An assortment of interesting stop off points along our walks.
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The challenging outline of Caer Caradoc is dominant to the north east of Church Stretton, particularly when approached from the north.
Apart from its geographical significance, this fine hill is noted for its iron age fort and as the likely place at which Caractacus made his last stand against the invading Romans.
This walk is quite demanding with a steep ascent.
From the car park, with your back to the co-op, go along Easthope Road (with toilets on the left) to the main street – Sandford Avenue. Turn right to pass the Fire Station and Police Station, turning left along Essex Road.
1. Stay on this road and take a path just after house number 58 on the right. There is a little stream on the left. Cross the railway between stiles, go along the edge of a field and cross the main A49 road, between kissing gates.
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Take the footpath signposted to Caradoc and Cardington going slightly left and rising to a kissing gate. Turn left onto a waymarked track, soon going over a stile on the right which emerges onto a residential road. Go ahead onto a grassy track through a kissing gate and bear right on waymarked path over a stile
2. Turn left along the lane. Just before a cattle grid and just after a house on the right, turn right over a waymarked stile/gate. The path is now along the edge of a field with a deep streambed on the right, passing well above New House Farm. Go through a gate with ‘Welcome to Caer Caradoc’ board to enter woodland with a stream on the left. Ignore the path on the left. Cross the stream and stay with the broad track rising steadily, with the hill straight ahead of you.
3. After just over half a kilometre, as the track bends to the right, go through a waymarked kissing gate on the left to commence the steep ascent on a clear path. There are several rocky outcrops and the outer defensive ring of the hill fort before the summit is reached. The views, in all directions, are tremendous. Ahead is the long high ridge ‘The Lawley’, to the west the deeply sculpted face of the Long Mynd is superb.
4. Commence the steep descent to the north east.by crossing a rampart of the hill fort, soon finding a clear path to head for The Lawley ridge, still steeply downhill. Pass boggy ground close to the fence on the right, go over a waymarked stile. Pass to the right of the top of Little Caradoc Hill, keeping right at an apparent fork, descending over grass to a stile. Leave the Access Land on a well defined track through bracken, to a stile and an unsurfaced lane, with a half-timbered house opposite.
5. Turn left, joining a surfaced road in a few metres. Go left, uphill, pass Comley Quarry, with information board. When the road descends, turn left along a broad track, initially uphill. Go through a waymarked gate, with information board and continue across the hillside. Go through another gate, the farm below, Lower Botvyle, has several pools.
6. About 50m before a farm gate fork left along a rising footpath GR472953. Go straight ahead at a junction at the top of the rise. At a fork keep left going slightly uphill. Continue on this path for 1.75km, ignoring a track on the left and gate on the right.It descends gently with a fence on the right and go through a kissing gate on your right. This is point 3 of the outward journey. Turn right and retrace steps to Church Stretton.