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bei Craven Arms, England (United Kingdom)
This is a hike that you can do in conjunction with nearby View Edge and do it in one pretty big loop really. I just decided to record it as two hikes as we were going to have a long break in between. You can also park at the Discovery Centre in Craven Arms or Stokesay Castle. We chose the Discovery Centre as it was free. It also has toilets, a coffee and a shop.
I hadn’t read anything brilliant about these hikes so I wasn’t expecting much and that is what I got. Basically start at the CP and walk behind the Discovery Centre. My GPX track is pretty much spot on so just follow it North through some lanes and over a foot bridge. You come to three foot paths take the left and keep on it until you cross the B4368. You then follow an UC road still going North. When you get to the end of the road you will see a track going ahead and the footpath you want is on your right behind some private houses but there is no access. Take the track directly ahead and look carefully for a gate. It is there about 100m ahead on your right.
Follow my track for the next bit and you will be okay, simply go across the field (East), through Berrymill Wood until you come out on another UC road that leads you to Lower Dinchope village (NE). At Dinchope village you come to a T junction and there is a path directly opposite. Follow this path up and into Hanging Woods. You can follow my track as it is spot on apart from having to re-trace a minor dead end whilst trying to find a short cut. To save a bit of time you can also follow the green labelled forest track that heads directly north as it will actually meet my down route from the top which is not actually marked on the map. I don’t know why this is as it is a well featured and maintained path with steps? If it was marked this is the way I would have chosen in the first place.
Anyway we got to the top of the woods and then followed a path heading nigh on North just inside the fence line. Now keep an eye out for the TP if you are looking for it as it is hidden just behind some growth in a field immediately right of the footpath. Go past the TP and then you come out in a little clearing and you arrive at Flounders Folly tower. A nice place to have a break. The views up to now have been okay but nothing of note. The tower is pretty cool even though it was locked.
To get back to the car you can simply retrace your steps or go on my loop which I made up as I went along. Basically you head back just past the TP and you will see a path on your right (the one mentioned above). Follow this path steeply downhill until you hit the forest track that heads NE to the UC road which you follow back to Ditchope with just the one left turn. From here go back up towards Berrymill Wood but turn left instead (to make a loop of it) and just follow my track. It goes across country somewhat and through some high rape fields but others had gone on before so it was okay. It’s not long before you cross the B4368 again and heading over the last few fields to the discovery centre.
Route Summary: Nice English countryside but quite wooded with no views. Cool Folly tower. Defined paths and road.
Route Statistics: 11.1km with 384m of height gain done in 3hrs 21min.
The same start location as the Callow Hill hike and one that you can do in one pretty big loop really. I just decided to record it as two hikes as we were going to have a long break in between. You can also park at the Discovery Centre in Craven Arms or Stokesay Castle. We chose the Discovery Centre as it was free. It also has toilets, a cafe and a shop.
Anyway this was a last blast of the day type of effort so that we could spend some time in gorgeous Stokesay Castle. Head behind the Discovery Centre and follow a path that runs adjacent to the A49. Cross this busy road and follow the UC road ahead around and past the castle. You cross over a railway line shortly after and head over a few fields into Stoke Wood. There is then a standard forest track all the way up to the top of Stoke Wood. However you turn off West for the last half km through the wood on a marked footpath and the footpath sort of runs out with several hundred meters to go. Nowhere gets really hard going really but your in the middle of the wood with no marked summit, no cairn, no TP and no view!
To get down simply retrace your steps but to make up for the lack of a summit a visit to Stokesay Castle will make up for it. This small castle and associated timber framed house is stunning and in great condition. We had a lovely time there for an hour before heading back to the finish.
Route Summary: Footpaths, roads and forest track. Tedious summit but a cracking small castle to see on the way out.
Route Statistics: 6.6km with 219m of height done in 1hr 32min.