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Shropshire Hills devises 12 car-free, pub-friendly walks

Posted by Philippa Jacks at 07:59 on Tuesday 27 September 2011

Walking With Offa trail. Photo: Shropshire Hills AONB PartnershipWalking With Offa trail. Photo: Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership
A new series of circular walking trails will help visitors to the Shropshire Hills to leave their cars at home - and to support the area's rural pubs and shops.

The 12 walks within Shropshire Hills Area of Natural Beauty have been designed to complement Shropshire's innovative ShropshireLink bus service, which allows passengers to pre-book a bus transfer when and where they need it, making it easier to holiday in Shropshire without taking a car.

The walks have been branded as the 'Walking With Offa' series, tying in with this year's 40th anniversary of Offa's Dyke Footpath becoming a National Trail. Each walk begins at a country pub or village shop, encouraging visitors to contribute to the local economy and enjoy locally-sourced produce.

"With these walks, we hope to encourage those people who might not normally go walking to take a stroll for a couple of hours then enjoy a well earned drink or bite to eat in a local pub," explained Clare Fildes, development officer for Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership.The cow stone, one of Shropshire's 'megaliths'. Photo: Shropshire AONB PartnershipThe cow stone, one of Shropshire's 'megaliths'. Photo: Shropshire AONB Partnership

The first of the series to be released begins in Bucknell and is named 'Ravens and skylarks around Bucknell and Stowe Hill'. The six-mile walk begins at the Baron of Bucknell pub and takes around three hours. Leaflet guides for the remaining 11 trails will be available to download over the coming months, as well as four 'Days Out' guides.

"The walks are all in stunning countryside in the western side of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty, where Shropshire meets Powys," added Fildes.

The 16-seater ShropshireLink buses operate across nine different zones, on at least two days a week (not Sundays), and can transfer visitors from a train station to their holiday accommodation if required. The service can be pre-booked from seven days to 24 hours in advance, by calling 01743 210368 (8am-8pm Monday and Thursday; 8am-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9am-1pm Saturday).

Download the first of the Walking With Offa trail guides here

Read Catherine Mack's blog on taking the Wrexham and Shropshire line train from London to Shropshire

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