Shropshire Hills and Church Stretton - four night holiday

Join us for four days of  superb walking in Shropshire -  a land of surprising contrasts – from the gently rolling plains in the north to the unexpectedly stunning hills in the south – there’s something for everyone. Our holiday base is Church Stretton, right in the centre of Shropshire’s most beautiful upland scenery. A town set in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty"

 A relaxed, social approach

These hills are a genuine secret – unbelievably quiet and still relatively undiscovered compared to other popular walking areas. There are places here where you can completely get away from civilisation which really makes for a genuine relaxing experience. From the top of the Long Mynd, you can see right to the Welsh coast, far out over the Cheshire plains, the Peak District, The Malvern Hills and the Black Mountains – a true 360 degree experience.

You’ll see plenty of sheep quietly grazing the hills and even our own herd of wild ponies and their cute foals. Depending on the time of year, you will see glorious swathes of deep purple heather on the upland moors or the amazing golden shades of autumnal bracken on the hillsides but what you won’t see are hordes of people… this is a quiet land.

So why not come and experience a true land “that time forgot”.

Join us for four days of  superb walking in Shropshire -  a land of surprising contrasts – from the gently rolling plains in the north to the unexpectedly stunning hills in the south – there’s something for everyone. Our holiday base is Church Stretton, right in the centre of Shropshire’s most beautiful upland scenery. A town set in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty"

 A relaxed, social approach

These hills are a genuine secret – unbelievably quiet and still relatively undiscovered compared to other popular walking areas. There are places here where you can completely get away from civilisation which really makes for a genuine relaxing experience. From the top of the Long Mynd, you can see right to the Welsh coast, far out over the Cheshire plains, the Peak District, The Malvern Hills and the Black Mountains – a true 360 degree experience.

You’ll see plenty of sheep quietly grazing the hills and even our own herd of wild ponies and their cute foals. Depending on the time of year, you will see glorious swathes of deep purple heather on the upland moors or the amazing golden shades of autumnal bracken on the hillsides but what you won’t see are hordes of people… this is a quiet land.

So why not come and experience a true land “that time forgot”.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation is single en suite rooms - no sharing. The hotel- The Longmynd House  part of the HF Holidays group of holiday hotels- - high on  a hill above the market town of Church Stretton

Dinner

is three course plus coffee and breakfast is buffet style - both in the hotels main restaurant.  Walking starts at 9.30 am, and we generally finish for that welcome cuppa at 4.30 pm. This will give you plenty of time to get ready for dinner. Dress code is smart casual.

Lunch

We have lunch at one of Shropshire’s lovely country pubs

Your walks leaders will make this holiday relaxing and the wonderful walking will stimulate your enthusiasm for the wide outdoors.

Flexibility

We offer you the opportunity  - note there is an opportunity to add the August Bank holiday weekend to your four night holiday making a seven night break

 

 

 

Your walking programme

 Your holiday programme

We offer four days of superb walking - Tuesday - Friday inclusive. We will finish walking at 3.30pm on the last day - Friday.

On Monday afternoon, we offer a half day walk - starting at 2.30pm, to meet other guests, meet our leaders and strectch your legs after your journey. The walk will be 2.5 hours duration.

Walking - Grades and difficulty

Walking

The paths in the Shropshire Hills are exceptionally good underfoot. There is an active Footpaths Group which regularly surveys paths and reports problems. This keeps the standard extremely high which makes walking in this area a real delight. You don’t have to worry about wading through waist high crops or stumbling over worn out stiles, you can simply relax and enjoy the views.

Our walks are usually between 8-11 miles. We don’t rush because we want you to have time to enjoy the amazing views and take those photos as mementos. Yes, you will be going up hills – the Long Mynd is 517 metres above sea level, but Church Stretton is already 200 metres high so the ascents are not great and are very gradual - we always take our time. Nor are there precarious descents , in fact the whole area is pretty safe so if you are an inexperienced walker, these are ideal hills to start on!

We love our hills – we’d like you to love them too. Church Stretton is full of people who fell in love with the hills on holiday and decided to retire here years later – that might even  be you one day!

