s plenty to see and do here from rowing on the mere to visiting the 15th century church or the wharf which formed the hub of the Midlands canal network during the 19th century. There are also plenty of places to stop for refreshments before returning to Oswestry.