Walking In the Shropshire Hills: Stiperstones, Welshpool, Ironbridge & Ludlow

Better late than never but I’ve just had my first – albeit short – holiday of the year, in the Shropshire Hills. Last weekend I spent 2 nights away, doing a little bit of walking and some sightseeing – my first visit to a lovely part of the country.

I booked a lovely little garden cabin on AirB&B – hosted by Genevieve and Alan (the garden house is in a nice private corner of their garden), and located in the village of Snailbeach, famous for its mine and also located conveniently close to the Stiperstones ridge where I did most of my walking over the weekend.

On Saturday I started my walk from the Northern end of the Stiperstones – a lovely walk across farm land complete with sheep and cows (I love cows). I only meant to go out for a short walk but was out for nearly 3 or 4 hours in total!

After lunch back in the cabin I got in the car and drove off to Welshpool – or, to be more specific – Powys Castle & Garden – a 15 mile drive, not far beyond the border in to Wales.

The Sun came out in the afternoon which made walking around the castle gardens very pleasant. It felt warm in the Sunshine which after many months in the winter cold & darkness was very welcome.

Next, as the castle closed relatively early, and with the light lasting long enough for me to do a little more sightseeing, I jumped back in the car and headed for Ironbridge, located on a very fast flowing River Severn and famous for its…. iron bridge!

The town itself looked lovely with plenty of cafes and a few museums which would be worth visiting I think.

It was dark when I got back to my garden cabin but just in time to have a quick chat with my hosts as they were heading out for the evening – small world…they know my part of Gloucestershire, having relatives who lives near Tetbury and in Kemble, where my parents lived before (and shortly after) I was born.

The cabin had a small kitchen so I could prepare myself simple meals: I had a curry – just a microwave meal – with some nice fresh bread from the local bakery (the bread provided by the hosts). The cabin had wifi so I was able to plug the laptop in and watch a bit of TV in the evening – and I read a few chapters of my book before bed as well. In the Summer months I can imagine it being very nice sitting outside in the evening.

On Sunday I got up – not too early – had a chat to the cat Polly Garter who likes to check out the guests. She was lovely! (Shame she didn’t appear until the morning of my departure though).

I walked more of the Stiperstones ridge but this time starting from the Southern end. It was a lovely walk with different scenery to what I’d seen on Saturday, but also slightly busier – perhaps the part of the Stiperstones I was in – or perhaps because it was also Mothers’ Day.

On the way home I stopped in Ludlow to eat some lunch. Ludlow’s quite a nice market town – and only an hour and a half from home – seems closer than I thought. I took the “scenic route” and drove home on the A49 as far as the start of the A417 and then went through Newent and Gloucester.

Overall it was a very enjoyable weekend and I look forward to planning my next holiday. Portugal in June – possibly room for another short getaway before (but undecided at the moment).

Have a great evening,


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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