For the past 500 million years, the area now known as Shropshire has had it tough. It’s been pushed south towards the Antarctic, spat out the earth’s crust, it has sunk under the sea, reinvented itself as a coral reef, spent time near the sub-tropical equator and finally settled in its most recent location, along a fairly quiet fault line. The upshot of all this geographical to-ing and fro-ing is a fantastically varied landscape; and you’ll experience this first hand at Small Batch campsite.
A huge number of activities are available to get you acquainted with this hotbed of geological activity. Hang-gliding from Longmynd peak gives you a chance to see it all from a unique vantage point, as does paragliding, cycling and even playing a round of golf. And then there’s the Longmynd hike. Every year at the beginning of October, a smallish group of extreme hikers takes to the Shropshire hills to attempt a crazy, boot-wearying 50-mile hike. The challenge is to leg it up (and down) eight of the region’s summits in under 24 hours.
If this level of energy-sapping activity is not what you signed up for, there are plenty of far more sedate walks in this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. One of these conveniently starts from the charming Small Batch campsite nestled at the base of Longmynd. It’s a less arduous seven-mile round trip that conveniently deposits you in the local Green Dragon pub a mere four hours later and within spitting distance of your tent.
This tranquil riverside site is perfect for walkers and twitchers alike. It is a small, secluded site, which has its advantages but it can mean you’re a bit close to your neighbours when it’s full. There also seem to be an awful lot of rules, which can feel a bit unnecessary and overbearing. The upside is that it’s been in the current Prince family for 43 years, enough time to gather a wealth of knowledge about the various routes up the Longmynd and other ridges. If the friendly owners can’t help you then try the town’s Information Centre. They have a supply of maps that will inspire you to pull on the socks, tighten those bootlaces and start walking.
Alternatively, the various routes of the Shropshire Hills Shuttle could be your answer. It takes you up hill and down dale via some jaw-dropping views, and requires no more energy than pushing the shutter button on your camera. And if eating and drinking the local grub sounds more your sort of thing then come in July for the town’s annual cake and ale trail.
Whether you like your holiday fast-paced and activity laden or charmingly chilled out, it’s up to you how much moving around you do. There is enough activity here to warrant another shift in the earth’s crust – but it’s unlikely to happen again for another million years or so.
Shropshire Sy6 6 Pw, Shropshire, England, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Small B.Joined in June 2010
From the host
Fall out your tent and start walking
For some high-altitude adventure, you can go hang-gliding off Longmynd peak. Beyond Extreme (01691 682640), based in Church Stretton, can organise any number of other thrills and spills.
Food and drink
There’s plenty of yummy farmer’s markets stocking local organic goodies; Church Stretton (2nd/4th Fri), Ludlow (2nd Thurs), Craven Arms (1st Sat) and Bishops Castle (3rd Sat). Two pubs within stumbling distance from the campsite are worth a try: The Green Dragon (01694 722925) and the slightly more atmospheric Ragleth Inn (01694 722711). Both serve real ales and decent, wholesome food.