Walking Festival gives people the chance to explore the county's 200 mile, Shropshire Way
Lovers of the outdoors get the chance to explore The Shropshire Way next month as part of a series of organised walks.
The long distance path covers 200 miles of Shropshire from the South Shropshire hills to the industrial heritage of the Ironbridge Gorge, from the county town of Shrewsbury to the canals of North Shropshire.
Stages of the path attract visitors to the county as well as local residents.
This year will be the fourth Shropshire Way Festival of Walks involving a number of walking groups across our county. It will be held between September 17-25.
Amanda Hartley-Newton, Shropshire Way Association Trustee, said walking had become much more popular since the pandemic.
"There will be 28 walks across the nine days of the Festival to showcase our own varied and picturesque long-distance path, the Shropshire Way," she said.
"All but one walk are open to all, but walkers must book as some of them have a limited number of places. The length and grade of walks varies from four mile easy walks to 20-miles strenuous ones so there really is something for everyone.
"The Shropshire Way Main Route is a long distance path of some 200 miles, covering not only the wonderful Shropshire Hills in the South but also some of the historic towns and unique natural features in the north of the county."
The southern main route of the Shropshire Way follows much of the original path as conceived by ramblers in 1980. The path links Shrewsbury with the historic towns and villages of Bishop's Castle, Clun, Ludlow, Much Wenlock, Ironbridge and Wellington.
The northern route travels clockwise from Shrewsbury via Nesscliffe to Llanymynech then follows the Montgomery and Llangollen canals and other footpaths to Ellesmere and onto Whitchurch before returning south to Haughmond Hill.
Details of all the walks, their length and type and how to book a place are available on the Shropshire Way website, shropshireway.org.uk/festival.
The Shropshire Way Association was formed 2016 and became a Charitable Trust in January 2020. Its aims are to maintain, preserve and promote the Shropshire Way Main Route as a long distance path. It has been working with Shropshire Council to define a Main Route as distinct from the many circular routes that had been developed during recent years.
"Since completing the Main Route in 2018 we have seen publication of the Cicerone Guide Book by John Gillham and the installation of our "Start & End" buzzard sculpture at Kingsland Bridge Shrewsbury.
"The Association is run by a dedicated team of volunteers with practical help from Shropshire Council Outdoor Partnership Team and local P3 groups."