Ancient landscapes, old mines, and plenty of walks. The Stiperstones is a great destination for a bit of family exploring.
The Shropshire Hills is an area of outstanding natural beauty that remains undiscovered by most people in the UK.
A large area, known as the Long Mynd, covers much of the Shropshire Hills, but as you stand on the rolling hills and moorland of the Long Mynd and look North West, you see the almost menacing skyline of The Stiperstones.
Characterised by its jarring jagged rocks that pierce the sky, The Stiperstones looks a very different hill to its neighbours.
This difference is probably why the hill picked up a sinister myth: one of the large outcrops of rocks is called The Devil’s Chair, and local folklore says that when the clouds are covering the top of the hill, Satan is sitting in his throne up there.
But away from the spooky stories, The Stiperstones rocks are easy to get to as there is a car park not too far from the summit (see map below), with a short walk up to the top. It is also a National Nature Reserve, and is abundant with wildlife.
A climb up the hill is a good stretch of the legs and a plenty of lungs full of fresh air, but an easy walk for many families…though it’s definitely a walk that’s not push chair friendly.
As you walk up, the first tower of rocks on your left is Cranberry Rock. Up a little further is the summit, Manstone Rock at 536 metres (1759ft). After Manstone Rock is The Devil’s Chair.
You should allow at least an hour for a walk to the summit and back, though obviously depending on how fast your family is and how long you want to stay, explore, and take in the views.
It may be somewhere to avoid when the weather is bad though. Not just because someone may be sitting in the ‘Chair’, but it can get pretty grim and exposed at the top. You must also stick to the paths as there are old mine shafts in some areas.
The Shropshire Way Ridgeline Walk
If you want to take in an extended walk and can arrange transport at the other end of the hill, or pick up the shuttle bus (see below), then a walk along the ridge line is well worth it (shown on the map). This is one for older kids though.
If you can travel at an adults pace then this walk could take about two and a half hours, though you may wish to stop and explore and travel at a more leisurely pace. You can stop off at the restored Blakemooregate cottages and get an appreciation for how families lived in this harsh landscape.
The walk back up the hill from the Stiperstones Inn can be a little hard after lunch!As you walk north along the trail there are a few routes down the hill into the valleys on the left.
The first proper trail (i.e. wide path, not sheep trail) left after the main outcrop will take you down to the Stiperstones Inn (please use an O/S map to check your route down – there are a few cliffs! The Long Mynd & Wenlock Edge Explorer Map is good for this area.). The Stiperstones Inn welcomes walkers and we’ve always had a good meal when popping in there, and makes a great walk/eat/walk route (though the walk back up the hill from the Stiperstones Inn can be a little hard after lunch!)
This area used to be a large mining facility (once with 300 buildings), and you can park among what’s left of the ruins.
Here you will also find The Bog Visitor Centre, and a great place to stop for a warm drink and slice of cake 😉
The Shropshire Mines Trust occasionally do escorted trips into the Somme Tunnel at The Bog, so check their website out to see if your visit coincides with one of their open days. Helmets and lights are provided, and it’s easy for kids to do.
The Snailbeach Mine
This former mine is run by the Shropshire Mines Trust. Please check their website for opening times.
You can park off the main road at Snailbeach in the car park at the end of the village and walk up to the mine via the footpath opposite. There are toilets at the car park. Please pay in the honesty box.
Further up the hill is the shaft entrance (covered with a grill), so you can have a look down into the dark tunnel you visited earlier.
Stiperstones Walk Route Map
Use the OS Map below to see the route. The markers on the map indicate the position of the items above, including car parking.
The route shown is the full walk along the top of the Stiperstones. This is the same route if you just want to walk up to the Devils Chair and back…just retrace your steps back to the car if you are not walking the length of the hill.
Also indicated is the optional route down to the Stiperstones Inn.
Shropshire Hills Shuttle Bus
If you want to do a one way walk across the top of the Stiperstones (The Shropshire Way) then work in the Shuttlebus timetable to your route.
You can find the Shuttlebus Timetable here.
Where to find Stiperstones Walk Car Park
Sat Nav Postcode: SY5 0NL
Latitude: 52.5733719, Longitude: -2.9319763Show on Google Maps Show on OS Maps
If you’d like to discover more about the area, here are some useful links.
- Shropshire Mines Trust
- The Bog Visitor Centre
- The Stiperstones Inn
- The Shropshire Hills Shuttle Bus
- Stiperstones on Wikipedia
- Blakemoorgate Cottages
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