Easter in the Shropshire Hills
GUIDED WALKING IN SHROPSHIRE AT EASTER
Join us on this "Get Active" Easter weekend break in the" Shropshire Hills"- with our social relaxed approach
One of Britain's real secrets - The Shropshire Hills - rolling, hill country, with good walking paths and a real welcoming attitude. Our base in Church Stretton is ideal, tucked under the Longmynd moor, with good walking facilities. The Shropshire Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. with Church Stretton at it's heart. The views over 360 degrees are unrivalled, and at each turn on your walk , you will get a different and magnificent view.
Join us in these secret hills for a Shropshire Experience - a holiday that lets you get away from everyday life into tranquil, peaceful land.
Great reasons to join us
- meet new friends in a relaxed walking and social atmosphere
- beautiful countryside to walk through and enjoy
- super value for money- no single supplement
- professional, friendly walk leaders who are passionate and knowledeable about this area
- hotel set in lovely countryside and a walkers favourite.
- NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
- FLEXIBILTY OF STAY
Accommodation is single en suite rooms - no sharing- at Longmynd House in Church Stretton. The hotel has a bar, and several lounges
We offer three and half days walking and four nights accommodation. If you want to stay on longer then please talk to us.
The hotel is located on a hill overlooking Church Stretton - the Heart of the Shropshire Hills - a lively market town.
is three course plus coffee and breakfast is buffet style. Walking starts at 9.30 am, and we generally finish for that welcome cuppa at 4.30 pm. This will give you plenty of time to get ready for dinner. Dress code is smart casual.
We have lunch at one of Shropshire’s lovely country pubs
Your walks leaders will make this weekend break relaxing and the wonderful walking will stimulate your enthusiasm for the wide outdoors.
Getting to walks start and from walk finish
We walk direct from the hotel on each day
We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.
Guided walking Programme
Our Easter programme - a "Get Active" Walking and social break at Easter
We offer three and half days walking and four nights If you want to stay on longer then please talk to us.
We start on Good Friday afternoon from the hotel at 2.30pm for a two and half hour introductory walk around the hills of Church Stretton.
We wlk on Saturday/Sunday and Monday- and you leave on Tuesday morning after breakfast.
Walking - Grades and difficulty
We walk between 8 and 11 miles per day, dependent on terrain. We walk at a steady pace, we don’t rush. We want you to enjoy our lovely scenery - these hills are a walkers paradise with good paths and an ever changing landscape.
There are hills to ascend - we go up to a maximum of 500 metres over two miles of walking, but the climbing is gradual and we won’t rush. What’s the point of huffing and puffing, being exhausted then not being able to enjoy this fabulous land. Descending is not precarious, and is gentle in relationship to many walking areas.
Shropshire is a land of ever changing vista’s - on any walk we get four or five different landscapes to enjoy. Walking boots or shoes are obligatory, and many walkers find a walking pole useful, especially on the downhills. You will also need wet weather gear—generally we have a mild climate, lovely springs and autumns, and winter walking too is outstanding in theses secret hills.
Meet New Friends
Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking or discovering on Short Breaks for Single Travellers holidays. We don't go in for disco's, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities - but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.
"Make new friends that turn into old friends - that's our motto."
You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding.
It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.
Don't worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday - its always a bit daunting - but we will look after you, ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again - trust us to to get you back into the swing of things"
Oh - by the way - its not a dating agency - over the years we have had people meet and fall in love - but that's just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends - just relax and enjoy.
Some of the walks we will choose from
Walk One - The Long Mynd
A superb walk through Carding Mill Valley, ascending to the top of the Long Mynd at Pole Bank. Walking along the heather-clad ridge before descending down one of the many delightful valleys for our lunch stop at a local hostelry. In the afternoon, we ascend Ragleth Hill and walk along it’s ridgeline with superb views in all directions. We finally return to Church Stretton in time for a cuppa.
