The long mynd and carding mill valley - 14km
I’ve never been to Shropshire, which for me seems strange as I’m an avid hiker and have been to all corners of the UK. I stumbled across the location purely by looking at Google Maps at all the local, national parks. It was only a 2-hour drive away and featured some pretty awesome contours. I had to check it out, and I was not disappointed. The views and variety of walking were refreshing—especially when compared to the midlands, which is more than relatively flat.
I started my hike at the National Trust car park near Church Stretton. It is pay and display, so don’t forget your pennies. I took the path up the Carding Mill Valley to the top where there is a beautiful waterfall. This location is a great photo opportunity, especially if you want to shoot long exposure and create some silky smooth images.
From the waterfall, I hiked on top of the hills to Pole Bank Lookout, which gives glorious views across the other side of the valley. Another excellent photo opportunity here, perhaps this could be a good astrophotography spot.
4 hours moving time
I then snaked my way back down Ashes Hollow to Little Stretton. The section of the walk is exceptionally picturesque. The path takes you down the valley by the side of a little stream. At points, you must cross from side to side, which at points means you could get a bit wet if you slip. I found myself wanting to spend longer on this side of the valley as the path was unpopulated, and there were lots of beautiful places you could sit and listen to the sounds of the rushing water. Who doesn’t love a bit of real-world ASMR?
As I had come down the opposite valley, I then took the path around the outside of the hills, which was far steeper than I thought it would be. It was good that I’d fortunately packed some snacks to entice me up and over the top back to the car park.
This walk was beautiful, with plenty of stunning views and incredible water features. There were so many opportunities for photographs along the way that you could almost turn it into a day hike with scope to extend the walk further. I would say that if you like hiking and you’re in the midlands, you would be barmy not to visit the hills.