We reagrd the walking in the Shropshire Hills is moderate - some ascents and descents but not severe and with a good level of walking fitness most peple will cope

Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking or discovering on Short Breaks for Single Travellers holidays. We don't go in for disco's, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities - but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

"Make new friends that turn into old friends - that's our motto."

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don't worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday - its always a bit daunting - but we will look after you, ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again - trust us to to get you back into the swing of things"

Oh - by the way - its not a dating agency - over the years we have had people meet and fall in love - but that's just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends - just relax and enjoy.

Some of the walks we will choose from

Walk One - The Long Mynd

A superb walk through Carding Mill Valley,  ascending to the top of the Long Mynd at Pole Bank. Walking along the heather-clad ridge before descending down one of the many delightful valleys for our lunch stop at a local hostelry. In the afternoon, we ascend Ragleth Hill and walk along it’s ridgeline with superb views in all directions. We finally return to Church Stretton in time for a cuppa.

 Walk Two - The Stretton Hills

Our walk takes us to the ancient and picturesque village of Cardington, over the Stretton Hills in the morning, passing ancient rock formations, steeped in local legend. Lunch is at the magnificent Royal Oak - a 16th Century hostel, offering a great menu selection. We return to Church Stretton via the Wilderness and moody Caer Caradoc, site of an ancient hill fort.

 Walk Three - The Stiperstones Ridge

We travel out over the Long Mynd to reach the rocky tors of the Stiperstones ridge. This is a magnificent drive in Shropshire’s best hill country. Our walk takes us under the legendary Devil’s Chair before descending to the old lead mining village of Snailbeach. Lunch is at the quaint Stiperstones Inn.  In the afternoon, we pass several old lead mines as we view the Stiperstones Ridge from a distance ending up at The Bog Visitor Centre for a cuppa and cake. Transport back to Church Stretton.

Walk Four - The South End of the Long Mynd

Through Rectory Wood, and ascend Town brook valley to the top of the Longmynd, We the walk along it's spine with magnificent views, and round the south end of the hill to Hamperley, before arriving at Little Stretton. After lunch, either pub or packed, we ascend Ragleth Hill, walk along it's magical ridge line before descending into Church Stretton for tea.

Walk Five - Clun's castles and hill forts

We travel to Clun and walk over Steppleknoll to Bury Ditches Hill fort - a superb Iron Age fort - and then through fort and glade back to Clun along the Cefns ridge. Little steep climbing, many pastoral scenes, good paths - a superb walk.

Walk Six - From the Bog to the Church

We travel to the Bog Centre on the Stiperstones, and walk back to Church Stretton. Under the Devils Chair, over Gatten and Ratlinghope Hills, before lunch at Bridges. We ascend the Longmynd moor via the Darnford Valley, and Wildmoor, before arriving at Cardingmill Valley, then back into Church Stretton for tea.

Walk Seven - Ashes  and  Batch Valley's

We walk up Ashes Valley to Pole bank and along the Longmynd spine to it's north end. We descend down the Gallups and the Batch Valley into All Stretton for lunch. We wander out towards Caer Caradoc in the afternoon, take in wooded Helmeth Hill, and back into the town for tea.

Walk Eight - The Blacksmith's Walk and Long Mynd Heights

A pastoral walk, out to Acton Scott and Wenlock Edge, and around Ragleth Hill. We follow the route of Blacksmiths' who looked after the heavy horses on the Acton estate, eventually reaching Little Stretton for lunch. We ascend Ashes Hollow and descend the Burway in an undulating afternoon walk.

Just arrive and enjoy.