Walk Two - The Stretton Hills
Our walk takes us to the ancient and picturesque village of Cardington, over the Stretton Hills in the morning, passing ancient rock formations, steeped in local legend. Lunch is at the magnificent Royal Oak - a 16th Century hostel, offering a great menu selection. We return to Church Stretton via the Wilderness and moody Caer Caradoc, site of an ancient hill fort.
Walk Three - The Stiperstones Ridge
We travel out over the Long Mynd to reach the rocky tors of the Stiperstones ridge. This is a magnificent drive in Shropshire’s best hill country. Our walk takes us under the legendary Devil’s Chair before descending to the old lead mining village of Snailbeach. Lunch is at the quaint Stiperstones Inn. In the afternoon, we pass several old lead mines as we view the Stiperstones Ridge from a distance ending up at The Bog Visitor Centre for a cuppa and cake. Transport back to Church Stretton.
Walk Four - The South End of the Long Mynd
Through Rectory Wood, and ascend Town brook valley to the top of the Longmynd, We the walk along it's spine with magnificent views, and round the south end of the hill to Hamperley, before arriving at Little Stretton. After lunch, either pub or packed, we ascend Ragleth Hill, walk along it's magical ridge line before descending into Church Stretton for tea.
Walk Five - Clun's castles and hill forts
We travel to Clun and walk over Steppleknoll to Bury Ditches Hill fort - a superb Iron Age fort - and then through fort and glade back to Clun along the Cefns ridge. Little steep climbing, many pastoral scenes, good paths - a superb walk.
Walk Six - From the Bog to the Church
We travel to the Bog Centre on the Stiperstones, and walk back to Church Stretton. Under the Devils Chair, over Gatten and Ratlinghope Hills, before lunch at Bridges. We ascend the Longmynd moor via the Darnford Valley, and Wildmoor, before arriving at Cardingmill Valley, then back into Church Stretton for tea.
Walk Seven - Ashes and Batch Valley's
We walk up Ashes Valley to Pole bank and along the Longmynd spine to it's north end. We descend down the Gallups and the Batch Valley into All Stretton for lunch. We wander out towards Caer Caradoc in the afternoon, take in wooded Helmeth Hill, and back into the town for tea.
Walk Eight - The Blacksmith's Walk and Long Mynd Heights
A pastoral walk, out to Acton Scott and Wenlock Edge, and around Ragleth Hill. We follow the route of Blacksmiths' who looked after the heavy horses on the Acton estate, eventually reaching Little Stretton for lunch. We ascend Ashes Hollow and descend the Burway in an undulating afternoon walk.
Just arrive and enjoy.
- walk in a secret land of superb scenery
- good paths, excellent hill country
- 360 degree views into mid Wales, to The Clee and Malvern Hills, to the North Wales mountains
- Shropshire's renowned hospitality
-local, knowledgeable walk leaders who know this land superbly well
-No single supplement
- our relaxed social approach
What you get on a Secret Hills break
- Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite three nights
- Dinner- three course.
- Sole Occupancy- no single supplement
- Personal service
- Expert guiding by local, knowledgeable local walk leaders
- Transport to walks start and finish as needed.
- No single supplement
- Complimentary wine on first evening
- A social, relaxed approach
Great reasons to join us
There are other walking holiday companies that cover the Shropshire Hills but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….
- We are a small friendly company
- We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
- We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
- Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
- You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
- Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
- We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
- We always use good hotels. Our hotel in Church Stretton is set in lovely surroundings and the standard is really good.
- We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.
Testimonials Church Stretton and the Shropshire Hill
Angela Richards Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
Pre-holiday email arrived just as I was about to start worrying about the details. And it answered all my questions before I’d asked them. Guided walking - More than enjoyed it! Loved it! Being out in the wind and fresh air… surrounded by people happy to chat, and ready to share a laugh. The leaders are really nice people too, which again, makes a difference. A huge Thank you. This was my third holiday with you. The way the groups seem to bond is great. I have made friends on each trip, who I have stayed in touch with, and met up with our own mini walks…So Secret Hills was inspirational!
