Kit P

Exploring Shropshire's hills and valleys on foot — Jack Mytton Way

Jim Roberts Gallery (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Exploring Shropshire's hills and valleys on foot — Jack Mytton Way

Hiking Collection by Kit P

8

Tours

43:09 h

97.3 mi

8,425 ft

This fantastic long-distance walk explores some of the most beautiful places in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). At 93 miles (150 km) long, this is a comprehensive exploration of Shropshire and includes plenty of history, viewpoints and pretty towns.

The Way sticks almost entirely to the AONB, taking in historic towns and villages as well as windswept summits and open commons. Largely rural, hiking this trail is an expedition for the senses, with birdsong, hedgerows, woodlands, fields and rivers the dominant sights and sounds. The route is also designed for horse riders and mountain bikers.

Jack Mytton was a Shropshire landowner and MP in the 19th century. Born into a wealthy family and inheriting large sums, from a young age Mytton’s life was a series of debaucherous escapades. After serving in the army and returning to Shropshire to inherit his full wealth at just 21, he allegedly won his MP seat by bribing his constituency with money. An extravagant and negligent spender, he fell into significant debt and died in prison. He was a notable horseman however; the Way runs through the countryside Mytton would’ve ridden often.

As opposed to Jack Mytton’s somewhat chaotic life, rambling this trail is a considerably more tranquil and wholesome venture. I’ve planned stages 1 to 6 of this hike to follow the original Way from Cleobury Mortimer to Llanfair Waterdine on the Welsh/English border. Stages 7 and 8 are an addition, which stretches from Rushbury back to Cleobury Mortimer and forms a loop. These extra routes give you plenty of scope to change the itinerary, including doing the loop by itself.

I’ve also planned the stages to start and end close to accommodation and food options. However, you can take on two stages in one day or break them up further, depending on your plans. Stages 7 and 8 can be tackled in a single, long day to avoid the challenge of finding accommodation in Wheathill.

Starting in the old market town of Cleobury Mortimer, you ramble about the rural pastures near the River Severn, with the AONB to the west. Gently undulating and exceptionally green, the landscapes are quintessential English countryside. From Much Wenlock, the Way traverses the stunning Wenlock Edge, a lengthy limestone escarpment.

Church Stretton leads you up the Long Mynd, one of the AONB’s most notable hills. This ridge offers exceptional views across to the wild and rugged Stiperstones as well as Caer Caradoc and the hills at Clun Forest. From the Long Mynd, the Way heads to Clun, with its ancient castle and onwards to meet Offa’s Dyke. It ends at the Welsh/English border on Lloyney Bridge at Llanfair Waterdine.

You can hike this trail at any time of year but the warmer months give you a better opportunity to make the most of the area’s stunning woodlands and thriving wildlife. Shropshire’s hills are exposed and the whole county can experience changeable weather so be prepared with waterproofs and sturdy hiking boots, regardless of season. The hills do experience snow and icy conditions in harsh winters.

All towns have supermarkets and other food outlets but villages may only have small stores or nothing at all. This means it’s best to take your day’s food with you and plan ahead for evening meals. Pubs aren’t in short supply though. Shropshire is a haven for hikers and accommodation is varied and widespread but it’s also worth booking ahead.

To reach the beginning, you can catch a train to Bewdley on the outskirts of Kidderminster, and take the 292 or 292S bus to Cleobury Mortimer. The same bus serves Ludlow, which is gorgeous and also has a train station. Alternatively, if you’re doing a loop hike, you can drive to the start. At the finish, at Llanfair Waterdine, you can hike the short walk south to Knucklas and catch a train to Craven Arms, on the Ludlow line.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:52
    11.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This first stage begins in the old market town of Cleobury Mortimer with its half-timbered hotel and peaceful atmosphere. The hike follows the River Rea across open farmland before heading …

  • Difficult
    05:48
    13.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    900 ft
    975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The stage roughly follows the River Severn for the first section before being guided by a tributary and wandering north east along the pastoral hilltops. The Tour finishes just outside …

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  • Intermediate
    04:24
    10.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    During this stage, you hike through undulating landscapes with a couple of steeper hills to get your heart going. The trail uses mostly quiet lanes and farm tracks to Much …

  • Difficult
    07:07
    16.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This is one of the two most challenging stages of the Jack Mytton Way and the longest, at 16 miles (26 km). If you want to break it up, there …

  • Difficult
    08:06
    17.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,975 ft
    2,025 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This is the second of the two most challenging stages, largely because of the topography and lack of accommodation options. Lengthy, this stage actually only has two ascents. But they …

  • Intermediate
    03:23
    7.46 mi
    2.2 mph
    825 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A nice and easy final stage for the main Jack Mytton Way, this hike takes you over Llanfair Hill and down to the finish at the River Teme and Lloyney …

  • Difficult
    05:08
    11.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,025 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This is an addition to the typical Way which extends from Cleobury Mortimer to Llanfair Waterdine. Along with stage 8, this allows you to create a loop back to Cleobury …

  • Intermediate
    04:21
    9.99 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This pretty stage leads around the base of Titterstone Clee Hill, the third-highest hill in the county, missing out on the top spots by a hair’s breadth. The Way doesn’t …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    97.3 mi
  • Duration
    43:09 h
  • Elevation
    8,425 ft

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Kit P

Exploring Shropshire's hills and valleys on foot — Jack Mytton Way