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Wenlock Edge & Aston Munslow

Shropshire Hills Walk

Region - Shropshire Hills

County/Area - Shropshire

Author - Roger Seedhouse

Length - 7.8 miles / 12.6 km    Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Ordnance Survey Explorer 217Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Walk Route Description

MAIN START: At the picnic site car park (GR SO479875) situated about 1.5 miles east of Westhope on a lane running along the southern slope of Wenlock Edge. It can be approached from the north or west via lanes off the A49, otherwise the best route is probably a turn left off the B4368 3.5 miles east of Craven Arms or, from the opposite direction, turn right 1.5 miles after passing The Sun public house at Corfton. This is a lane which is signed Westhope and Ticklerton and it takes you some three miles directly to the start point providing you do not bear left into the village of Westhope.

TERRAIN: A scenic walk on the slopes of Wenlock Edge with a descent into Corvedale to the villages of Aston Munslow and Diddlebury. Superb views along the route; some climbing on the return leg but well worthwhile. Walk at any time.

THE PUB: The Swan is reputed to be the oldest pub in Shropshire (1350). It certainly looks fairly ancient with its black and white timbered exterior and internal age-worn features. Dick Turpin was said to have stayed there, and on one of the walls is the story of Alf who called at the pub at six in the morning - a week later he was still there paying for his beer but getting his bread and cheese free! Normal free house range of ales and bar snacks. Beer garden. Normal opening times but closed Monday lunchtimes, except on Bank Holidays.

MAIN WALK: Turn left along the lane for about a third of a mile through pleasant scenery of rolling hills and rural settlements. The lane descends to a junction where you turn sharp left towards Middlehope on another lane along which you climb for about 200 yards to arrive at a gateway on your right leading onto a driveway to a cottage. As the driveway sweeps left to the cottage, branch right through a gate onto a broad track. This winds through more scenic countryside - the epitome of Shropshire at its best - and eventually loops left through a gate over a stile before continuing a gentle rise through a belt of (mainly pine) trees. You can see Callow Hill a little closer now over to your right and little farmhouses nestling in the valley below.

Go straight over at a crossroads of tracks and round a left hand bend to pass through another area of pine trees to emerge via a gate which at the time of my visit bore the notice 'calves, cows and bull'. Continue forward keeping to the left hedged boundary and after about 150 yards where the grassy track swings right, bear left through a metal gate with marker tape. Follow the right boundary in the field and go through a gate, then another in a crossing boundary heading towards farm buildings.

You come to a cottage where there is a footpath diversion notice posted and we now follow the diversion by continuing ahead to a gate immediately in front of the farm buildings. Go through and turn almost 180 degrees right through adjacent gate onto a metalled track. You don't walk along this for long however and bear almost immediately left onto a grassy path which leads around the rear of a livestock enclosure to Pinstones Farm.

Continue forward in a field to the right of the hedged boundary. Then start to descend on a course which overlooks a large barn conversion complex below. You pass through a gap in a crossing boundary above the far end of the development, then branch half right down the slope of the field to level ground at the rear of the buildings onto a stony track going away from them. This is the end of the diversion and the track follows an attractive route through a valley where wild flowers can be found in profusion in springtime and copious amounts of bracken in summer.

You pass a small quarry on your right and come to a crossing boundary of mixed trees, at which point proceed directly ahead on a broad enclosed track. After 150 yards go through a gate in front of a dwelling to exit onto a narrow tarmac lane by the said dwelling. Continue forward on the lane through the cottagey settlement of Corfton Bache until reaching a junction with the B4368. (1)

If you can resist the temptation of early refreshment at the Sun Inn, or even if you can't, cross the main road directly onto another lane. You pass a splendid stone built residence and continue past a left turn for 100 yards or so to reach Beechwood Cottage. At the rear of it go through a waymarked kissing gate with the Georgian manor house of The Mount to your right. Go through a second kissing gate into a field and cross it in a direct line slicing off the left hand corner to reach a tree line on the opposite boundary. A brook crossing will bring you into the next field but do not keep tight on the left boundary - instead move away from it at an angle of about 25 degrees up a slope and continue to the top right corner where you will find a waymarked gate to the right of a plantation.

Go through, bearing right, then left through another gate after 20 yards and follow the hedged boundary to the plantation for the short distance until it kinks left. A little directional care is called for now - from this point carry on straight forward through parkland aiming roughly to the right of Diddlebury Church ahead. The line is not absolutely critical and after crossing the driveway to Delbury Hall you may need to make an adjustment to the right, to avoid what might seem the obvious route down a sunken path, in order to find a stile to the right of a mixed tree and hedge line (at the point where it joins a post and wire fence).