Tracy Threadgold-O'Sullivan Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
Dear Alan, Barbara and team, A big thankyou for yet another brilliant holiday with Secret Hills Walking Holidays - meeting up with friends, making new ones, great walks as ever and celebrating with a lovely cake. The good weather thrown in made for another perfect holiday. Regards to everybody and thanks again.Tracy.
Annie Hull - Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
I was pleased to have a telephone conversation with Alan before I booked. Very personal service! I really enjoyed the guided walking and the group of 12 walkers worked really well. Your organisation of the holiday was perfect. I will definitely go again, and I have already recommended your holidays to several friends. I am so pleased I found Secret Hills. It was great to be with a group of single travellers. The balance between walking all day and then relaxing over food and wine in the evenings in good company was excellent. Thank you!
Angela Richards - Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
A huge thank you.
Pre-holiday information was perfect. Email arrived just as I was about to start worrying about the details. And it answered all my questions before I’d asked them.
Absolutely enjoy the guided walking. More than enjoyed it! Loved it! Being out in the wind and fresh air, up the hills lifts my spirits and refreshes my mind…
it wouldn’t be the same if I was fussing about the route. And not same if not surrounded by people happy to chat, and ready to share a laugh. The leaders are really nice people too, which again, makes a difference.
I’d happily recommend Secret Hills.This was my third holiday with you.I have made friends on each trip. I’ve also invited friends to come walking locally. So Secret Hills was inspirational!
Jayne Wood - Easter in Shropshire - April 2019.
George Bemment - Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
A big thank you to everyone. I hope to book again and I would recommend your holidays.
Paul Russell - Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
Loved the guided walking experience. I am about to reserve another holiday.
Lynne Dale - Easter in Shropshire April 2019.
See you again soon. ?
Alison McMillan - Puri Shropshire Hills March 2019.
Excellent few days and I am really looking forward to my next holiday booked with you. I would recommend to others.
Val Davison - Shropshire Hills March 2019.
It was a great group and the walks and pace were excellent. Both guides were very good and also very informative. Pick up from station even when my arrival was delayed due to trains being cancelled was much appreciated.
Carol Kenny - Shropshire Hills March 2019.
The location of the hotel made it ideal for direct access to the walks. The walks were varied and the leaders very knowledgeable about the area and it was well organized. I will be booking another holiday soon and would recommend to others.
Jackie Woodroffe- Shropshire October 2017
Alan was excellent and tailored the walk to be all inclusive and was very knowledgeable. Barbara joined us for Friday and Saturday which helped having 2 leaders. I met a lovely group of people who made it easy. This was my first holiday on my own and I would definitely recommend it "
Kate Oxyley - Church Stretton -October 2017 -
I liked the details re the daily walking itinerary. The style of description of the Shropshire holiday, in particular, was very friendly and inviting I thoroughly enjoyed the walks and the flexible approach that Secret Hills offer I.e. that I could walk at my own pace. I also appreciate the ethos of Secret Hills that the holidays aim to provide an enjoyable walking experience but also the opportunity to meet new friends share experience with fellow walkers. The knowledge Alan has of the local area enriched the experience for me
Susan Lauder - Shropshire August 2017 - September 2017
The bed was very comfortable, and the room was spacious. Hospitality from Stuart and Becca and Duncan (chef for breakfasts) was outstanding. Best that I have ever had. Breakfast portions plentiful with great options. Would definitely stay here again if in the area. Taxi driver to ferry us to the main hotel was friendly and helpful. This was good value for money. Appreciated the range of ages within the group and modifications to routes which were made in light of time/walking abilities. Appreciated no single room supplement. Guides were knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic about their walks and locality,
Andrew Cook- Shropshire August 2017 - September 2017
I was very happy with Liz, Lesley and Paul, Barbara, Ian and of course Alan. They are all really knowledgeable. I would definitely reserve another Secret Hills Walking holiday. They are so reliable. I would definitely recommend your holidays to others
Judy Steele- Shropshire August 2017 - September 2017
All of the walks were interesting and exhilarating. The pace was good with time allowed to drink in the fantastic views. The guides were knowledgeable about the local area. The destinations were stunning. And the weather was perfect. What more could anyone ask for! Everything was so well organized from pick up at the station, which was very much appreciated given the hill up to the hotel, to drop off back to the station. All events and walks ran seamlessly. Enough time allowed for pints and showers before dinner. Plenty of time for leisurely breakfast before the walks. Lunch ready and waiting at the pubs. Just a huge thank you to Alan and Barbara for excellent organization and to Ian, Liz, Paul and Lesley for 4 days of fabulous walks that I will always remember. Thank you all for introducing me to an area of the country I hadn't really noticed before. A wonderful weekend! It's a joy to deal with a company that focusses on solo walkers. I get so fed up being discriminated against for being single with single supplements I really appreciate the effort that must go into finding places that will release up to 15 rooms for single people.
