Numerous walking routes emanate from the pretty Shropshire town of Church Stretton, making it a great base from which to explore the surrounding hills and woodlands.
This moderate-level ramble takes you from the train station to the summit of Caer Caradoc and its ancient hill fort – thought to date from either the Iron Age or Late Bronze Age. It’s a stiff climb to the top, but one worth the effort for the spectacular views.
Church Stretton, Shropshire ©Getty
1. Station start
Leave the train station towards the town centre, turning sharp right back over the train line on the town bridge. Cross straight over the main road along Stanford Avenue, turning left shortly after on to Watling Street North. Stay on this for about 250m.
2. Low lanes
Turn right and climb uphill alongside a sunken lane, following the tree-lined field boundary to the left. Pass two farm reservoirs and enter forest.
After about 100m a steep path veers off to the left. Take this and climb carefully up the side of the hill, ignoring side-paths. Before you know it you’ll have reached the top, Three Fingers Rock. This unusual tor offers an ideal vantage point from which to absorb the surrounding countryside.
4. Ridge ramble
From here, follow the Caer Caradoc Hill ridgeline north-east, dropping down to the right of the Caer Caradoc fort on the main track, eventually meeting a stile and a gravel-and-mud roadway.
5. Home straight
It’s now simply a matter of following the bike-friendly track south-west for about 1km back to the base of the hill where you begun your climb. Retrace your steps back to the station.