A literature student at the University of Birmingham who is happiest in her walking boots with a pen in hand.
Published November 19th 2018
Stretch your legs, blow out the cobwebs and find the hills
With winding steams, rolling hills and gorgeous valleys, the Shropshire Hills deserve their reputation as an area of natural beauty. Though a slightly longer train journey from Birmingham, it is still more than manageable as a day trip, though it is perfect for a weekend away.
Taking the train from New Street to Church Stretton, the station is only a short walk to Carding Mill Valley. A beautiful river carves a path through the hills. The foot of the valley of the hill is the perfect spot for a picnic, a stroll and a paddle with a pebbled path, grass verges and a beautifully clear stream. On my visit, there were many families picnicking, with children and dogs playing in the stream – it was like something out of a magazine. To add to the ideal location for a picnic, the foot of the valley is near the car-park and accessible toilets making it perfect for a day out. Additionally, The National Trust arranges many activities at Carding Mill Valley and throughout the Shropshire Hills including Stream Dipping, Scavenger Hunt and Orienteering.
There are many routes to the magnificent waterfall, Lightspout Waterfall, which is perhaps one of the greatest attractions of Carding Mill Valley. A four-metre cascade, Lightspout was referred to it as 'miniature Niagara' by Victorian visitors and it definitely lives up to this name.
Continuing through the valley, ascending the hill takes you to the highest point of the Long Mynd and with it comes some of the most stunning panoramic views of the Shropshire Hills. The rich heathland is speckled with purple heather which flanks the footpath. The beautiful and tranquil surroundings are home to a wide variety of wildlife such as red-grouse due to the recent management of the heather out of which they red-grouse make their nests. These can be seen if you have a keen eye throughout the spring months.
Alternatively, the autumn months promise a glorious change in the leaves, creating a beautiful display of colours against the vibrant green backdrop of the hills. The Shropshire hills have something fabulous to offer at any time of the year.
The National Trust have planned the perfect walk to explore everything this beautiful place has to offer. Find a link here, though for those who are less enamoured by a walking trail there are buses available to help you get out in to the hills.