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.
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 east across more pastoral countryside and through vibrant coppices to Highley.
Leave Cleobury Mortimer to the north…
by Kit P
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 Bridgnorth, which is a good place to stay for the night and has plenty of amenities. A rural hike, unless you’ll visit…
by Kit P
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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 Wenlock, although there are cross country sections through fields too. While the stage starts near Morville Heath, if you’re beginning…
by Kit P
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 are some private accommodation options and campsites along the route.
Much of this hike follows the wonderful Wenlock Edge, a partially wooded, sweeping limestone…
by Kit P
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 are significant, with around 2,000 feet (600 m) of total elevation gain. The Long Mynd is stunning but also exposed and…
by Kit P
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 Bridge. Entirely rural, take food for the day with you as there’s nowhere to buy any en route. Be mindful of the weather too, as this hill is exposed and…
by Kit P
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 Mortimer over one or two day hikes. Like the other stages, it’s rural and pretty, with lanes, footpaths and bridleways. There’s a significant…
by Kit P
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 head to the summit (although by all means, hike it anyway) but does afford good views of the hill. Instead, this final section of the…
by Kit P
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson
Hiking Collection by Kit P
Hiking Collection by Marika Abbà
Hiking Collection by Schwarzwald Tourismus