Hazel Salisbury -Shropshire August 2017 - September 2017
Just wanted to drop you a line to express my thanks for organising such a great weekend of walking in such a lovely area . The guides were great - everything was organised so well yet the weekend didn't feel regimented - all very relaxed. We had great weather which helped a lot and met some lovely people too. The walks were as I expected from the Description of 'moderate ' in terms of length and terrain / difficulty etc . Thank you for being so organised and bringing this altogether .I'll be keeping an eye out for my next walking trip with you . Our group was great company too - and it also was nice to be with a similar age group .Look forward to next time and thanks again for all of your help in the booking process, all my questions / requests etc.
June Jones Shropshire July 2017 - August 2017
I cannot praise the guides enough. Nothing was too much trouble and I felt very well looked after.
Stephen Faine-Shropshire - June 2017
Shropshire was an excellent weekend spent with a fantastic group of people
Julia Carrol - Shropshire - June 2017
Had a wonderful time with many thanks to Ian for showing us round the lovely hills of Shropshire.
Lien Hoang- Shropshire - June 2017
The running of the hotel was very well organised, helpful and friendly. I especially liked their grounds which has a garden and sculptures and trails which you can stroll in and explore
James Betteridge- Shropshire - June 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. Excellent walks, great views, a really good mix of people, delicious lunches and top-notch guides. 5 out of 5. I liked Ian's relaxed and flexible approach which really made it like walking with a group of friends. Both Ian and Tristan were very friendly and made everyone feel at ease. This was my first Secret Hills break and I am seriously impressed. Thanks very much!
Mike Compton - Shropshire April 2017 - May 2017
Susan Rees - Shropshire April 2017 - May 2017
Guides very friendly and informative and good at making sure everyone was being looked after. It was the first time I had been on a holiday of this type and I was very impressed and came home having had an excellent break away
Celine Lachevre- Shropshire Hills April 2017
The team was very responsive when I had queries about the trip before booking. Great location, excellent service, comfortable
Linda Kesington - November 2016
"It was great being met & taken back to the station. Ian was very good. Free drinks on the first night were wonderfully generous, and much appreciated! The scenery was lovely, regardless of whether; the length of walks was probably just right. The meals were very good, and the pubs where we had lunch, and the lunches themselves were excellent Loved the unexpected tea laid on the first afternoon we were there! Loved the idea of the first evening's meal as a sort of 'taster' event. Great room size, with a bath! "
Jane Blandy Church Stretton October 2016
I loved the guided walking experience, Ian and sue were friendly and supportive, paced the walks to the group's abilities but praised us all the time too. Loved the pub lunches. Scenery was beautiful with the wild, heather covered hills with sheep and wild ponies, easily accessible. Great sense of achievement to have climbed all those hills. Ian told us stories about how the local area. "
Julia Putman - Shropshire August 2016
This is my second Secret Hills holiday which I very much enjoyed the first time. Again I was not disappointed. There was a good mix of walking & exploring to the most perfect places.
