Olly Writes

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To Shropshire

I’m officially heading to Shropshire in a couple of weeks, for my second camping trip/British adventure of the summer.

Shropshire OS Maps

My pitch has been booked at the camp site and, in this post, I’m going to list a few of the items I hope to achieve there.

On a YouTube video recently, I heard a North American narrator refer to the region as “Shroap-shire”, before further degrading himself with the mis-pronounciation of “Nottingham-sure”… In a separate video, the same man gave the correct pronounciation of “Glastonb’ry” (and not “Glaston-bury”).

Let’s start with the camp sites.

Church House Caravan and Camping Park

Middle Woodbatch Farm

Foxholes Castle Camping

After much searching and review-reading online, I narrowed my shortlist of camp sites down to just three. Two of which were close together, while the other one was further north, near Shrewsbury. As I had planned to stay ‘south’ on this outing, I found it easy to eliminate one option.

Foxholes won my vote and partly for the ‘green’ intentions of the owners. Middle Woodbatch Farm is apparently recommend by Countryfile – which, to me, suggests it might be busy, especially in August. Both sites, however, are barely miles apart, close to the town of Bishop’s Castle and within a short distance of Church Stretton and the Long Mynd.

Walking

Naturally, this is my main reason for visiting the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as I’ve not previously walked in the Shropshire Hills!

Using the Walking Englishman’s websites – as I did for my Peak District trip, last September – I’ve shortlisted four reasonable walks, with the intention that I can do two of them (weather permitting):

Burwarton and Brown Clee Hill

The Wrekin and Ercall

Church Stretton and the Long Mynd

Stiperstones and Green Hill

Honing my selection further, I see the Long Mynd to be an essential walk and I like the idea of exploring Stiperstones, as I remember that my walking group went there in 2015. I’ll keep the Brown Clee Hill walk open as a possible third option (although, that may well be pushing it) and, while I’d like to see The Wrekin up close – if I read something correctly, quite recently; it was Tolkien’s inspiration for Middle Earth – but I could always save it for a return visit, as it is slightly north of all the others. When I was on the Malvern Hills last weekend, I think I could see it, from certain high points.

OS maps have already been purchased and received. 😉

National Trust

If I’m not buying sandwiches from the nearest supermarket, I’ll be stopping for lunch at a National Trust café! There are only really two properties that I’m keen to visit, on this occasion:

Attingham Park

Powis Castle and Garden

Both will require a bit of driving – with one estate near Shrewsbury and the castle at Welshpool – but, compared to the rest, I feel these might offer something more than the almost ‘common’ style of house I tend to visit. Its arguable that, if I’m going to Attingham Park then, I could also include a short trip to the Town Walls Tower. I’m slightly less interested in Cronkhill.

Mount Snowdon?

This one’s a bit of a ‘wild card’ suggestion but its occurred to me that I’m going to be only a two-hour drive (if that) from Snowdonia, over the course of the long weekend. I frequently think about the missed opportunity to climb Snowdon, in October last year. A return visit has always been on my mind; I just do not fancy a four-and-a-half-hour drive. Pitching up in Shropshire would see me closer than I might otherwise be at any point in the near future.

Pitchup.com

A word of warning for anyone who also uses this site…

Overall, I love the website, I find it easy to navigate, the reviews are clear and the pictures are clear to view. BUT. I’ve recently discovered that it’s not always the most affordable option to book your stay through Pitchup… For example; with one of the camp sites I had shortlisted, I was given a price of £48 for a three-night stay… Browsing their own website though, I realised that they charge only £8 per night! That could’ve been very expensive! Had I booked my stay in Cornwall directly through the campsite’s webpage, I could’ve saved three or four pounds. Not a great amount but still, it’s something to watch out for.

So, that’s a lot to pack in to one long weekend… I’ve equipped myself with a brand-new stove (more on that, soon), so that I should not have to worry about breakfast and teas, on this occasion. With everything I currently have in mind, I’m challenging myself to stay for a total of four consecutive nights… Three is number I’ve grown comfortable with. When I came to leave Cornwall last month, I felt like I could’ve stayed a fourth night, given the option. There’s a lot I’d like to do and see in Shropshire… Will five days be enough? …Or, too much?

I’m part-tempted to include a visit to one of the medieval towns (Ludlow has already been suggested by a friend) but I may reserve that for any rainy days, as with Buxton in Derbyshire, last September. Besides, I have plans to visit Worcester with the same friend before the autumn.

Thanks for reading.

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4 responses to “To Shropshire

  1. jcombe 08/08/2016 at 22:46

    I have only been to that area a couple of times but it turned out to be a much better area for walking than I had expected. Very beautiful views and steep hills. I have some photos of my last visit here if you are interested and want some ideas. https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=70332320%40N00&sort=date-taken-desc&text=Church%20Stretton&rb=1&view_all=1 I was a bit surprised to see so much snow still around in April though! This walk took in the Long Mynd and Caer Caradoc hill.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 09/08/2016 at 23:03

      Thanks, Jon.

      I’ve driven past there from Wrexham but I was watching some videos on YouTube last night and it does look quite stunning. Some of the hills are higher than those I am used to in Somerset (almost mountain territory) and I’ve noticed a number of trig points on what is probably private land. I love the snow in your photos. Maybe next time, I’ll visit this area a little earlier in the year, just in case. 😉

  2. Eric 09/08/2016 at 09:40

    Hi Olly, glad to hear you found our site easy to use. Campsites are not allowed to mark up their prices on Pitchup.com and we make regular checks for this – please let us know which campsite this was at enquiries@pitchup.com and we’ll take this up with the site. Enjoy your trip!

    • Olly Parry-Jones 09/08/2016 at 23:00

      Thank you very much, Eric! I’ve just sent an e-mail to the address you provided and I hope this is soon resolved. If I find any other ‘anomalies’, I’ll be sure to forward them as well. 😉

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