Nesscliffe Hills and the Cliffe Countryside Heritage Site is 70 hectares including wooded hills and a heather covered ridge, and gives expansive views over the Shropshire countryside and Welsh hills.

Nesscliffe Hills and the Cliffe Countryside Heritage Site image

Nearest to

Nesscliffe

Parking

Free parking is available all year round.

Location

Nesscliffe Hills and the Cliffe Countryside Heritage Site stretches north from the A5 half way between Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

Postcode

SY4 1DG

Map reference

Lat/Long: 52.773217, -2.9071253

Opening times

Every day of the year.

About

Nesscliffe Hills and the Cliffe Countryside Heritage Site covers two wooded hills and a heather covered ridge, and gives expansive views over the Shropshire countryside and Welsh hills.

Visitors have a 70 hectare area of mixed woodland and heathland to explore; that’s about the size of 140 football pitches! There is a wealth of historical features and wildlife on the site and an extensive network of paths to explore.

Nesscliffe Hills and the Cliffe Countryside Heritage Site covers two wooded hills and a heather covered ridge, and gives expansive views over the Shropshire countryside and Welsh hills.

Visitors have a 70 hectare area of mixed woodland and heathland to explore; that’s about the size of 140 football pitches! Within the site there is an iron age hill fort, a series of impressive quarries which supplied stone for some of Shropshire's' castles and churches, and a cave hewn into the sandstone, which is said to have been the hideout of the medieval outlaw Humphrey Kynaston. There is a wealth of evidence of human activity stretching back 3000 years including saw pits where trees were planked by hand on site, world war two trenches, squatters cottages, an observation post and a terrace where archery competitions were held two hundred years ago. Many of these features are not obvious but visitors can have fun searching for them.

The natural heritage of the site includes an extensive area of lowland heath and mixed woodland with an unusually wide variety of conifer trees, almost an arboretum. The variety of habitats including ponds and steep cliffs gives rise to a wide variety of wildlife, particularly birds and insects. The Cliffe heathland is a rare habitat nationally and looks stunning in August when the purple heather is in flower.

The site has an extensive network of tracks, paths and trails giving a variety of walking and riding experiences from level tracks to steep narrow footpaths suitable for all different ages and abilities. Many of these tracks can get muddy at certain times of year and stout footwear or wellies are advisable at all times.

Recreational Activities

Three family-friendly walking routes have been designed at the site.

There are many bridleways around and across the site. The Humphrey Kynaston Way long distance route passes through and the Humphrey Kynaston Nesscliffe Circular is a promoted route within the site.

Nesscliffe Country Park is the latest countryside site to have its own permanent orienteering course. The course has been set up by Wrekin Orienteering Group and consists of an easy (2.3km) and medium route (2.9km). The controls are 10cm square flat, red/white markers with letter codes on. Many, but not all, are on posts. Further information can be found here.

The site is an important climbing area, and the sandstone outcrops have a range of climbing routes on them which are recognised as being extremely challenging. For more information, go the British Mountaineering Council's website.

The Nesscliffe Volunteers hold conservation tasks on the first Sunday of the month starting at 10am, meeting at the Pine Car Park. If you are interested in getting involved please contact us.

Things to see and do

  • Waymarked circular routes provide easy off-road cycling and horse riding as well as walking.
  • Visit the Cliffe in August to enjoy extensive views of Shropshire across the blooming purple heather.
  • Feel free to roam through acres of woodland both on and off tracks the kids can build dens while you enjoy the views in peace and solitude.

Getting there

There is a regular bus service between Shrewsbury and Oswestry that passes through Nesscliffe. The Cliffe is close to Ruyton XI Towns which also has a bus service.

Join in

Nesscliffe Volunteers meet on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Web links

BMC - Nesscliffe

Wrekin Orienteers

Nesscliffe.org.uk

Related walks

Related horse rides