You are now in front of Delbury Hall. Cross the stile into a field following the left fence line on a downward course but, before reaching the bottom where there are some barn conversions, divert slightly to the right over a stile and footbridge then cross a further stile onto a narrow path bordering a brook. This shortly exits onto a lane in the village of Diddlebury where you turn right up to St. Peters Church. (2)

DIDDLEBURY. Of Saxon origin the name of the village denotes the 'burgh' or settlement of Duddela, an early English noble. Ownership passed to Edward the Confessor, Roger of Montgomery, the Abbey of Shrewsbury and, more latterly, the Baldwin family to whom memorials are placed in the church. It is another picturesque rural village with some interesting buildings and farmhouses. The ancient church is dominant and of great interest to architects and historians.

Opposite the rear of the church bear left up a tarmac driveway leading to a school. After about 30 yards go through a way marked gate to the right of the school buildings. You will cross a stile which takes you across the school playing field to another stile on the far side where there is a choice of routes. Take the one straight ahead in a field following the left boundary, cross a stile at the end of it and continue forward over a footbridge and stay on line with the hedge across another field towards the tree lined top boundary where there is a further waymarked stile. This exits onto a track and you turn left onto it ignoring the stile opposite.

The track can get boggy but after 250 yards exits at the main road again. At the junction is a plaque to say that the Corvedale Byways and Bridleways Group was awarded second prize in the Esso 1994/5 footpath awards to recognise achievements in working to improve access in this area. Cross the road directly onto a narrow upward path between hedgerows. After a stiff climb of about 200 yards look carefully for a stile on your right which leads into a field.

Cross the field directly to a driveway and negotiate a further stile opposite into another field. Bear very slightly right to another stile on the opposite boundary with good views of Brown Clee and the other hills to the right. Cross this and the next field to negotiate further stiles on opposite sides of a driveway to Aston Hall and into a paddock. Cross the paddock to a stile opposite leading onto a narrow track to the rear of a garden area out onto a gravelled driveway which in turn leads to a junction with a lane. Bear left now for about 60 yards to another junction and turn right down to The Swan. (3)

ASTON MUNSLOW. In common with many other Shropshire villages these days Aston Munslow is a combination of farming and commuter communities. In addition to the historic Swan Inn (see Factfile) there is a rural museum called The White House which, like the pub, dates from the fourteenth century and is open to the public at certain times. The Methodist Chapel is the only non-conformist place of worship still used in the area.

Over indulgence will be regretted, as there is now a stiff climb to face! Turn left, retracing your steps up the lane past the earlier point of entry onto it and past The White House. A distance of almost a mile will bring you to a point where the lane swings right through a gate and here bear left through a timber gate onto a broad stony track. A look backwards will make the effort of getting here worthwhile with a panorama over Brown Clee, Titterstone Clee and surrounding hills. Continue onwards until arriving at a barn and take the narrow path to the right of it as it carves through a field to a gate at the end. Go through and turn left onto a crossing track which descends gradually to reach a junction with a tarmac lane. (4)

Turn right up the lane with views over Hall Coppice and Hazeldine Coppice to the left and the valley below. The lane starts to drop down into Hope Dale and you pass an old quarry on the right with super views over the valley to the left with a river flowing through it. About 80 yards after passing a fir plantation on your right, branch left along a broad earth track which is known as Dunstan's lane. You will shortly go over a ford and are then obliged to cross a dam at the end before picking up the left boundary to continue forward on what can be a muddy track which rises between hedgerows.

The track levels out to pass another small fir plantation and you go through a couple of gates about 60 yards apart before exiting onto a narrow lane. Turn left and on reaching a junction continue ahead towards Eaton and Ticklerton. It passes between trees onto Wenlock Edge and after some 200 yards goes into a left-hand bend. On this bend look carefully for a narrow path going off left uphill through trees and follow this as it levels off and loops right on a twisting course. Keep ahead at a junction with a wider track and stay on the well-defined route back to the starting point.

Note - "More Walks to Wet Your Whistle" also includes details of a shorter variation of this route (3.7 miles)

This walk is reproduced by kind permission of Roger Seedhouse and is featured in his excellent book "More Walks to Wet your Whistle". Visit his website for more information and online purchase.

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Recommended Books & eBooks

Hillwalking in Shropshire

Hillwalking in ShropshireGuidebook to 32 walking routes in Shropshire in the West Midlands. The routes range from 3 miles (5km) to 12 miles (19km), taking in highlights such as The Wrekin, Wenlock Edge, Long Mynd and Stiperstones, Castle Ring and Bury Ditches. Many routes start near delightful towns and villages including Church Stretton, Ludlow and Bishops Castle.
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