Alan & Sue did an excellent job leading the group
Susannah Basford- Shropshire August 2016
Hotel was well suited to walkers and staff were friendly and helpful. Food was good and restaurant was well organised. All the leaders were helpful and had a lot of local knowledge really enjoyed the holiday, thanks very much.
Arrived home feeling very relaxed and keen to book another holiday next year. Thanks to everyone involved
Jan McKenney- Shropshire August 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The room was comfortable, the views exceptional and the food was great. Thank you for a great holiday. I enjoyed every minute of it. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for Alan and his team.
Chris Lester- Shropshire Hills and Church Stretton October 2015
Really enjoyed the weekend. Felt we were well looked after and that we, as customers, were important to you.
Jane Hawksley- Shropshire Hills and Church Stretton October 2014
I really enjoyed the whole experience and as this was my first solo holiday- I was more than satisfied. I felt at ease with everything that was arranged,
Gillian Fifield- Church Stretton October 2014
Very enjoyable weekend, excellent leader and very pleasant people to walk with. Perhaps a slightly larger group would have meant a bit more socialising after the evening meal (although perhaps it was good to get 2 early nights!)
Linda Jones August 2014
I enjoyed my time with Secret Hills, sadly the weather slightly marred the walks, but the leaders were great. I particularly want to thank Darren for his last minute stand in, when you realised I was staying the extra night, and his chat which got me through a couple of “hairy” moments. For me, the food was reasonably tasty at the hotel, the guinea fowl was fabulous and my room had great views. All in all , I had a lovely time. Thank you.
Janet Ross - August Bank Holiday 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, despite the disappointing weather. It is not the rain that will stick in my memory but the warmth of the welcome we received from the Secret Hills team and the effort they put into making the weekend a success. It was my first Secret Hills holiday and I suspect it will not be my last.
Sally Stow - August Bank Holiday 2014
Thanks for the holiday in Shropshire, I had a lovely time.
Sue Tite - August Bank Holiday 2014 Shropshire Hills
I really enjoyed my first Secret Hills holiday. Thank you to you and the team for excellent arrangements and lovely walks. Even the not so good weather on Monday didn’t detract from the good company! I’m looking forward to your programme for next year when I hope to join you again.
Yuer from Taiwan
I have back to Taiwan and started my work. Thank you so much for showing us the magnificent tour in which Catheley and I were enjoying very much! We really felt special as we have been given so many privileges to see those secret gardens, not to mentioned going to the top of Long Mynd hills which made us feel in top of the world! Thank you very much indeed again for the wonderful tour you have arranged! Please also send our best regards to Alan(hope he has recovered!), Barbara, Darren, Chris, Pam.
Paul Summerskill April 2014 Shropshire Hills
Hi Alan, I really enjoyed the 3 days / 2 nights I spent in Church Stretton, really nice people and I thought the guides were very helpful and it was very well run in general.
The hotel room was excellent and I really enjoyed the scenery while walking.I really enjoyed the 10 or so miles we did on Saturday and was thinking possibly I should have booked for 3 nights although when we were leaving on Sunday afternoon it did start to rain quite heavily so maybe we timed it quite well..
Thank very much for a great holiday.
Kay Gaitskell - Shropshire Hills Easter 2014
Attention to even the smallest detail, Comfortable, good food, well stocked bar, friendly efficient staff
Charles Abell – Shropshire Hills March 2014
Alan & Paul
I attach your form. Thanks again - I know it takes effort and attention to detail to make things go smoothly, and your professional efficiency seems a pleasant surprise, in these times Charles
Cheryl Parker Shropshire Hills Feb 21 2014 Anyway I really, really enjoyed the weekend. I love the way you have organised the walks, the info and the flexibility.I can not complain about the hotel, the rooms, food and service were all perfectly adequate and pleasant. I would happily stay there again. Although the walks were very lovely and in part breath taking, the company was the best part of the weekend. Paul and yourself were well informed and lovely company. My fellow walkers were also a pleasure to be around.
