Church Stretton is a small historic market town in the heart of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It sits below the heather-clad upland plateau of the Long Mynd in a picturesque valley. It has two Local Nature Reserves immediately adjacent to the town centre, covering some 200 acres, one on the valley floor with an abundance of wetland species and the other, a wooded area, once described as “the most tranquil place in Britain”.
The long history of Church Stretton is plain to see in the many buildings dating back to Tudor times, all with explanatory plaques to read as you stroll around. The main shopping streets were developed in the Edwardian era, and there aren’t chain stores in Church Stretton, just lots of independent, locally-owned businesses which help create a magical visit to our lovely town.
Church Stretton lies on the main Transport for Wales railway line from Shrewsbury to Ludlow. It also has a regular bus link to both towns, plus a Shuttle Bus service around the hills on summer weekends.
5 top sees and dos
- Enjoy exploring the range of independent, speciality shops before relaxing in one of the many cafés and pubs or treat yourself to a gourmet snack from the artisan delicatessen.
- To enjoy the panoramic vistas across the Shropshire Hills, there are lots of great walking routes up on to the Long Mynd or to the hillfort on the top of Caer Caradoc on the other side of the valley.
- On summer weekends, you can take the Shuttle Bus tour across to the Stiperstones Nature Reserve, perhaps stopping off for lunch at The Bridges on the other side of the Long Mynd.
- Take a stroll around the tranquil Rectory Wood and Field Local Nature Reserve adjacent to the town centre, its original design influenced by “Capability” Brown and see if you can make out some of its historical features, such as the Ice House. Alternatively, you can see how many wetland plants, insects and birds you can spot in the Coppice Leasowes Nature Reserve to the north of the town, and the Cudwell Meadow and Boardwalk to the south of the town.
- Take a stroll to Carding Mill Valley to enjoy its delightful stream and a chance to encounter some of the many Long Mynd ponies, before stopping off for tea and cake in the National trust café.
A weekend in Church Stretton
Church Stretton, in its idyllic setting, offers an ideal country escape for a couple of days with a variety of options, depending on how active you want to be. You can enjoy exploring the unusual range of shops and ferreting around the Antiques Centre before trying out the various tea and coffee shops. We have a variety of eateries to suit all tastes from pubs, cafés and restaurants. And just half a mile north and south of the town are the villages of All Stretton and Little Stretton, both of which give access to beautiful Long Mynd valleys and routes up on to the hills, and boasting great dining pubs.
Exploration of the town, with its many historic buildings and its Norman church, can be interspersed with gentle rambles around either of the two Local Nature Reserves which are near at hand. Carding Mill Valley, a short walk from the town centre, is popular with children and adults alike with walking routes to the local waterfall, or up on to the Long Mynd. Parents can relax in the National Trust Pavilion, while the children have fun making dams or catching bullheads in the stream.
Here is a link to a series of eight short walks in and around Church Stretton that you can download and print before you arrive.
A video to wet your appetite
Watch this short video to understand why Church Stretton and the surrounding hills are such a magnet for walkers, cyclists and runners.
See the Visit Church Stretton website for more information before and during your stay.
Call in to the Visitor Information centre which is based in the Library and has all sorts of information useful for visitors in the area. See the Visit Church Stretton website for opening hours.
Head to the Visit Shropshire website to explore some more.