 

Holiday Highlights

 - walk in a secret land of superb scenery

- good paths, excellent hill country

- 360 degree views into mid Wales, to The Clee and Malvern Hills, to the North Wales mountains

- Shropshire's renowned hospitality

- Local, knowledgeable walk leaders

-No single supplement

- our relaxed social approach

What's included in your holiday

What you get on a Secret Hills break

  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite four nights
  • Dinner- three course.
  • Lunch- except first day on Monday
  • Sole Occupancy- no single supplement
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding- friendly, local guides that know the area superbly well.
  • Transport to walks start and finish as needed.
  • Flexibility
  • No single supplement
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Full joining deatils prior to your holiday
  • Our administration support from the point of booking to you joining the holiday

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the Shropshire Hills but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. Our hotel in Church Stretton is set in lovely surroundings  and the standard is really good.
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

Getting to us

Getting to our destination

By train - Church Stretton is the nearest station, some  half a mile from the hotel..  Contact us for a transfer to hotel from the station - it is uphill..See www.nationalrail.co.uk

By car -  the post code for your Sat Navs is SY66AG . A good way of checking a route is using the AA route finder. www.theaa.com/route-planner

 Full detailed journey instruction will be sent with your Joining Details prior to the holiday.

The local area

The Local area

Church Stretton is an historic Market Town situated in the heart of the South Shropshire hills on the English/Welsh border known as The Marches. It is the only town in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the first Walkers are Welcome town in the Midlands and a Fairtrade town. The area is renowned worldwide for its geology, with some of the oldest rock formations in existence.

Church Stretton and its picturesque surrounding villages forms an excellent base for the country lover and sportsman alike at all times of the year whether hikers, horse riders, mountain bikers, or naturalists . The Long Mynd rising above the west of the town is renowned for gliding, hang gliding and paragliding, and boasts the second highest golf course in England. The beautiful countryside, with its wild uplands and breathtaking views, features prominently in the books of Mary Webb, A E Housman, and Malcolm Saville.

Church Stretton is very well situated to act as a base for visits to many local attractions. At the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are market towns & villages, castles, hill forts and much much more nearby.  Whether you walk, go by train, car or bus...with great scenery along the way – you can enjoy a great many days out from this What to See section.

It’s not just the stunning scenery that will captivate you, but the people and places, its history and heritage, the walking and wildlife, its food and festivals.  Combined they offer magical experiences. Such magic is best summed up by the Independent newspaper review in 2009 which claimed Church Stretton to be "England’s ultimate retreat".

NEAR CHURCH STRETTON

Within a short car or train journey, you have

Ironbridge Gorge/Shrewsbury - its castle, gardens and medieval centre/Ludlow and its foodie centres/ The Mid Wales coast line/Powys Castle/Historic Chester and the Dee Valley/

The Severn Valley, its railway and Bridgnorth town/

Booking your holiday

Booking your holiday

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  - once you have chosen your holiday, click on the booking button and complete the online form

OR  you can call us direct on 01694 723600, and we will take your reservation over the phone. Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone; you can, however, post us a cheque. Alternatively, you can pay via the Pay Pal system attached to our website, which allows you to pay either by debit/credit card, or by using your Paypal account if you have one.

We will also accept a Bank Transfer and on request we will supply our bank details to you.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note - if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

What our clients say about us

Anna Jaye - Shropshire Hills  August 2019.
Thank you so much for providing a really lovely break for me and a positive first experience of a walking holiday.  Very much enjoyed the guided walking experience - we got to explore some beautiful parts of the countryside that I would have never found on my own.  Alan and Graham were both really interesting and helpful and had the balance of speaking with and informing the group and letting us be on our own which was nice. Really well organised, you made it very easy for us and all we had to do was turn up and walk! Pre-holiday information was really useful, clear and informative. Hotel was really good, nice room, great views, nice food and welcoming atmosphere. A nice variety of walks and pub stops were chosen. I really enjoyed myself and it was exactly what I had hoped for, I would definitely book again for next summer.
 
 
Janet Coates - Shropshire Hills August 2019.
It is lovely to simply turn up and walk with others leading. I enjoyed learning a little of the history of an area new to me. The hotel breakfasts were good, the staff friendly and it was great that the weather meant we could use the outdoor pool. Great organisation from booking to review.
 
Kate Lefever - Shropshire Hills July 2019.
Pre holiday information all good. Very much enjoyed the guided walking – Alan gave us a lot of interesting information along the way which really added to the experience. I really enjoyed my weekend and hope to be back!
 
Val Davison - Shropshire Hills  March 2019.
It was a great group and the walks and pace were excellent. Both guides were very good and also very informative. Pick up from station even when my arrival was delayed due to trains being cancelled was much appreciated and beyond what other companies would provide.
 

