Ludlow is situated on the edge of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is an ideal base for walking and walkers wishing to explore the hills, valleys and forests of the Marches. Ludlow also offers gentler walking opportunities into the surrounding countryside, and Whitcliffe Common, with its panoramic views, overlooks the castle and town - is an essential visit for any newcomer to Ludlow.
There are numerous walking guidebooks and pamphlets available in the Ludlow Visitor Information Centre and local bookshops. Accommodation for walkers and hikers can be found on our 'Where to Stay' section. Below is just a flavour of what Ludlow and its surroundings have to offer:
Short Walks Around Ludlow
If you fancy a stroll for an hour or so, at a gentle pace, you couldn't do better than try one of the following walks:
|WHITCLIFFE & BREAD WALK:
1hr. Easy but with some steep steps.
With this walk you will get the wonderful and famous view of Ludlow Castle, the Church and the Ludlow’s historic town centre. Start at Ludlow Castle entrance, walk along Dinham (through the castle gardens) follow the road downhill, you will cross over the River Teme via Dinham Bridge. Under the bridge is Ludlow Millennium Green, a favourite with locals and visitors.
Immediately after crossing the bridge take the footpath on the left. There is a useful tourist information map board here. The Breadwalk path continues for about a mile up and over Whitcliffe along the line of the river. It is here you will get the famous view of Ludlow Castle and town. At the other end the footpath re-joins the road near Ludford Bridge; The Charlton Arms is right by the river if you need a well-earned drink. Follow the road over the Ludford Bridge, up Broad Street and under Ludlow’s sole surviving medieval town gate. You are now back in the centre. From here you can either turn left and follow the old medieval town walls, or continue up the hill in Broad Street.
This route is probably unsuitable for prams and wheel chairs, due to the steps on the Breadwalk part of the walk. As an alternative you can follow the road which climbs to the top of Whitcliffe, turn left at the junction and follow the road back to Ludlow. This route does go up a very steep hill, be warned!
|LUDLOW CASTLE GARDENS AND THE MILLENNIUM GREEN:
30 minutes to 1 hour. Easy.
No visitor to Ludlow should miss out on this short but wonderful walk. From the entrance to the castle, turn left and walk through the Castle gardens around the Castle wall. Follow the footpath through the gardens, under the arch through a small public section of Ludlow Castle, continue along the footpath until you come to a fork, turn left downhill. You will come to a road (The Linney). On the opposite side of the road, just a few yards to the left are the Millennium Green. This is a favourite for visitors and locals. Ideal for a picnic, sitting on a bench watching the river amble by or feeding the ever hungry ducks. There is a small licenced café here if you need a refreshment break.
Head back the way you came from the footpath but continue along the road. You will walk past Mr Underhills one of Ludlow’s Michelin starred restaurants. The Linney public park is on the left, continue up the hill until you come to a path way on the right handside (you will see some metal railings. Walk up here, bear left where the path splits and this will take you back to the starting point underneath the castle walls.
|HALTON LANE TO BROMFIELD:
Approx 2 hours. Easy.
The lane starts just over Dinham Bridge and provides a quiet, straightforward walk in the countryside. You can take a detour over fields, just before you reach the Cliffe Hotel, along a footpath which re-joins Halton Lane just past the farm complex. As the lane approaches Oakley Park, the trees become more mature and stately, giving a semi-formal parkland feel to the countryside. In the settlement of Bromfield there are some charming old buildings, including an old mill and church. Get some refreshments at The Clive before heading back to town either along the bridleway (which is quite noisy along the A49) or back the way you came, for another look at those trees!
© Copyright Ian Capper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
2 Hours. Moderate
Caynham Camp is an Iron Age Hill Fort dating back to around 500bc. This walk takes you to the top of the small hill where the fort is. From you here you can get a good view of the eastern side of Ludlow, the Clee Hills and south towards Herefordshire. The camp is a lovely place for a picnic, very quite and peaceful with some interesting earth defense works constructed by the ancient Celtic people of Britain.
You can either walk from Ludlow to the start of the walk or drive the 1 mile or so and then park your car and continue on foot. If you go by car please be sure not to block the farmers' gates.
From the starting point you will go down a slight hill towards the Ledwyche Brook in the valley at the bottom. Cross the brook via the footbridge, which is actually the Elan Valley water supply for Birmingham and the West Midlands and follow the marked footpath signs to the top of the hill.
© Copyright Jeremy Bolwell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
|Royal Geographical Society - Shaping the landscape:
Discover the dramatic impact of glaciers in Ludlow
1-2 Hours. Moderate
There is much more to Ludlow than meets the eye. This walk tells the story of the most dramatic events ever to affect this picturesque market town.
Visit beautiful viewpoints, stroll along tranquil riverbanks, explore medieval streets and enjoy lush meadows whilst discovering how the landscape was utterly transformed by natural forces.
This is the story of ice and water. Three glaciers came very close to this area and the water that melted from them reshaped the landscape. Rivers changed direction, gorges were cut out by torrents of icy water and vast amounts of sediment were dumped.
Across the town in street names and road layouts, in sewers and churchyards, in building stones and cobblestones there are clues to what happened tens of thousands of years ago.
Find out how humans have made use of the landforms created by melting glaciers and how the area's geological history still affects life in Ludlow today.
There are a large number of marked trails, footpaths, bridleways and tracks through woodland owned by The Forestry Commission. Three car parks serve as the starting point for the all the trails and other footpaths.
The landscape of the Forest is dominated by limestone ridges. The sometimes steep slopes and moderate height of the forest provides magnificent views in clear weather.
|MORTIMER FOREST: HIGH VINNALLS
The Easy Access Trail
1 Mile. Easy.
This trail is a loosely shaped figure of eight providing two loops of 0.5 miles each or a single loop of 1 mile. As the name suggests is suitable for all abilities including wheelchairs and prams.
The trail encompasses a variety of habitats including broadleaved woodland, mature conifer and two wildlife ponds on an all weather, easy access surface.
There are two picnic tables and a number of seats along the route.
The Climbing Jack Trail
9 Miles. Average to Difficult. 4 Hours
This trail takes in the majority of Mortimer Forest. Passing through a variety of woodland types and habitats and provides the walker with superb views across the forest and surrounding countryside, the Wigmore Rolls and into Herefordshire.
Given the distance and the steep nature of some sections of the trail, this walk is designed for serious walkers with appropriate footwear and equipment.
3 Miles. Average to Difficult. 2 Hours
This trail ascends to the summit of the High Vinnalls giving panoramic views in all directions and then passes through a variety of timber crops and open deer lawns.
This is a moderate to hard walk with some steep climbs, good footwear is essential, especially in wet weather.
|From Whitecliffe Car Park
2 Miles. 1 Hour. Average
This trail runs within an area of the forest called 'Evens' and provides the walker with good views down Mary Knoll Valley and beyond.
Once an ancient woodland the trees are now mostly douglas fir and larch however the Forestry Commission intend to revert the area to native, broadleaved trees over the coming decades through a programme of felling, natural regeneration and replanting.
There are five benches along the trail.
© Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
|Black Pool Car Park
Black Pool Loop
2 Miles. 1 Hour. Average
This trail runs through Hay Park Wood, an ancient woodland site although mostly stocked with conifer (douglas fir and larch)at present.
Over the coming decades this area will be reverted to a woodland of mixed native trees as part of the Forestry Commission's commitment to biological diversity and cultural heritage.
Archaeological features in this area include quarries, charcoal burning platforms, saw pits, holloways (ancient sunken cart tracks), a deer park pale and an Iron Age/ Romano British settlement.
© Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
If you are travelling a long way or making a special journey you are advised to check that all the paths are open with the Forestry Commission directly. For more information please visit the Ludlow Office Forestry Commission Web Site
Long Distance Footpaths
THE MORTIMER TRAIL:
This 30-mile route begins in Ludlow and travels along a series of ridges south-east to the border town of Kington. The walk takes you through forests and woods, along leafy river banks and past celtic hill forts and medieval castles. A relatively recent trail, it was established in 1996, and its guidebook provides details of overnight accommodation, bus links and refreshment stops.
THE SHROPSHIRE WAY:
This long-distance path meanders and winds its way across the whole county, encompassing most of Shropshire's points of interest along the way. The Shropshire Way passes through Ludlow, and you can leave the town by either taking the route north to Bromfield, or east across to Titterstone Clee Hill.
This Anglo-Saxon earthwork runs north-south along the English -Welsh border and passes through the town of Knighton, at which there is an Offa's Dyke Visitor Centre which explains the dyke's past and present. Although some miles from Ludlow, one of the most spectacular stretches of the Dyke is within reach of the town. Between Knighton and Newcastle on Clun, the Dyke rises over Llanfair and Panpunton hills, offering breath-taking views across mid-Wales and south Shropshire. Much of the original dyke remains intact over this section, giving walkers a feel of how it might have looked at the time of King Offa. A convenient way to cover this stretch of the Dyke is to take the bus from Ludlow to Clun, head west onto the Dyke and then south to Knighton, from where a bus will bring you back to Ludlow through the lush landscape of the Teme valley.
Days Out for Walkers
Here are just a few of the many walking opportunities accessible from Ludlow:
CHURCH STRETTON is the starting point for a number of hill walks. The Long Mynd is a vast, sprawling hill covered with heather and bracken with superb views from the summit. The ascent from either Ashes Hollow (at Little Stretton) or Cardingmill valley (a National Trust base near the town centre) is well worth the climb. Caer Caradoc, on the eastern side of Church Stretton, has an iron age hill fort on top, from where you can look out across the north Shropshire plain. Church Stretton is easily reached by train from Ludlow.
THE CLEE HILLS are Shropshire's highest.
Brown Clee has various points of access and a good selection of paths through woodland and open grassland. There is a Forest Trail one mile north-west of Cleobury North with a well marked route and access to the summit.
Titterstone Clee has large expanses of open hillside. Public footpaths and tracks permit varied walks on the common with fantastic views and much special interest, botanical, geological and industrial.
BURY DITCHES is an impressive Iron Age hill fort above the Clun Valley, again with amazing views across unspoilt countryside. Walk up from either Clunton or Clun (both on the B4368).