A 23 mile circular cycle route from Wem with spectacular views of the Welsh Hills and an interesting detour past Sleap airfield. Fairly easy cycling taking in some of the larger villages in the area, such as Baschurch, Cockshutt and Myddle.

Distance

22 miles

Terrain

Quiet Country roads, crossing A49 twice

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

Cockshutt – Leaking Tap

The church is dedicated to St Simon and St Jude. A previous chapel on the same site is recorded as far back as the 15th century.

Baschurch – New Inn, Admiral Duncan Inn, Boreatton Arms

Baschurch is centred around the Church of All Saints, which dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. It is believed a battle took place a mile or so north of the village of Baschurch where stands the ancient fortress now known as The Berth. More recently this site has been suggested as being the resting place of King Arthur!

Myddle – Red Lion

The village probably owes its origins to being on a crossroads with the important Ellesmere-Shrewsbury road. A resident in the 18th century was Richard Gough, who wrote a “History of Myddle”. In his book there are stories of conspiracies of unhappily married women of the village who poisoned their husbands and of men addicted to gambling or alcohol.

Sleap Airfield

Sleap Airfield is an ex-RAF field, formerly home to 93 Group Bomber Command and 38 Airborne Forces Group in World War II. The RAF left in 1964. Shropshire Aero Club is now based here.

Refreshments

There are a range of refreshments available in Wem.