At this time of year there’s a beautiful palette of colours waiting to be discovered across the breath-taking Shropshire countryside. From bracing hikes over windswept moorland to gentle woodland walks, let a kaleidoscope of colourful walks inspire you this autumn.
Walking groups of up to a maximum of 30 people are now allowed to take place, although social distancing remains… so remember the two-meter rule! If you would like to join a walking group, ensure you book your place early to avoid disappointment. Please keep up to date with the latest government advice as it changes regularly.
Wenlock Walking Weekend
From Friday 4 until 7 September this weekend offers various walks ranging from two to 15 miles, including a stroll around the town to view historical buildings. There is a World War 1 walk which looks on how it impacted the town, along with a range of walks through the countryside and Wenlock Edge. Booking is essential. For further details call 01952 727542, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit muchwenlockwalkers.org.uk.
Wellington Walking Festival
Now in its ninth year, the Wellington Walking Festival will comprise of a mix of events, including some old favourites and some new ventures. Following the pattern of previous years, there will be a few themed events, such as geology, natural history, historical sites and garden visits. Booking for these events is essential. This year the festival will be held from Monday 14 to 20 September from 9am till 4pm daily. For more information visit wellingtonwalkersarewelcome.org.uk.
Shropshire Way 80k Festival
Shropshire Way 80k Festival is returning for its third year. Runners and walkers from all over the UK and beyond will take part in this personal challenge through the beautiful Shropshire hills on the weekend of the 5 and 6 September. It is a fundraiser for Grow Cook Learn, the charity which operates the Discovery Centre. To connect people with the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills, there will be check points at different points of the route where a choice of local food will be provided. There will be three events of different distances: the flagship SW80K – 50 miles in 24 hours, the Mammothon – a full distance trail marathon and a mini-Mammothon. More details can be found on shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk.
Local walking areas/ extra events
Charity Steps Walk
Making the most of Bridgnorth’s hilly terrain, the infamous Steps Walk is the Rotary Club’s flagship fundraising event. Participants head up and down the town’s historic steps, which link river level with High Town, raising money for their own good causes as they go. There are ten sets of steps, making over 800 in total. The walk takes place on Sunday 4 October from 1.30 to 5pm. Entry costs £10, register at bridgnorthrotary.org.uk.
Tuskers September Selfie Stroll
Get out and about to brighten up your September with Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre Discovery Walks and be in with a chance of winning the prize draw. Visit the Centre to get your £1 walk leaflet, post a selfie of you on the walk to their Facebook page and get entered into a prize draw. Prizes worth up to £50. There will be a weekly prize winner and an overall prize winner. More details at shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk.
Visit the parkland, walled garden, shop, and deer park at Attingham Park. Set amongst woodland and beautifully maintained gardens, it makes wonderful day out or different dog walking location to enjoy. There is timed entry into the park and pre-booking your visit is essential. Dogs are welcome but must always be kept on leads. Tickets are released every Friday – call 03442 491895 or go to nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park.
Hawkstone Park Follies
Open until Sunday 1 November, enjoy this range of dramatic and rugged natural sandstone hills set across 100 acres of parkland. The hills were developed to include towers, caves, bridges, and gullies. Included in the fascinating landscape is a grotto, made from a series of caves excavated from the sandstone. Pre-booked tickets must be purchased prior to visiting. Last admission is 3pm. Call 01948 841777 or visit hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk.
Come and escape in Mortimer Forest, with a thousand hectares to explore. There are walks for all abilities, from two miles to 14, its a fantastic place to walk with the dog. All four carparks have picnic areas for you to use, so make a day of it and bring some lunch with you. More info at – forestryengland.uk/mortimer-forest.
Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd
Walk across Carding Mill this autumn and take in the views across the Shropshire Hills. This time of year, vibrant golden flowers cover the slopes. Bilberries continue to grow; the heather fades and colourful fungi and field mushrooms are scattered through the grasslands. You may be lucky to spot the wild ponies. Children can play in the stream in the valley. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk.
Explore this ancient woodland and look for signs of wildlife along the way. There is a thriving dormouse population and to encourage them to stay conservationists have placed nest boxes among the conifers. Why not see if you can spot one along the way? Visit – nationaltrust.org.uk.
Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses
With miles of footpaths to explore, there is a huge range for all abilities to choose from. The high sandstone ridge and hill fort overlooking the dramatic red sandstone rock houses makes for impressive sightseeing. There are plenty of natural play areas through the woodland trail. Dogs are welcome, however must be kept on leads around some restrictive wildlife areas. There is times entry to avoid crowds, pre-booking is essential. Tickets are released every Friday. Call 01384 872553 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk.