Shropshire Star

Tickets available for charity walk through bluebell wood with Shakespeare links

A North Shropshire country estate with links to Shakespeare’s much-loved play As You Like It will be the setting for a delightful woodland walk to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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The walk will take people through the bluebell woods

The walk at Soulton Hall, near Wem on Sunday, May 5, coincides with the best time to see the woodland bluebell display.

Claimed to be the setting for As You Like It, the wood will be accessible to the public for the first time since the classic comedy was written more than 500 years ago.

Well-known quotes will be displayed along the route for the enjoyment of visitors.

“It’s a very appropriate time to welcome visitors to our rather special wood, as the UK is currently celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio of 36 plays, about seven years after the Bard’s death,” said Tim Ashton of Soulton Hall.

“Although a few of the plays had been circulated previously, this was the first publication of As You Like It.”

Soulton Manor was purchased in 1556 by Sir Rowland Hill, the first protestant Lord Mayor of London.

He remodelled and extended it into the Tudor building which we see today and which is still occupied by his descendants.

Sir Roland himself is thought to be mentioned in As You Like It, referred to as Sir Roland de Bois whose sons, Oliver, Jaques and Orlando, are three of the major characters in the play.

The play also features a dance, the intricacies of which are illustrated in a complex pattern laid out in a centuries-old courtyard pavement adjacent to the Soulton Hall.

Visitors will be able to view it at the end of their walk.

“We were aware of the beautiful bluebell wood at Soulton Hall but had no idea of its illustrious connections until we met Tim and are excited that he will be sharing it with the public,” said Gillian Eleftheriou, a volunteer with the Shrewsbury Macmillan Fundraising Group.

“We are delighted that Tim has chosen Macmillan Cancer Support to receive the proceeds from this event. The money raised will help support local people affected by cancer in Shropshire.

“It will be a very special occasion and sure to be popular, so I’d advise people to book quickly as tickets are limited in number.”

The circular walk takes about an hour, with an alternative shorter, 30-minute route also available. As it is a wildlife woodland habitat, dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads at all times.

Appropriate footwear must be worn, bearing in mind that the path is subject to weather conditions.

Sadly, the route is unsuitable for pushchairs, buggies or wheelchairs. There will be on-site parking and light refreshments.

Tickets, priced at £6 for adults and £3 for children, with a family ticket available at £15, must be pre-booked.

They are available to purchase at or follow the link on Shrewsbury Macmillan Fundraising Group’s Facebook page.

To spread admissions during the day, walkers will be encouraged to arrive in three timed slots – 10am to 11am, 12pm noon to 1pm, and 2pm to 3pm.

For information about the event e-mail