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It's Official - The Shropshire Hills Welcomes Walkers!

(27th September 2011)

<p>It's Official - The Shropshire Hills Welcomes Walkers!</p>

Much Wenlock is the latest market town to be added to a growing list of places in the Shropshire Hills to gain “Walkers Are Welcome” status.

Cleobury Mortimer, Church Stretton, Knighton and Bishop’s Castle already hold the title; but the addition of Much Wenlock to that list comes as the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty launches a new series of 12 walks and 4 Days Out in and around the area.

All of the market towns listed above, as well as nearby Wellington, have their own well-researched trails.  But they are also involved in the highly innovative “Walking With Offa” scheme, which is aimed at getting people who might not normally go walking to venture out onto the footpaths and country lanes of rural England.

Each one of the 12 new walks has been carefully researched – and also either begins or ends at a local pub or shop, so walkers will find plenty of refreshment, as well as some superb scenery.  The western reaches of the Shropshire Hills, in particular – along the borderlands with Wales - are near to where King Offa of Mercia built his world famous Dyke.

The new walks campaign has been launched in the same year that Offa’s Dyke Footpath celebrates its 40th year as a National Trail.  And newcomers to the footpaths and byways of Britain will be rubbing shoulders here with more experienced walkers and ramblers.

As well as being carefully selected for length and degree of difficulty, all of the new walks are also well signposted with their own, branded footpath way marker posts.

Better still, they are all accessible both by public transport; including the possibly unique-to-the-UK transport system, ShropshireLink.

Having so many towns featured in the Walkers Are Welcome scheme is another great boost to the Walking With Offa project.

Both Church Stretton and Bishop’s Castle hold their own annual walking festivals, in June.  And Much Wenlock is currently enjoying being in the headlines world-wide – as the inspiration for the modern international Olympic Games.

The 12 new Walking with Offa routes are now being posted onto the Shropshire Hills AONB website on a regular basis.  Follow them on Twitter @ShropHillsAONB.