Visit an iconic Shropshire ridgetop where stunning hiking trails converge, pitching in picturesque sites in nearby valleys.
A knobbly backbone of ridge crested by distinctive quartzite rock formations spread-eagled across Shropshire, England, yet close to the Welsh border, the Stiperstones and the rolling green countryside surrounding them make up Stiperstones NNR. This flank of the Shropshire Hills AONB is glorious hill country, especially being framed by two further uplands, England’s Long Mynd and Wales’ Cambrian Mountains. Long-distance footpaths like the Cross-Britain Way pass through, and there are the compelling legacies of prehistoric settlements and 19th-century mining to uncover. Good camping can be found on the western edge of the NNR.
These two waterways link to form a natural divide between Stiperstones NNR and The Long Mynd to the southeast. With some of the only level, grassy ground between these two popular hilly areas, this is a region attracting lots of outdoor lovers. One of the best pitching places can be found in the wildflower meadows near Ratlinghope, where the Shropshire Way and Cross-Britain Way long-distance paths pass close.
The dramatic seven-mile-long wedge of plateau southeast of Stiperstones NNR is The Long Mynd: also part of the Shropshire Hills AONB. Scored by steep valleys and covered in stark moorland, it’s a magnet for hikers as several long-distance paths, such as the Shropshire Way and Cross-Britain Way trundle through, alongside mediaeval trading route The Portway. Prehistoric sites litter the hillsides too.
Running along a ravishing ridgetop with Wales on one side and England on the other, this ancient route follows the way cattle drovers would have journeyed with their livestock. It spans 15 miles between Kerry in Wales and Bishop’s Castle in England, a few miles south of Stiperstones NNR. Expect comely sites and glamping pods set in rolling fields with fire pits and picnic tables.
Partially navigable Montgomery Canal threads between Frankton Junction in England, where it intersects with the Llangollen Canal, and Newtown in Wales. It runs about ten miles west of Stiperstones NNR. Sleepy, scenic countryside makes the whole waterway a very pleasant place to walk, cycle or try narrowboating. For much of its Welsh course (Arddleen-Newtown), the canal runs close to the northernmost winds of the River Severn. This level, lush, river-laced terrain has excellent camping possibilities.