Thank you for a good weekend and I will see you later in the year, as I am already looking at when I can make my next booking.kind regards Cheryl Parker
David Kingsbury Personal Trainer January 2014
We would like to thank you and your team for making our walk so enjoyable. The guides were very informative about the Shropshire Hills, and we all had a wonderful time. I will send a message around to the team members at Seven Stones and ask them all to 'Like' your Facebook page.
Thanks very much and all the best for 2014 Kind Regards,
David Kingsbury Personal Trainer
December 2013 Paulette Cain. Shropshire Hills
I had a wonderful time and will aim to book another weekend during 2014.Really enjoyed the entire experience and felt completely looked after whilst, at the same time, having a degree of freedom to ‘do my own thing’ if I wanted to.
December 2013 Shropshire Hills Shropshire Hills Helen Weinbach
Thank you very much for the beautiful holiday!! Real English Walking Experience; open-minded people; caring organisation: I really enjoyed it! Helen
Tina Bloch Beat the Xmas Pud - December 2013 Shropshire Hills
Thank you for an excellent couple of days walking - I really enjoyed it and appreciate all the effort and attention to detail that you and your team put into the holiday. Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Tina
Getting to our destination
By train - Shrewsbury is the nearest station, some 600 metres away. Contact us for a transfer to hotel from the station - it is uphill..See www.nationalrail.co.uk
By car - the post code for your Sat Navs is SY1 1UY . A good way of checking a route is using the AA route finder. www.theaa.com/route-planner
Full detailed journey instruction will be sent with your Joining Details prior to the holiday.
The Local area- where we walk
Church Stretton is an historic Market Town situated in the heart of the South Shropshire hills on the English/Welsh border known as The Marches. It is the only town in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the first Walkers are Welcome town in the Midlands and a Fairtrade town. The area is renowned worldwide for its geology, with some of the oldest rock formations in existence.
Church Stretton and its picturesque surrounding villages forms an excellent base for the country lover and sportsman alike at all times of the year whether hikers, horse riders, mountain bikers, or naturalists . The Long Mynd rising above the west of the town is renowned for gliding, hang gliding and paragliding, and boasts the second highest golf course in England. The beautiful countryside, with its wild uplands and breathtaking views, features prominently in the books of Mary Webb, A E Housman, and Malcolm Saville.
Church Stretton is very well situated to act as a base for visits to many local attractions. At the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are market towns & villages, castles, hill forts and much much more nearby. Whether you walk, go by train, car or bus...with great scenery along the way – you can enjoy a great many days out from this What to See section.
It’s not just the stunning scenery that will captivate you, but the people and places, its history and heritage, the walking and wildlife, its food and festivals. Combined they offer magical experiences. Such magic is best summed up by the Independent newspaper review in 2009 which claimed Church Stretton to be "England’s ultimate retreat".
Shrewsbury is an historic Market Town situated in the heart of Shropshire. not far from the English/Welsh border known as The Marches.
It’s not just the stunning scenery that will captivate you, but the people and places, its history and heritage, the walking and wildlife, its food and festivals. Combined they offer magical experiences. Shrewsbury has a lot to commend it - visit and enjoy it for yourselves.
Higgledy-piggledy streets with names you want to say out loud - Bear Steps, Wyle Cop and Grope Lane. A river that scoops up the town in a loop. Burger and fries in a medieval cellar. Two bridges, each with a different nationality. Wonky buildings left, right and centre. A cappuccino and a bike to go. Bread, still warm, made with flour from a water mill a few miles away. Mick Jagger and Margaret Thatcher watching from a 1500's building. A blockbuster in a Tudor cinema. The world's tallest town crier. 921 years of wine buffs. Three million blooms in a quarry.
Restaurants in rooms that predate the War of the Roses. Pubs with medieval paintings on the walls. Our own town biscuit and award-winning real ales.
Whatever you're into, you'll find something you fancy in Shrewsbury.
The River Severn forms an almost perfect loop around old Shrewsbury, like a natural moat.