Carol Kenny - Shropshire Hills March 2019

The location of the hotel made it ideal for direct access to the walks. The walks were varied and the leaders very knowledgeable about the area and it was well organized. I will be booking another holiday soon and would recommend to others.

 

Pam Taylor Shropshire May 2018

I thought that the emails were very prompt and informative and before I had time to think "what happens now" an email would appear.

I am looking forward to going on another holiday with Secret Hills and would have no hesitation in recommending yours holidays to others.

 

 Lyn Smith Shropshire May 2018 

  All leaders were experienced and friendly, couldn’t fault your organisation of the holiday.

Just thank you for a great break, all I had to do each day was turn up and be ready to walk.  Your team did all the rest - so good to have someone else taking charge for a change, I came home very chilled.

 

Mala Panwar Shropshire May 2018 

Ian, our guide looked after us very well and made sure we were okay 

 

Paul Russell Shropshire Easter break 2018

Hi Alan,

A massive thank you to you, Ian, Tristan and all your brilliant team for another fabulous weekend !

Awesome scenery and what an incredible mix of sunshine and mystical mist up on the hills. You also have a knack of attracting the loveliest, most friendly people on your holidays.

See you again soon,

Paul

ps – I'm loving my gilet

Paul Russel Beat the Xmas Pud- Shropshire 2017

Hi Alan,

Happy New Year – I hope your New Year's Eve performance went down well !

I just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful holiday in the Shropshire hills. What lovely people and fantastic walking; I can't wait for the next one (I'll book earlier next time !).

All the best,Paul

 

 

Kate balmond Beat the Xmas Pud- Shropshire 2017

Hi folks

Just to say thank you for a lovely walking break in Church Stretton.

I enjoyed the set up, the company and the food and of course the walking

Happy New Year to you all

from

Kate balmon

Andrew Cooke Beat the Xmas Pud Shropshire 2017

The highlight for me was Caer Carodoc in the snow, it was stunning, we were so lucky there.  A fabulous few days with a fabulous group of people. 

 

Paul Russel Beat the Xmas Pud- Shropshire 2017

Hi Alan,

Happy New Year – I hope your New Year's Eve performance went down well !

I just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful holiday in the Shropshire hills. What lovely people and fantastic walking; I can't wait for the next one (I'll book earlier next time !).

All the best,Paul

 

 

Kate balmond Beat the Xmas Pud- Shropshire 2017

Hi folks

 

Just to say thank you for a lovely walking break in Church Stretton.

 

I enjoyed the set up, the company and the food and of course the walking

 

Happy New Year to you all

 

from

Kate balmond

 

Sue Ashmore Beat the Xmas Pud- Shropshire 2017

Excellent food and had a large comfortable room, good value for money and would recommend to other walkers. Thank you Alan, Liz and Ian for great guided walking especially as the weather conditions were not always as we wanted but it was an experience walking in the snow and ice.  Once again an enjoyable holiday….Sue A

 

Linda Kesington - November 2016

"It was great being met & taken back to the station. Ian was very good. Free drinks on the first night were wonderfully generous, and much appreciated! The scenery was lovely, regardless of whether; the length of walks was probably just right. The meals were very good, and the pubs where we had lunch, and the lunches themselves were excellent Loved the unexpected tea laid on the first afternoon we were there! Loved the idea of the first evening's meal as a sort of 'taster' event. Great room size, with a bath! "

 

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Our Promise To You
You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

What Others Said...

Hi Alan, Barbara, Julie and Trevor, I arrived home safely last night, and just wanted to say thank you for organising a fantastic weekend. It’s hard to know what to expect when you book something like this online, but everything on your website was spot on, you delivered exactly what you said you would – and lots more. The flexibility of the walks, the flexible arrival/departure dates, the friendly hotel staff, the pub lunches you organised, your knowledge of the area, the location, the realistic price, it all contributed to making it a weekend to remember – and of course a great bunch of people, I can’t remember when I have laughed so much! I’m looking forward to the next one already – hopefully in August. Thanks again, Helen from Marlow (and you are welcome to use any of this on your website)

Helen Isacke

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