Walking 10 miles from Wilderhope to Church Stretton takes you along precipitous edges, over hill, through dale, through past times, through quieter times: truly the Shropshire Way.
Some steep uphill sections.
Church Stretton, Much Wenlock
Wilderhope Manor and Church Stretton
Lat/Long: 52.5315955262, -2.6722986536
Stand on the limestone escarpment of Wenlock Edge and you are on a place so important in science that it has its own geological period named after it, the Wenlockian. At Acton Scott the historic working farm will give you a glimpse of what this countryside would have been like in slower days. A time before the noise and fumes of engines, a time when great horses plied the land. Then Ragleth hill with the views that call you to Church Stretton, the little Switzerland of Victorian times.
Perched high on Wenlock Edge is the imposing Elizabethan Manor house of Wilderhope. Thomas Smallman, a Major in the Royalist Army once lived here until caught by the Roundheads. By some miracle he escaped on horse and galloped the length of Wenlock Edge only to be surrounded. In desperation he leapt from the cliff. The horse died but he fell into a crab apple tree and lived. If you stay in this Youth Hostel beware, his ghost is said to haunt the spiral staircases of the Manor.
Here you can travel back in time to a quieter, slower, more rural age. One where men and animals worked the land, where fields were smaller and hedgerowed. No vast tractors and wheat filled, barbed wire fenced deserts here; just a welcome smile and a gentler way of life. Stay and learn what it was like, try your hand at almost long forgotten skills, enjoy a rest and take a cup of tea.
Iron Age, Roman, Anglo Saxon, Norman all have lived here. Great hilltop earthworks ring the town and the Romans marched past on Watling Street. But not just in ancient times was it famous. This is the Victorian “Little Switzerland” where top ‘hatted and crinolined visitors came on the new railway line to take its waters and walk the hills. Even in the second World War this quiet hill bound town was busy. The then new bypass was not opened but kept as a parking lot for tanks and guns. Now it’s a Walkers Welcome town and a base for the adventurous paraglider and walker alike.