Hope Bowdler, Church Stretton Walks, Shropshire Walks In England, UK
Hope Bowdler walk was about 5.25 miles in distance. The terrain of this route was mostly good field and hill paths, some tracks, a little road walking and some trackless ground. There were also 5 stiles to climb over.
This ‘Shropshire Peaks Walk’ visits the double summit of Hope Bowdler Hill which feels like two separate tops, and the summit of Willstone Hill. This walk route is a grand outing with fabulous views and a delightful narrow ridge to follow.
Starting from the car park in Church Stretton, leg one headed east on roads; then north east by lane, field path and track to a gate near a ford. Leg two turned south, then north east, then south east, along hill paths and tracks to a col near Willstone Hill summit.
Leg three headed south west on hill paths over Hope Bowdler Hill and along and down a ridge to cross a field and go along a track to a road. Leg four turned north west on a short road section and over fields to a lane. To complete the walk the fifth and final leg turned south west by lane and field paths, over a railway crossing, and along roads back to the car park in Church Stretton.
Get an OS Map or a Walking Guide for your Walks
- Landranger 137 OS Map - Ludlow, Church Stretton & Wenlock Edge - 1:50,000 Scale
- Explorer 217 OS Map - Long Mynd & Wenlock Edge - 1:25,000 Scale
- Shropshire Walking Guides
Hope Bowdler Walk Route
The Hope Bowdler walk route was circular in a clockwise direction with five legs.
On this first leg we started from the car park in Church Stretton, heading east on roads; then north east by lane, field path and track to a gate near a ford.
- We exited the car park by the public toilets and turned left along Easthope Road.
- At the road junction we turned right on the B4371 to walk through the town and cross the A49 at the traffic lights.
- Continuing ahead along the B4371, we forked left on the B4317, now Sandford Avenue, and soon forked left along Watling Street North.
- As the road went round a right bend, we forked off left on Cwms Lane, signposted ‘Caer Caredoc’, continuing ahead to a cattle grid.
- Just before the cattle grid we went right over a stile into a field.
- Following the field right boundary edge we curved left.
- Where the fence on the right went away to the right we turned right along a track.
- After passing through a gate in the field corner we continued ahead on the track.
- At a fork, immediately before a ford, we veered right uphill along a path, following a fence on our right to go through a gate.
Having walked about 1.25 miles to this point, the second leg headed south, then north east, then south east, on hill paths and tracks to a col near Willstone Hill summit.
- We ascended the path through trees with a fence on our right.
- As the trees ended, we curved left then right across a field to cross a stile by a gate in the field corner.
- Here we ascended a trackless field to meet a crossing track.
- Turning left along the track we went through a gate and followed an arrow going to the right behind Cwms Farm along a track.
- After passing through a gate on our right, we went left along a path through bracken at the foot of an incline.
- At a fork went left along the foot of the incline until we reached a T-junction near a fence and fingerpost.
- Here we turned right to go steeply uphill along a path to a col near Willstone Hill summit.
- Here we turned left to cross a stile near a fence corner.
- Continuing ahead with the fence on our right, we passed through a gate opening and then veered left to the summit of Willstone Hill.
- We then retraced our steps through the gate opening and back over the stile at the col.
Having walked about 3 miles to this point, the third leg headed south west along hill paths over Hope Bowdler Hill and along and down a ridge to cross a field and go along a track to a road.
- We continued straight ahead, crossing a path and heading south-west to ascend to the summit of Hope Bowdler Hill.
- Continuing in same direction we descended to a col and then ascended again to a second summit.
- Following the ridge to the south-west, we descended to pass a large rocky outcrop,
- We descended further to pass a second rocky outcrop to reach a stile in a fence.
- Here we turned right before the stile along a path to descend through bracken.
- After passing through gate, we descend the left edge of a trackless field.
- We then went through a gate in the bottom left corner onto a track.
- Going left along the track we went through a gate onto a road.
Having walked about 4.25 miles to this point, the fourth leg headed north west along a short road section and over fields to a lane.
- We turned right along the road, and as the road curved right, we went up to the left to go through a kissing-gate onto a path.
- Following the path along the left edge of a field we went through another kissing-gate in the field corner.
- In this field we turned right uphill to follow the right edge to the next corner.
- Remaining in the same field, we turned left to go down the trackless right field edge.
- We kept the fence on our right, went left, then right, then right again at field corners around a house
- In the bottom right field corner we crossed a stile back onto Cwms Lane which we came up earlier on the walk.
Having walked about 4.75 miles to this point, the fifth and final leg turned south west by lane and field paths, over a railway crossing, and along roads back to the car park in Church Stretton.
- We turned left along Cwms Lane and as it curved to the left into Watling Street North, we went right on a Tarmac footpath into Leasowes Close.
- We then crossed to the other side of the close to go through a kissing-gate.
- Walk down field we passed through a kissing-gate onto the A49 main road.
- Crossing over the road we went through a kissing-gate and continue along the left side of a field.
- Here we cross a railway via a kissing-gates, a few steps, a gate either side, then another kissing-gate.
- Following a footpath we reached Essex Road, going left along it, and remaining left at a junction.
- We then curve right into Church Stretton with the police station on our right.
- Cross over the B4371 we went right then turned left down Easthope Road, back to the car park on the right.
When Done & With Whom
I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a Shropshire hiking holiday during October 2016. We drove from our holiday accommodation in Hopesay, Shropshire to the starting location of Church Stretton, Shropshire. We parked in the town centre pay and display car park by the Co-op off Easthope Road, at grid reference SO454936, which was also the start location of the hike.
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