A 12.5 mile walk along The Shropshire Way from the iconic Wrekin to the outskirts of Shrewsbury at Haughmond Hill.
Over farmland. Undulating
Parking is available at Wellington and Haughmond Hill
Lat/Long: 52.6799091792, -2.5370879956
Leaving The Wrekin behind, you will very shortly arrive at Ercall Quarry a world-famous geological site and SSSI. After ascending the hill between the cluster of disused quarries you pass through the Ercall Wood Nature Reserve on route downhill to the market town of Wellington.
The nature trails and varied terrain at Haughmond Hill are ideal for people of all abilities to explore. Way-marked trails radiate from a central point on the hill which offers off-road parking and a cabin with refreshments and facilities. The routes include an Easy Access path and a Geo Walk with a viewing platform overlooking the working quarry. The Shropshire Way arrives at the hill along its southern boundary and provides a steep climb to reach a viewing area at the top with excellent views of the surrounding area.
The quarries of the Ercall dramatically illustrate the explosion of life as the Precambrian gave way to the Cambrian. Looking up to the bright pink and grey layers of rock on a sunny day is breathtaking. As you follow the Shropshire Way upwards, a side path gives access to the spot where the two types of rock come together.
The path wanders through the Ercall Wood and forms part of a number of circular routes which can be used to explore the area in greater detail. The ancient woodland is protected by Shropshire Wildlife Trust and is home for a wide variety of species – the bluebells in spring being a wonder to behold.
To the east of the Ercall lies Limekiln Woods which can be reached by circular routes of various lengths. These woods have their own unique character and reveal evidence of the industrial heritage of the area.
Leaving the Ercall behind, you descend into the historic market town of Wellington – the gateway to the Wrekin Forest to the south and the Shropshire Plain to the north. As you move toward the centre of town you reach Watling Street as it approached the Roman city of Viroconium a short distance to the west. The ruins and visitor centre can be found at Wroxeter roughly six miles west of Wellington. A short diversion to the east in Wellington would take you to Sunnycroft, a National Trust pre-First World War ‘country house’ complete with its iconic Staircase Hall and set in five acres of gardens. It is believed that Wellington is named after an Anglo-Saxon named Weola or Weoh who arrived at some point during the sixth or seventh century. The town began to expand in the 13th century when it was granted a Crown Charter to hold a regular market, which is still held today.