A 24 mile circular cycle route from Wem using some main routes and therefore suitable for the more experienced cyclists. The route takes in some of North Shropshire’s most amazing scenery, including wooded heaths and views of sandstone hills. This route meets up with the Market Drayton cycle route in the beautiful village of Hodnet.

Distance

24 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

Hodnet – The Bear Hotel

Hodnet’s centrepiece is its Hall and Gardens which were started in 1921 by Brigadier A.G.W. Heber-Percy. Now you can enjoy the 60+ acres of beautiful landscaped gardens within a natural valley setting. There are also woodland walks and an ornamental water garden. Afternoon tea can be taken in the tearooms and there is also a gift shop. www.hodnethallgardens.org

Wollerton – The Squirrel

Wollerton Old Hall Gardens is a 3-acre, formal garden developed around a 16th century house with a tearoom. Open Easter to end of August, Fridays and Sundays (12 to 5pm) www.wollertonoldhallgarden.com

Prees

Prees is an ancient village with evidence of Roman use. The church of St. Chad is 14th century but the tower is 1758. A handsome monument to Sir John Hill, father of the famous Lord Hill, Wellington’s second in command at Waterloo, is housed within.

Refreshments

There are a range of refreshments available in Wem.