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- About Church Stretton
A town with something special to offer walkers
In 2008 Church Stretton became the first Walkers Are Welcome town in the Midlands. Today there are over 100 such WAW towns in Britain – each one guaranteeing great walking – with maintained way-marked walks, spectacular scenery, warm welcomes and good local support from councils, shops, pubs, eateries, together, in our case, with both our local National Trust and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (SHAONB).
Church Stretton is set within a landscape of stunning variety and beauty. The only town within the SHAONB, its 5000 residents live in a rift valley between the heather-covered Long Mynd (Long Mountain) to the west, and the even more imposing rocky peaks of the Stretton Hills to the east.
The local Walkers Are Welcome team have produced four superb walks to complement its Walkers are Welcome town status. Leaflets are available for these walks and can be purchased from: Burway Books in Beaumont Avenue, The Outdoor Depot and Newsworld in Sandford Avenue, Longmynd Hotel Cunnery Road, Cardingmill Valley National Trust shop and the Visitor Information Centre(VIC) at the library in Church Street. You can find walk leaflets to download at the Shropshire Walking website. Also look at Walking and Biking Trails.
From the town there is almost immediate access to a wilderness of unpopulated upland moorland through the two town jewels of Rectory Field and Rectory Wood, situated close to the old church of St Laurence, onto the Long Mynd plateau. On its flanks are deep gullies (batches) and shallow, rocky streams, while lower down the hills are woodlands and fields. Wildlife includes buzzards, curlew, raven, red grouse, deer, brown hares, badgers, a herd of ponies and thousands of sheep.
Our hill country is a magnet for walkers of all ages and abilities: we aim to become THE walking centre of Shropshire. On offer are ambles, Walking for Health paths, more active rambles and the opportunity to walk the hill tops or join the annual 50-mile Longmynd Hike, or the even longer Shropshire Way or Offa’s Dyke with surprisingly modest effort. There are over 30 miles of well-maintained footpaths and 20 miles of bridleways that run through the heather of the moorlands, the grass, bracken and woods of the Shropshire Hills and the lush greenery of the batches and lowland fields.
The Walkers Are Welcome criteria ensure high standards of path maintenance, way-marked walking, maps, local knowledgeable enthusiasts and, where possible, good links to local transport. Our prize-winning gardens at the railway station are a fitting place to start many of our local walks, while we are fortunate to have a Shuttle Service on week-ends in the summer, where local minibus drivers can take you up onto the moors and hills from our honeypot of Cardingmill Valley – a delightful picnic and play area with its National Trust café, car parks and shop.
After your walk you can enjoy our Cafes and Tea Rooms, eat in our Inns and Pubs and Restaurants and stay in our local Accommodation. Don't forget to save time for browsing the wide selection of local shops in the heart of Church Stretton. We look forward to welcoming you to our town many more times in the future!