Uffington to Haughmond Walk

PUBLISHED: 20:02 07 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:13 20 February 2013

Roy Woodcock takes a walk with fabulous views, forests, flora, fauna and fascinating Shropshire history Picture(s) by Gordon Whiting

Roy Woodcock takes a walk with fabulous views, forests, flora, fauna and fascinating Shropshire history

Picture(s) by Gordon Whiting

The walk takes us past Haughmond Abbey and across fields to Uffington before climbing up onto Haughmond Hill. After enjoying the stunning views stroll along forest tracks to return to the starting point.
Starting point Grid Ref. 546147
Maps of the area: Landranger 126; Explorer 241
How to get there: From the A49 on the Shrewsbury ring road to the east of the city - turn right along the B5062 towards Newport. After about two miles, just past Haughmond Abbey, take the right turn signed to Haughmond Quarry, and the car park on the right.
Length about 5 miles. Time required about 2 hours
Terrain: Mostly gentle undulations but with a steady climb up the steep edge of Haughmond Hill.
Refreshment: Pubs in Uffington and Upton Magna. Pinetops Caf in the car park.
Nearest Tourist Information Centre in Shrewsbury (phone 01743 281200)
Other interesting places nearby: Ironbridge, Attingham

Uffington village contains a mix of housing of different ages. The small Victorian church was built on the site of a medieval building. Formerly a canal port linking Shrewsbury with other inland waterways. The village is overlooked by Haughmond Hill which is capped by 220 ha. of mixed woodland. The hill is made up of greywacke, a type of hard sandstone from the Wentnor series of rocks, which date from Pre-Cambrian times. These rocks are also to be found in the Long Mynd.

The walk
1. Walk back to the road and turn left. Pass the entrance to the quarry and at the B5062 turn right and walk along the verge for about 200 yards. Turn left on the driveway to Haughmond Farm, and immediately go left over the stile along the Shropshire Way footpath with its logo of the buzzard. Head across the middle of the field, to reach a ladder stile over a stone wall and look down on the ruins of Haughmond Abbey. Cross a track and walk along the right side of the abbey. Descend to a stile and once past the abbey turn left to reach the car park and the entrance to Haughmond Abbey. Now in the care of English Heritage, the abbey was built about 1135 AD by William Fitzalan and became the home to Augustinian Monks (the Black Canons). Opening times from March 21 to September 30; Wednesday-Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-5 pm (tel: 01743 709661).

2. Walk along the driveway to the B5062 and turn left for a few yards, then cross over and follow the Shropshire Way into The Hollies. Follow the main path, with the steep wooded slope up to the left, and a view of open fields through the trees to the right. Enjoy the birds, flowers and trees in these woods. After about half a mile the path bends round to the right. Just before reaching a pylon go left off the main path, still on the Shropshire Way. Pass through a small area of brambly scrub to reach a stile. Go straight ahead across the field to reach the Brickkiln Bridge across the canal - which is now a nature reserve with birds, frogs, newts and flowers. The canal was built by Telford to link Shrewsbury with Newport and was last navigated in 1941 - and finally closed down in 1946. Cross one more field to reach a stile by a gate and a short driveway between houses to reach the road in Uffington. Part of the village is to the right, including the church and the row of canal cottages. The Corbet Arms is directly opposite and in front of this is a large lump of Haughmond rock, commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II - June 2002.

3. Turn left and walk out of the village, and then fork left along the narrow road signed to Downton and Upton Magna. After crossing the old canal and reaching the overhead power line, turn left through a gate and walk along the left side of the hedge. Climb gently towards the steep edge of Haughmond Hill. At the top of the field, go through the gap in the fence onto a clear path running round the hill, and turn right here. The path soon divides and we fork left beginning to go uphill, following a red arrow. Pass a small quarry on the right of the path, and keep climbing. Reach cross paths where the red arrow points left, but keep ahead about 30 yards. Here is another marker post at a T-junction with a broader path - and blue arrows pointing right and left. We are really going to the right, but first we must visit the top of hill noticed earlier whilst walking from Uffington. The path soon leads us out into the open with stunning views across to the west, looking over Shrewsbury with the spires of St. Mary's and St. Alkmund being most prominent, together with the tall column on which stands the statue of Lt.General Rowland Lord Hill. This is Douglas's Leap, named after the Earl of Douglas who came here in flight, from the Battle of Shrewsbury (AD1435). Ancient ramparts of the Iron Age fort are located to the right, on the edge of the escarpment. There was formerly a folly on this site, according to 19th century paintings of the hill.

4. Retrace steps along the blue route, passing the point where we came up the hillside from the right, and keeping straight on beyond there. Reach a major track and turn right, still with the blue arrow. When the blue route turns right, keep straight ahead along the main track. The woods are varied with stands of different trees but there are also open patches providing a wide range of habitats for wild life. Pass the triangulation point a few yards to the right (153 metres), but keep straight ahead. The blue route soon comes in to join from the right and we just continue ahead, and we are soon joined by the red route coming in from the left. The track divides and we take the left fork (now on the red and the blue routes) and soon come out to the edge of the woods. Follow the blue and red, as we move back into the trees again - and walk on through a stand of conifers. We are joined by a path from the left and our path turns to the right, with a recently felled patch on our left. Now follow the clear path as it winds through the trees back to the starting point and the car park.

Retired geography teacher Roy Woodcock has written 13 books of walks (on Kent, Sussex, Chilterns, Cotswolds, the Lake District, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Severn Valley, and Wye Valley). He is still finding new places to explore but now walks shorter distances - and more slowly - and is finding this equally enjoyable.

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