A long distance unsigned 185 mile cycle route around Shropshire's border.

Distance

185 miles

Terrain

On busy country roads, quiet country lanes and bridleways with some traffic free sections.

Start from

Melverley, Ironbridge, Telford, Stottesden, Ludlow, Shrewsbury

Nearest to

Cleobury Mortimer, Ironbridge, Ludlow, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Telford

Parking

Melverley, Ironbridge, Telford, Stottesden, Ludlow, Shrewsbury

The route

Cycling is one of the best ways to soak up the beautiful landscapes and experience the unique features of Shropshire. The Shropshire cycleway lets you experience the diversity of Shropshire’s countryside from the relatively flat North to the challenging South Shropshire Hills with their stunning views, and everything in between. This ride takes in many of the outlying market towns each with its individual heritage and industrial pasts along with many places of note to satisfy all interests. The route is ideal for a cycle touring holiday in Shropshire or as inspiration for planning shorter cycle rides.

Places of interest:

Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury, the Country town of Shropshire, is an historic market town whose town centre has a largely unaltered medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery.

Whitchurch

The historic town of Whitchurch is the oldest continually inhabited community in Shropshire. Local J B Joyce clocks have been exported all over the world and the town clock trail explores the history of the town’s famous timepieces. Visit the Heritage Centre for exhibitions about the clocks and other notable stories from Whitchurch’s past.

Ironbridge

Ironbridge Gorge, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are ten award winning museums in the gorge including Blist’s Hill Victorian Town, The Museum of the Gorge and the stunning Ironbridge and its tollhouse.

Market Drayton

Market Drayton is a bustling market town, first granted its market charter by Henry III in 1245. The town has several interesting buildings including St Mary’s Church (1150) and The Old Free Grammar School (1558) which was attended by Clive of India.

Newport

Newport is a small market town which was planned as a new town by the Normans.  The street layout retains the Norman design despite the destruction of most of the medieval buildings in a great fire in 1665. The town hosts the very popular biennial Newport Nocturne bike race.

Telford

Telford is a new town named after engineer Thomas Telford. It was planned in the 1960s and merged together several smaller towns and settlements.

Bridgnorth

The former river port of Bridgnorth is a lovely town to visit. It is divided into two sections, Low Town and High Town which are linked by the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, a funicular railway built in 1892. High Town is the main shopping area and has beautiful views down the Severn valley.

Clee Hills

As you cycle between Ludlow and Highley, look out for fabulous views of the Clee Hills to the north. These hills are part of the Shropshire Hills AONB and include Brown Clee Hill, the highest peak in Shropshire (540m).

Clun and Bishop’s Castle

This section of route does not pass through many towns, so if you’re missing civilisation, you can take a bit of a detour to visit Bishop’s Castle or Clun. The small town of Clun is a mecca for artists and walkers with a picturesque ruined Norman castle. Bishop’s Castle is larger, with a recently-restored historic town hall.  Both have shops, pubs and cafés if you need to stock up. Bishop’s Castle is the home of the Three Tuns Brewery, the oldest brewery in Britain; you can tour the brewhouse in Bishop’s Castle or sample their beer at The Sun Inn in Clun.

Offa’s Dyke

Here the Shropshire Cycleway closely follows the England/Wales border and the ancient defensive earthwork, Offa’s Dyke. The structure is named after Offa, an 8th century king of Mercia, who is believed to have ordered its construction. Offa’s Dyke Path runs from Chepstow to Prestatyn.

Llanymynech

The route passes east of this village which straddles the Wales England border. Look out for Llanymynech Rock which looms over the village. Formerly a quarry, it is now a nature reserve and also boasts a unique golf course – the only course in Britain to lie across two different countries. The village also has a pleasant Heritage Area featuring one of only three remaining Hoffman lime kilns in Britain.

Ellesmere

Ellesmere is the heart of Shropshire’s ‘Lake District’ and features a delightful glacial mere which attracts an abundant amount of wildlife. This pretty town boasts medieval streets, Georgian houses and half timbered buildings, and has hosted a weekly market since originally being granted a charter by Henry III in 1221. Whilst in the town, you could take the opportunity to visit the impressive church of St Mary or stroll along the towpath of the Llangollen canal, as designed by the legendary Thomas Telford.

Oswestry

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, still visible in the encircling English and Welsh town walls and the foundations of the castle, which date back to 1086.