Enjoying Carding Mill Valley and The Long Mynd

22nd November 2020

On a cool but bright November Sunday afternoon we decided to head to The National Trust’s Carding Mill Valley and Long Mynd at Church Stretton.  It is a place we have enjoyed on several visits, but we know there are many areas of the valley and moorlands that we have not discovered.

We took the road over the top of the Long Mynd to get to Carding Mill Valley going past the glider and hang gliding clubs.  This offered us fantastic views of the Stretton hills and beyond, particularly Caer Caradoc just to the north of Church Stretton. The road going down into Church Stretton, known as the Burway, is steep and narrow with the National Trust car park 600 feet below.

There are three waymarked routes starting from the Carding Mill Valley car park. These range from a 40-minute walk to a three hour hike. Overall, there are approximately 30 miles of footpaths that cover the  plateau and valleys at the bottom of the Long Mynd. The highest point of the Long Mynd is the trig point at Pole Bank which is at 516 metres. This viewpoint can easily be reached with a short 20 minute walk from the car parks at either Pole Cottage or Shooting Box.

We parked at the higher car park near the Carding Mill Valley tea rooms and headed off towards Lightspout waterfall. Although it is one of the best-known areas of The Shropshire Hills, we soon managed to find ourselves on quieter paths.

Eventually we came to the Edwardian New Pool Hollow Reservoir that once served the town of Church Stretton below. Whilst there we saw a few people who were brave enough to take a wild swim.  Rather them than us.

After returning to the car we enjoyed a cup of home-made spicy parsnip soup. Molly chilled out in the back of the car with the look of a happy dog having revelled in her walk with plenty of streams to jump in and out of.

There are tea rooms and a gift shop at the main NT car park (check the NT website for opening hours). On most days of the week Church Stretton has plenty of team rooms, pubs and shops to browse around although many of these are closed on Sundays.

Keywords: Carding Mill Valley, Long Mynd, Shropshire Hills, Lightspout Waterfall, New Pool Hollow