A 5 ½ mile circular walk on the spectacular Stiperstones ridge, some uneven rocky terrain open to the full force of the weather. Paths with gates and stiles, some walking on quiet lanes. Refreshments, information and toilets available at the Bog Centre.

Shropshire Way Circular Walk 2: Stiperstones image

Distance

5.5 miles

Terrain

Hill walk on some stony uneven paths,stiles, gates and lanes

Start from

The Bog Mine car park

Nearest to

Stiperstones

Parking

The Bog Mine car park

Map reference

Lat/Long: 52.5903939093, -2.9295458986

OS: SO371996

The route

Walk the Stiperstones Circular and you will walk along a ridge steeped in history and myth. Haunted by Bronze Age burial cairns, the Saxon warlord Wild Edric, Roman lead miners and witches. Now a wonderful nature reserve and the furthest south that you can find Red grouse. A wonderful varied family walk with views that will pull the eyes out of your head.

Stiperstones

This jagged ridge of bare stone tors abounds with myth and legend. Some say it’s where Shropshire witches meet to sup with the devil as he sits on the rock called the Devil’s chair. Its more peaceful now and the views from the top are as good as it gets. As one local said “it pulls the eyes right out of your head”. In summer the hills are aloud with the trilling song of skylarks and the evocative call of red grouse telling you to “go bak go bak go bak”. Maybe they are trying to warn you about the witches!

The Bog Centre

Take the short detour down to the Bog Centre. Once the building was the school at the heart of a thriving village. Since Roman times, and maybe before. It has been mined for its minerals, especially lead. Indeed one lead ingot bearing Roman markings and weighing 90 kilograms was found near here.

But now it’s quiet. Visit it and find out more about what the village was like, enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of their famous “Bog Bake” cake.

Wild Edric

Wild Edric is not just a myth, he really existed. He was a Saxon noble who owned great tracts of Shropshire and the borders in the 11th Century. Then the Normans invaded and he fought them to save his land but it was a loosing battle and eventually he was forced to make peace with William the Conqueror. Legend has it that for this failure he was imprisoned in the lead mines by the witches and is still there. Look carefully if you walk these hills at dusk, you may see a rider in a green cloak and feathered cap. This is Edric who with his fairy bride Lady Godda gallop the hills whenever England is threatened.

Back to Purple

In 1998 a project was launched to restore the heath lands on and around the Stiperstones. This involved the felling of trees and the re-establishing of the heather and bilberry moorland. At Nipstone Rock you can see how well the work is progressing.

As Housman said:

“Into my heart on air that kills

From yonder far country blows:

What are those blue remembered hills,

What spires, what farms are those?”