An 11.5 mile circular cycle route from Wem navigating through a maze of quiet country lanes taking in the unusual and magnificent north Shropshire mosses. With option of 7.5 or 13 miles. It is easy cycling, mainly on the flat.

Distance

11.5 miles

Terrain

Quiet country roads

Start from

Wem Town Centre

Nearest to

Wem

Parking

Wem Town Centre

The route

Cycling is one of the best ways to soak up the unspoilt landscapes and experience the unique features of the environment and villages of North Shropshire. It is ideal cycling terrain: quiet lanes and country roads, easy gradients and yet amazing views. These cycle routes have been chosen to suit a range of interests and abilities, the shortest route being 7.5 miles and the longest 24 miles. Cycled over a day, with a picnic lunch or a stop at a local pub, this really is a great way to explore the area.

Places of interest:

Wem

Wem originated as a Saxon settlement but also has evidence of settlers dating back to the Iron Age. During the War of the Roses, it was “torn to the ground” by the Earl of Salisbury on behalf of the Yorkists. The town was rebuilt in 1500 by Ralf Greystock only to see further destruction in 1677 after a 14-year-old girl, Jane Churn, dropped a candle and started a huge fire that destroyed most of the wooden buildings in the town. More recently, in 1887, a local called Henry Eckford became the first to cross breed the modern Sweet Pea. His contribution to horticulture is still celebrated every year in Wem with the annual Sweet Pea Show. For more information about Wem visit www.wem.gov.uk

Wem is nestled at the heart of the beautiful Meres and Mosses landscape. For information about preserving this unique habitat, or to find local events visit www.themeresandmosses.co.uk

Whixall Moss

Whixall includes a large part of the 948-hectare “Fenn’s, Whixall, Bettisfield, Wem and Cadney Mosses” which is an SSSI (Site of SpecialScientific Interest) and is the third largest raised bog in Britain. The central area became a National Nature Reserve in 1990 and large-scale cutting was stopped. The mosses are now being restored and you will find wildfowl, waders and dragonflies abound. For more information or to book your place on a guided walk of the mosses visit www.themeresandmosses.co.uk

Whixall Marina

The first mile of the former Prees Branch Canal was dredged and a Marina built in the 1970’s. The lower stretch to Waterloo Bridge was retained as a Nature Reserve. Prees Branch has many of the values of a long pond – good for dragonflies, moorhens and swans and makes a pleasant detour from the main towpath along the Shropshire Union Canal.