Walking Festivals and Challenges 2019

Shropshire is a great area for walking in and for those of you who enjoy organised events I have put together a list of some of our local walking festivals. I will give a quick summary and let you research further.

A photograph of the Kemp Valley, near Bishop's Castle, South Shropshire

Kemp Valley, near Bishop’s Castle, South Shropshire

Bishops Castle Ramble, Scramble, Amble, May 11th 2019. Three walks from Bishops Castle or to bishop castle for the amble. Raising money for Bloodwise.

Bishops Castle Walking Festival 15th May until 19th May 2019 . This is the 21st Walking Festival in Bishops Castle.

The 17th Clun Valley Challenge is on 18th May 2019. There is a 26 mile or 16mile walk with a 4300 ft ascent. Entry is £22.

Church Stretton Walking Festival is from the 20th June until June 23rd 2019. Lots if different walks including a Stars in Your Skies Walk, a Photography Walk and a Nordic Walking event. The Mynd Drover is the long walk.

Bishops Castle Challenge Walk is in Saturday 3rd August 2019. This is a 24 mile walk with a 4000 ft ascent. There are 13 mile and 11mile options available. £20 entry fee which includes refreshments and certificate.

The Tusker Colour Run at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms is on the 17th August 2019. Book via the Centres Website www.shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk. There is a 3.5km route which you can jog, run or walk along which are paint stations from where the participants get covered  in paint. Entrances fees are from £15 per adult.

Cardio Carlos 5km Fun Run is on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August 2019.  The race starts at 9.30am from the Aston on Clun Village Hall where there is also parking and is organised by the Kangeroo Inn. Entry fee is £15 pre 15th August, £20 after. All proceeds will go to CRY (Cardio Risk in the Young). Visit their Facebook page (Cardio Carlos 5k).

Tour des Marches formally the Wistanstow Challenge is on 14th September 2019. It is 26miles long with a mass start at 8.30am. Fee from £10 which include a light breakfast from 7.15, hit food at the finish and Beer.

Much Wenlock Walking Weekend is on August 30th until September 2nd 2019. There are walks for different abilities. Keep checking their Web site.

I hope there is something to inspire you. I like the look of a couple of the Church Stretton walks, so I may see you out there.

The image used in this blog post is with kind permission of Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival.

Flounders’ Folly – Opening Dates 2019

This post lists the Flounders’ Folly Opening Dates 2019.

Flounders Folly in the early morning sunlight

Flounders’ Folly

Flounders’ Folly – Opening Dates 2019

When the Folly is open a St George’s Flag is flown from the top of the Folly and the planned opening dates for 2019 are listed below:

Sunday 27th January 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 24th February 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 31st March 11:00 – 16:00

Friday 19th April 11:00 – 16:00 Good Friday

Monday 22nd April 11:00 – 16:00 Easter Monday

Sunday 28th April 11:00 – 16:00

Monday 6th May 11:00 – 16:00 Bank Holiday Monday

Sunday 26th May 11:00 – 16:00

Monday 27th May 11:00 – 16:00 Bank Holiday Monday

Sunday 30th June 11:00 – 16:00

Sunday 28th July 11:00 – 16:00

Sunday 25th August 11:00 – 16:00

Monday 26th August 11:00 – 16:00 Bank Holiday Monday

Saturday 21st September 11:00 – 14:00 – Heritage Open Day

Sunday 29th September 11:00 – 16:00

Sunday 27th October 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 24th November 11:00 – 15:00

The Folly is only open to visitors on certain days of the year and whilst there is no fixed entrance fee you are requested to make a small donation to The Flounders’ Folly Trust to support the maintenance of this landmark.

Things to Do in Craven Arms

I am sure there are people who think there is nothing to do in Craven Arms but there are probably more Things to Do in Craven Arms than you would think.

Stokesay Castle Gatehouse

Stokesay Castle Gatehouse

Stokesay Castle is open daily until the end of September at a cost of £8.30 per adult. It is a fortified hall that is well worth a visit. There are new tearooms and you can also walk round Stokesay Church and Churchyard and see Old Bill the First World War Memorial.

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre has a tearoom with artworks hanging on the walls, an exhibition which tells you about the Mammoth found near Shrewsbury and about Iron Age Hill forts. The exhibition has a £5 entrance fee but you can access the rest of the Centre without paying. It is open from 10am until 5pm everyday.

The Onny Meadows at the back of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is free to explore at any time. There is lots of play equipment for children to be adventurous on. The ponds and river Onny are great for pond dipping. There is a small butterfly garden by the picnic benches, see what you can spot. Or simply have a relaxing walk via the benches.

The Land of Lost Content is a museum of Popular British Culture has tons to see. There are exhibits about the Wars, Sweets, The Postal Service and lots, lots more. It is well worth the £7.50 entrance fee per adult.

For those who like to walk there is lots to aim for. There is an Iron Age Hill Fort to the south east called Norton Camp. To the north east is Flounders Folly, you can drive most of the way if you don’t want a long muddy walk. There are lots of other walks, some along the River Onny or Shropshire Way or those you could explore for your self.

Craven Arms is not a Shopping Centre but Tuffins Supermarket is well worth a visit. You are bound to find something interesting to eat, drink or use.

Well I think there is much more here to do than you thought. So with all these Things to Do in Craven Arms, Craven Arms here you come.

The Land of Lost Content Museum

The Land of Lost Content

Magnalonga

The 2018 Ludlow Magnalonga Sunday 12th August 2018
Magnalonga will be on the 12th August 2018 starting and finishing at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

Starting times are from 10am till 11.50 am, for which you can express a preference.

Finish time is between 4pm and 6pm.

It is a walk where you also get to sample local food and drink.

The walk is 8 to 10 miles long and is done at a leisurely pace, it is not a race.

The walk will include some stiles, steep gradients and rough ground, so please make sure you are suitably dressed.

Children are welcome but the walk is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on the lead.

Parking will be in a nearby field.

Anyone can accompany the walk but you cannot sample the food and drink unless you have paid.

What a great way to spend your day, walking through the beautiful Shropshire countryside, eating lovely locally produced food and drink.

Tickets for this event will be available at the end of June 2018.

For more information look at www.magnalonga.co.uk

The image at the top of this blog post is copyright Magnalonga.

Wild Garlic Day

Blooming Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic Day at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms will be on the 7th April 2018.

The day will start with a walk up to Sallow Coppice where wild garlic can be seen growing in its natural habitat of dappled shaded woodland. According to my Flower Key it is an ancient woodland indicator.

I could tell you lots of other things about it but hopefully you will be learning all about Wild Garlic on the day.

There will be lunch in the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre Cafe.

In the afternoon the Wild Garlic you have picked will be turned into a pesto.

Sounds great for just £10.

Ring 01588 676060 to book a place.

The image of Wild Garlic at the top of this blog post is taken from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Shropshire Way 80k

On Saturday 17th March the first Shropshire Way 80k walk will be starting from the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms.

The circular walk will take you through some of the most stunning countryside in South Shropshire.

I love the views from Hopesay Hill towards the Burrow and the views from Bury Ditches.

The aim is to complete the 80k walk in 24hours. This brand new long distance walk will take you along the Shropshire Way main route and some of it’s shorter walks.

The check points will provide the opportunity to sample local produce and when you finish back at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre there will be a breakfast provided for participants.

The Walk will be raising funds for Grow Cook Learn who run the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and Onny Meadows.

There is a £40 entrance fee and there are still places available. Contact the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre on 01588 676060 to book your place.

It would be great to see this Walking Festival become an annual event supported by the whole

Flounders’ Folly – Opening Dates 2018

Flounders’ Folly

Flounders’ Folly opens to the public on certain days of the year allowing you to climb the 78 stone steps to the viewing platform where on a clear day you can expect wonderful views of the Malvern Hills, the Black Mountains, Cader Idris, and the Long Mynd as shown below.

View of Long Mynd From Flounders Folly

Flounders’ Folly – Opening Dates 2018

When the Folly is open a St George’s Flag is flown from the top of the Folly and the planned opening dates for 2018 are:

Sunday 28th January 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 25th February 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 25th March 11:00 – 16:00

Friday 30th March 11:00 – 16:00 Good Friday

Monday 2nd April 11:00 – 16:00 Easter Monday

Sunday 29th April 11:00 – 16:00

Monday 7th May 11:00 – 16:00 Bank Holiday Monday

Sunday 27th May 11:00 – 16:00

Monday 28th May 11:00 – 16:00 Bank Holiday Monday

Sunday 24th June 11:00 – 16:00

Sunday 29th July 11:00 – 16:00

Sunday 26th August 11:00 – 16:00

Monday 27th August 11:00 – 16:00 Bank Holiday Monday

Saturday 8th September 11:00 – 14:00 – Heritage Open Day

Saturday 9th September 11:00 – 14:00 – Heritage Open Day

Saturday 13th September 11:00 – 14:00 – Heritage Open Day

Saturday 15th September 11:00 – 14:00 – Heritage Open Day

Sunday 30th September 11:00 – 16:00

Sunday 28th October 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 25th November 11:00 – 15:00

The folly is only open to visitors on certain days of the year and whilst there is no fixed entrance fee you are requested to make a small donation to The Flounders’ Folly Trust to support the maintenance of this landmark.

A series of interpretation boards that run round the viewing platform provide illustrations that help you to identify the landmarks you can see in the 360 degree panorama of the whole area around Craven Arms and Church Stretton including the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Flounders' Folly Interpretation Board

Flounders’ Folly Interpretation Board

You can learn more about Flounders’ Folly in an earlier blog post.

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle is a fortifyed medieval house and is considered the best preserved example in England.

It forms a ‘comparatively complete ensemble’ of medieval buildings. The fact they remain largely unchanged is very unusual.

Previous owners have tried to repair what existed rather than rebuild and reconstruct.

It is Grade one listed and a scheduled Monument. It was largely build in the latter part of the 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow who was a wealthy wool merchant.

In the early part of the thirteenth century the land was owned by the de Say family who sold it to Laurence. The Stoke part of Stokesay is thought to have come from ‘stoches’ meaning cattle farm.

The Gatehouse is 17th century and is distinctively built in the Shropshire style.

The castle has been open to the public since 1908. It was left to English Heritage in 1992 by Jewell Magnus Allcroft.

There are events on through out the year, usually during school holidays, some of are Civil War Re-enactments.

It is open throughout the year but it is best to check opening hours and times. It is well worth visiting.

The image of Stokesay Castle above was taken by Penny Mayes and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Stokesay Castle Gatehouse

Stokesay Castle Gatehouse

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Entrance to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Secret Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms was opened in 2002 and run by the County Council.

It was set up to encourage tourism to the area.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre changed its name in more recent times and is now run by a charitable organisation, Grow Cook Learn.

There is an interactive exhibition which has a replica mammoth skeleton on display. Much of the exhibition refers to the Iron Age.

At the entrance is a small furry mammoth, called Tusker, to welcome children to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The cafe provides lunches using local produce. On Sundays there is a roast dinner, booking recommended. You may just want to pop in for coffee and cake.

There are benches outside where in good weather you can sit and enjoy your food and drink.

There is a shop which has maps and walking books about the local area or where you can pick up a special gift.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre runs courses for adults and children. During the school holidays it is always worth checking if there is something going on that might interest you or your children.

Entrance to the Discovery Centre is free but there is a charge for the Exhibition. Car parking is free or you can give a small donation.

Don’t forget there are the 35 acres of the Onny Meadows to explore as well.

Tusker

Tusker

Tusker the Wooly Mammoth

Tusker, the mammoth outside the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms has a new coat.

Tusker had began to look a bit worn and dull, being out in all weathers and being stroked by all those children and adults.

He now looks bright and wooly again and is ready to be cuddled.

Tusker has been at the front of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre since it opened.

Its good to see Tusker looking like he should.

Entrance to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre