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.

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

Inaugural Shropshire Food Fair

The logo of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The inaugural Shropshire Food Fair is being launched on Saturday 4th August 2018 at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre here in Craven Arms.

The Shropshire Food Fair will provide a a showcase for local food and drink producers.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and the 30 acre Onny Meadows are within easy walking distance of Folly View Let and you can follow a route by road or footpath along the Shropshire Way.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms is the home of local charity Grow Cook Learn who have run the Discovery Centre since 2014.

The mission of Grow Cook Learn is:

  • to make the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre an education and training centre for food-related skills
  • a visitor attraction linking food, history and landscape in the Shropshire Hills
  • a leisure resource for visitors and local residents

With over 100,000 visitors a year the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre provides a hub for the local community and also for holiday makers that are interested in the local landscape and the range of locally produced food and drink.

The logo of the registered charity Grow Cook Learn

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

Feathers and Flight

A red kite in flight

Here at Folly View Let we are keen birdwatchers and I’ve blogged several times before about the birds we’ve seen in our gardens including:

We are also lucky to be able to see a wide variety of birds on the nearby Onny Meadows at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

Feathers and Flight

To coincide with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre are holding a Feathers and Flight event on Sunday 28th January 2018 from 11:00 to 15:00.

This event offer the opportunity to soar above the beautiful Shropshire Hills in a hot air balloon for 90 minutes (depending on the weather).

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground there is the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of birds pf prey. Chris Neal’s Falconry Birds of Prey will be providing flight displays and the chance to photograph these truly wonderful birds.

Red Kites

In this part of South Shropshire we are often treated to the sight of Red Kites.

The photograph of a Red Kite (Milvus milvus) at the top of this blog post was taken by Tim Felce at Gigrin Farm in Wales and is used under under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The Inaugural Shropshire 80K

Here at Folly View Let we cater for guests who visit to enjoy the wide variety of walking available in South Shropshire.

Shropshire Way Main Route Sign

We are very lucky to have the Shropshire Way pass within 500 m of Folly View Let. There are also many local walks that start and finish at the nearby Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The Shropshire Way 80K

So it is very exciting that the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre have organised a new long-distance walking challenge:

Shropshire Way 80K

They describe the Shropshire Way 80K as:

a brand new mass participation challenge walk

The inaugural Shropshire Way 80K, or SW80K for short, will take place over the weekend of 17th and 18th March 2018 when the aim is to complete the 80km (or 50 miles) walk through some of the most beautiful parts of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walkers are expected to complete the challenge in 24 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and the majority of the route will follow the main or subsidiary paths of the Shropshire Way.

Hosted by Grow Cook Learn (the charity based at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre) there will be various checkpoints along the route where walkers will have the opportunity to “eat the view” by sampling some of the local produce from the area which Grow Cook Learn aims to promote.

You can find more details using the following links:

And of course if you need a base before the event and somewhere to recover afterwards then you can always stay here at Folly View Let.

Folly View Front Door Map

Folly View Front Door Map

 

The image at the top of this blog post of a Shropshire Way sign on The Wrekin was taken by The joy of all things and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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

Sightings on the Onny Meadows

Female Goosander

Female Goosander

While walking Hettie (Border Terrier) we saw a Goosander on the River Onny. I have been informed it was a female as it had a brown head and grey body, the males have almost white bodies.

I saw a Goosander on the Onny Meadows last Winter as well but did not see a male one then either.

I have also been told that the dabducks (Little Grebe) have returned and are on the ponds at the Onny Meadows. I heard them last Spring but didn’t get a confirmed sighting, they have a very distinctive ‘Cackle’.

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

 

The image of the Goosander is by N P Holmes and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The image of the Little Grebe is by Jason Thompson and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.