Wenlock Edge, Little London and Rushby

NEAREST LOCATION

Wenlock Edge

RECOMMENDED BY
DISTANCE

8 miles (12.9kms)

ASCENT
1302ft (397m)
TIME
3hrs 30min
GRADIENT
DIFFICULTY
Medium
STARTING POINT
SO521908

About the walk

The two-tiered structure of Wenlock Edge is clear on several of these walks, perhaps never more so than on this one. The ‘leading’, or northwestern, edge – which we might call the true Wenlock Edge – is relatively low here: both the descent, on the way to Rushbury, and the climb back up, after re-crossing the old railway, are quite short. But then the ‘secondary’ edge – sometimes called View Edge – rears up, and the route climbs almost to the summit of Middlehope Hill, its second highest point. (The highest is Callow Hill, the site of Flounder’s Folly).

On the gentler southeastern slope, you’ll find Little London. There’s both a house of that name and a separate Little London Farm, through which the walk passes. The name is actually a fairly common one for farms in the Marches and Wales because cattle drovers had a habit of naming overnight stopping places after their final destination.

Rushbury, which you pass through early in the walk, is a small village, but it’s the centre of an extensive parish. There’s some evidence of Roman occupation in the area, coins and other artefacts having been found near the church in the 19th century. Roman stone may also have been used in the building of St Peter’s Church. There is firmer evidence of Norman occupation, including the remains of a motte, which you pass as you reach the village. The church has some herringbone masonry (probably Saxon) as well as much that is Norman. There are also some fine half-timbered houses, notably Church Farm, which is well seen from the road through the village.

Walk directions

Walk to the bend in the road, go right then immediately left on a stony track. Walk into National Trust woodland at Roman Bank, then descend and turn left at a footpath sign. The path slants down the steep face of Wenlock Edge. Emerge into a field, follow the right-hand hedge briefly, then continue ahead past a tree to a gap in the hedge partway down. Bear left to a stile in a hedge, then cross the old railway.

Cross the next field to a hedge corner. Continue with the hedge on the right, cross a bridge and follow the right-hand field edge. Pass a house, cross a stile and pass the remains of the motte on your left before meeting a lane. Turn left, walk through Rushbury, then descend.

Just before a brook turn right on a track beside a new house. Take a green path alongside the brook, cross the packhorse bridge and follow a short track to a lane. Turn right. After Lilywood Barn the lane becomes a track.

Cross a bridge, enter a field and follow its right edge. In the third field cross the hedge at a waymark and resume on the other side. Continue to a gate and stile. A track climbs through a plantation to a gate. Climb to the left edge of another plantation, go through a gate and take the main track, ignoring branches left and right.

Leaving the wood, continue straight ahead, crossing another bridleway. Skirt Wetmore Farm, then bear slightly right past a dead tree to a bridle gate. Continue through the next field then climb steadily through woods. At the top the track bends left.

Go straight down, ignoring a track on the right, to meet a tarmac track. Go left, pass the derelict sheds of Little London Farm, then in 200yds (183m) bear right at a way-marked gate. Follow a hedged path, turn left at a T-junction, and find a stile on the left just after emerging from trees.

Go straight up until almost level with a house on the left. Turn right to a stile. Go straight ahead on a forest track, ignoring side turnings but following the track as it curves left and descends. Pass a field on the right then cross a stile and descend the field, trending right to find ruins by a large yew.

Go right in front of these, through a gap, past a blocked stile and through a gate into woodland. After a few paces turn left on a grassy track. Go straight over a cross-tracks, then turn right on a green track along field-edges. Follow these, curving left to pass left of Upper Millichope Farm. In the field corner follow waymarks alongside a stream to a lane.

Cross to a footbridge and go up the left field-edge. Continue up, switching sides at a gap and going through a narrow wood. Near the top, at a large oak, turn left across the slope to gates at the far side. Go straight ahead on a forest track, ignoring all side-tracks. Continue through fields to houses, turn left on a track and left again to join a lane leading back to Roman Bank.

Additional information

Generally good, one or two undefined field paths, many stiles

Wooded escarpment, sheltered dale and broader valley

Some woodland stretches suitable for dogs to run free

OS Explorer 217 The Long Mynd & Wenlock Edge

Large lay-by near big bend in road at Roman Bank

None on route

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WALKING IN SAFETY

Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.

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About the area

Discover Shropshire

Perhaps nowhere else in England will you find a county so deeply rural and with so much variety as Shropshire. Choose a clear day, climb to the top of The Wrekin, and look down on that ‘land of lost content’ so wistfully evoked by A E Housman. Peer through your binoculars and trace the course of Britain’s longest river as the Severn sweeps through the county, from the Breidden Hills to Wyre Forest, slicing Shropshire in two. To the north is a patchwork of dairy fields, hedgerows, copses and crops, broken at intervals by rugged sandstone ridges such as Grinshill or Nesscliffe, and dissected by a complex network of canals.

Spilling over the border into neighbouring Cheshire and North Wales is the unique meres and mosses country, with serenely smooth lakes glinting silver, interspersed with russet-tinged expanses of alder-fringed peat bog, where only the cry of the curlew disturbs the silence. South of the Severn lies the Shropshire Hills AONB. It’s only when you walk Wenlock Edge that you fully discover what a magical place it is – glorious woods and unexpectedly steep slopes plunge to innumerable secret valleys, meadows, streams and farmhouses, all tucked away, invisible from the outside world. 

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