One of the best ways to get the lay of the land is to walk the towpath, from the Welsh Bridge to the English Bridge, through The Quarry. Or take a ride on the riverboat Sabrina.
Bridge to bridge
The English Bridge and Welsh Bridge sit on opposite sides of the town. Welsh to the west, English to the east. They were both built in the 18th century. But there was an earlier, Norman bridge where the English Bridge stands now - complete with a tower, drawbridge, gatehouse, shops and houses. The bridge you see today was rebuilt in 1926, from the original stones.
Quarry full of Flowers
The Quarry is a 23 acre park that sits right at the heart of Shrewsbury. Before 1719, it was the site of a working mine, smelly tanneries - and where the women of the town came to wash their dirty laundry.
Today, it's a place transformed. A tree-lined towpath follows the river as it winds its way through the park, passing the handsome ironwork Porthill Foot Bridge, Pengwern Boat Club, modern day Shrewsbury School and Kingsland Toll Bridge along the way.
The jewel in The Quarry's crown is The Dingle: a sunken garden designed by Percy Thrower, of Blue Peter fame. He was Shrewsbury's Park Superintendent for 28 years, and The Dingle is his legacy.
On the water
Another way to take in the loop is on a 40 minute ride on the riverboat Sabrina (named after the water nymph who's said to guard the River Severn). From the English bridge to the Welsh Bridge and back again.
As well as day trips, there are evening cruises, too - with food, cocktails and live entertainment. Or you can hire your own boat or canoe, and explore the Severn on your own, if you prefer.
If you're looking for places to visit in Shrewsbury, we have over 600 listed buildings - many of them medieval or Tudor (that's original, not mock).
And you can see the traces of over a thousand years of history in them, if you know where to look.
Shrewsbury Castle and Shrewsbury Abbey are our two oldest landmarks. They were both built by the same man: Roger de Montgomery, William the Conqueror's right hand man. But the Castle you see today was rebuilt by Edward I, two hundred years later. And most of Roger's original Abbey was destroyed by Henry VIII - though the four massive columns inside are original, and the west tower dates back to the 14th century.
Shrewsbury's steepled crest
Four churches give Shrewsbury it's famous skyline, or 'steepled crest' in the words of the poet A.E. Housman: St. Mary's, St. Alkmund's, St. Chad's and Shrewsbury Cathedral.
St. Mary's has one of the tallest spires in the country. St. Chad's has the largest circular nave in the country. And St. Mary's 14th century 'Jesse Window', St. Alkmund's east window (by Francis Eginton) and the Cathedral's Arts and Crafts windows (by Margaret Rope) are some the finest works of stained glass in the country.
You can still see traces of medieval Shrewsbury in the maze of narrow streets with funny names in the centre of town. Milk Street, Fish Street, Butcher Row, Grope Lane. (The names reveal exactly what used to go on there.)
Most of the half-timbered mansions you see today were built by The Drapers, Shrewsbury's all-powerful medieval wool merchants - including Rowley's House (now Shrewsbury Museum) and the Old Market Hall in The Square.
NEAR CHURCH STRETTON AND SHREWSBURY
Within a short car or train journey, you have
Ironbridge Gorge/Shrewsbury - its castle, gardens and medieval centre/Ludlow and its foodie centres/ The Mid Wales coast line/Powys Castle/Historic Chester and the Dee Valley/
The Severn Valley, its railway and Bridgnorth town
How to book your holiday
How to book a UK guided walking holiday AND holidays in France, Algarve, Douro Valley and Ireland
To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.
Reserve online - once you have chosen your holiday, click on the booking button and complete the online form
OR contact us by phone or email, and we will send by post or email, a booking form to you
OR you can call us direct on 01694 723600, and we will take your reservation over the phone. Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone; you can, however, post us a cheque. Alternatively, you can pay via the Pay Pal system attached to our website, which allows you to pay either by debit/credit card, or by using your Paypal account if you have one.
We will also accept a Bank Transfer and on request we will supply our bank details to you.
It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.
Note - if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.
Secret Hills Walking, 35, Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH