A 12 mile walk from the Bridges Inn across The Stiperstones and Devils Chair to Bishop's Castle.

Shropshire Way Route 1: Bridges Inn to Bishop’s Castle image

Distance

12.0 miles

Terrain

Across pasture land and open moorland with some steep uphill sections

Start from

The Bridges Inn at Ratlinghope

Nearest to

Bishop's Castle, Ratlinghope

Parking

Some Parking may be available at The Bridges Inn. Please ask. Otherwise at Bishop's Castle.

Map reference

Lat/Long: 52.494796632, -2.9974640814

OS: SO324890

The route

Cairns, Castles and Wild Edric

Walking the Shropshire Way from Bridges to Bishop’s Castle will take you along paths and lanes travelled for thousands of years.

Think of the others that were here before you. You can see their signs everywhere:

  • Ancient ways trod by Stone Age man bringing axes from Corndon hill
  • Cairns from the Bronze Age
  • The scars left from Iron Age mines

The mounds and strange levels in the ground. These are all that’s left of the Norman forts and Roman villas that stood here.

Wild Edric

Wild Edric 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 losing battle and he joined the Normans. Legend has it that the witches hated this betrayal. They imprisoned him in the local lead mines and he is still there. Be careful 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.

Bridges

What a place, in its day the motorway services for the Bishop’s Castle to Shrewsbury coaching road. There was a forge, a coaching inn and a toll house. Now it’s bypassed and gives a weary walker a haven of peace and quiet to sit with his ale and watch the brook run by. For more information visit The Bridges website.

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. The view from the top is 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 Stiperstones National Nature Reserve is managed by Natural England.

The Bog Centre

Take the short detour down to the volunteer run Bog Visitor Centre. Once the building was the school at the heart of a thriving village. Lead has been mined in the area since Roman times. 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.

More

Make sure to take the short detour and visit the hamlet of More. What a history for so tiny a place. A roman villa nearby, a Norman motte and bailey and the remains of a medieval town. Go inside the church and look at the font. It’s surrounded by a mosaic found when a Roman villa at Linley Hall was excavated.

Bishop’s Castle

Until 1832 this colourful little town was one of the so called “rotten boroughs”. These were places that returned members of Parliament but had so few voters that a rich person could buy the votes and thus a seat in Westminster. But its beginnings were far earlier, an Anglo-Saxon settlement and the site of a Norman motte and bailey. It is at the end of the Kerry Ridgeway. A drovers’ road along which cattle, sheep and even geese were walked to market. The Drovers must have been a thirsty lot for there have been 2 breweries here since 1642! Find out more about Bishop's Castle at the Town Hall.