Caer Caradoc ... The Easy Way

Bishops Castle → Drive to Church Stretton → Walk Caer Caradoc → Drive back to Bishop's Castle

30 minute drive, 4.1 mile circular walk, no stiles, 30 minute drive back

There are two Caer Caradocs in the Bishops Castle area. This page deals with the one adjacent to Church Stretton.

There are various routes up this hill but most are demanding. If you are young, or fit, (or both), choose any route you like. As I am neither, I choose the easiest. It is longer, but has the gentlest slopes.

Bishops Castle To The Start

This route starts at a lay-by on the B4371 a mile or so east of Church Stretton. The obvious way to get there from Bishop’s Castle is to take the A489 - the ‘top’ road - to Craven Arms, but turn left onto the B4370 at Horderley. Follow this to the A49 at Marshbrook, then turn left up to Church Stretton. At the main crossroads in Church Stretton turn right onto the B4371. The lay-by is on the left just after you leave the town.

Alternatively why not drive over the Long Mynd?

Up Hill

From your car walk back to the start of the lay-by and you will see a tarmac farm drive with a bench, a sign post saying 'Hope Bowdler' and a standing stone. Walk up this drive towards the hill.

Near the top pass through a gate then follow the drive as it bends to the right over a gentle hill. There are excellent views of Caer Caradoc from here. Eventually you pass through another gate and arrive at Cwms Farm. As the main drive descends to the farm, a smaller, unsurfaced track goes up to the right. Walk up this short track then pass through another gate on to the bracken-covered hillside.

Follow the easy path through the bracken for quite a way until it splits. Take the left hand arm of the ‘v’ and follow it through a patch of reeds to an open area with a way-marker post and a gate. Pass through the gate then follow the path as it goes up and around the small hill. On the far side of this hill you will arrive at a T-junction with a wider track next to a stand of trees. Ignore the stile in front of you, but turn right and walk along the wider track .

Walk past another stile on the left, then in a couple of hundred metres you will see a gate on the left. Pass though it onto another gently sloping field. The path across this field is not clear. Just head straight across and up the slope. Make for the gate at the far side with a white notice fastened to it. I took a rest here before the final push. There are good views here to the northeast of The Lawley and The Wrekin.

The diagonal path from here towards the top is clear – and not too steep (yet). Follow it up under the shadow of the huge rocks above. Eventually this path levels out and turns sharp right. This is where it gets steep! Swinging round to the right carry on up to the summit. There is no trig point or cairn on top, just a flat plateau. The route is obvious - just keep going upwards! If you are blessed with good weather, I am sure you will agree that the views are wonderful.

Down Hill

There is only one easy route back down, and that it to retrace the way you came up. All other routes are much steeper. So if you wish to avoid gingerly tottering down slippery slopes, then that is the way to go.

A compromise way down is to come down south off the plateau, then use the path in front of you that descends directly down in to the valley. See the sketch map.

I will finish my walk by following the spine of the hill down to Three Fingers Rock at the southern end. Come down off the plateau and follow the spine of the hill towards Church Stretton. You cannot miss Three Fingers Rock.

This is where the route gets more difficult. Carry on past the rock, then follow the path down the slope. It is long, steep and slippery. I ended up coming down on my backside at one point. You have been warned.

There is a kissing gate half way down. Pass through it and just keep going downwards in the same direction. At the bottom you will come down to a wider, rutted track. Turn left, then in 100m or so you will come to a larger vehicle track . Turn hairpin right and follow this track down into a wooded dip. At the bottom there is a stony ford as a brook crosses the track. Turn sharp left here and follow a steep dirt footpath up to a hidden gate . Take care – this is easy to miss.

Go through the gate then follow the footpath up out of the valley. It is wooded at first, then less so as you get higher. At the top follow the fence to the left and you will come to a gate and stile . Pass though these and walk up hill for another 50m or so until you cross a tarmac drive . This is the drive you walked up a couple of hours ago. Just turn right and follow it back down to your car.

Once back in Bishop’s Castle park up for the night and go for a pint of home-brewed ale in the Six Bells. Should I happen to be in tell me about your walk.

Click here for a sketch map of the route.

If you have Google Earth installed use it to open this file to see the drive and this file to see the walk.

www.the-roberts-family.net