This walk takes you up past some of the historic mines in the Shropshire Hills, to a beautifully remote spot where some of the miners made their home.
This is a good family walk up in the hills as well as a step back in time.
Blakemoorgate is a small miner’s settlement up in the hills on the Stiperstones.
Miners and their families were able to claim some land (though they still paid rent), and built themselves a small cottage, kept some livestock, and grew some crops.
If you are familiar with the Stiperstones, it can be a pretty bleak place when the weather’s bad. And Blakemoorgate is right up in an area you wouldn’t call habitable. However, some of these cottages were still lived in until the 1950s.
Nature soon reclaimed these cottages, and just the remains of crumbling walls from two of the cottages were left at this bleak outpost.
Natural England with the support of English Heritage rebuilt these cottages.
They are only open a few times a year, but you can still walk up to them, peer in the windows, stroll around the garden, and read the information boards.
We visited on an open day at Christmas and highly recommend it.
The fire was going, with warm mince pies, mulled wine, and warm Vimto for the kids. You can read more about it here.
They make a good picnic spot.
Can my kids walk to Blakemoorgate Cottages?
Yes, if your kids are used to walking.
It is only 1.5 miles from the car park to the old cottages, but you climb around 700 feet. This is first on road, then stoney muddy trails.
Our 5-year-old did it no problem (but needed a bit of encouragement). The walk is steep at first and then levels out.
It is not pushchair friendly (though I have seen someone do it with an ‘off-road‘ pushchair).
Park in the car park at Snailbeach (remember to pay at the honesty box). There are toilets here too.
Walk up the path past the Snailbeach mine. This is well worth a visit, and it’s where the families that lived in the cottages may have worked.
As you go past the mine, continue up the lane that goes up the hill. (This is where you’ll need to encourage your younger children).
When you get to the top of the lane, follow the lane round to the right. You’ll see a small valley with a cottage (converted chapel) at the bottom. Head towards that and go through the gate.
This is an area known as ‘The Hollies’ and has some ancient trees. There will be an information board to the right of the path.
You will have also noticed the chimneys. These are air shafts for the mines that run under the hill.
The round thing in the grass on the left is an air vent, capped off and no longer a chimney.
Continue the trail up the hill.
You go through some field gates and you’ll see a line of trees ahead, where the path passes through the middle. That is the route you take.
Once past the line of trees, the cottages are in the wooded area ahead.
Here’s where you can find Walk up to the old Blakemoorgate Miners’ Cottages.
Park at the Sailbeech Village Hall Car Park. Remember to pay in the honesty box.
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