Craven Arms and Stokesay Castle Walk
A circular walk from the Shropshire town of Craven Arms to the historic Stokesay Castle. The route runs for just over 3 miles on a series of waymarked footpaths and passes the historic castle where you will need to pay an entrance fee to English Heritage to gain access. You can just follow the free public footpaths round the site though if you prefer. On the way there's river paths, fascinating history and fine views of the lovely countryside of the Shropshire Hills AONB.
The walk starts from Craven Arms train station and follows the Shropshire Way south through the countryside to the castle. Here you will find a wonderful medieval manor house which dates all the way back to the 13th century.
You can learn all about the history of the castle before enjoying a stroll around the beautiful gardens. The walled garden features a mix of herbaceous perennial plants and shrubs as well as Hydrangeas, Aster, lavenders and old variety roses. There's also a moat walk with fine views of the Shropshire Hills and castle.
After exploring the castle you can pick up a riverside footpath along the River Onny. This will lead you north back into the town.
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Stokesay Castle Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Stokesay Castle Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Stokesay Castle OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Stokesay Castle Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The castle includes a lovely tea room where you can enjoy refreshments with a view of the surrounding Shropshire countryside. In Craven Arms you could also visit the Stokesay Castle Hotel where there's good food and a nice pub garden. You can find the pub on School Road at a postcode of SY7 9PE for your sat navs.
The area is great for dog walking and there's some more nice trails just to the south in Stoke Wood. You can take dogs in to the grounds of Stokesay Castle but please keep them on leads in this area. The Stokesay Castle Hotel mentioned above is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Cravens Arms is close to two of the other major highlights of the Shropshire Hills AONB. Wenlock Edge and the Long Mynd are both close by and are very popular with walkers.
Another nice idea is to follow the Shropshire Way west from the town to visit Sibdon Castle Farm and Hopesay Hill.
To the west is the village of Hopton Castle where you can visit the ruins of the mediaeval castle which was besieged in a battle of the English Civil War during 1644. There's also the lovely Wood 'n' Ribbon cafe in this area. The eclectic site has a lovely outdoor area with animals including goats, hens and ponies. They also provide accommodation in the shape of quality glamping pods too. You could follow the Heart of Wales Line Trail to the site. The long distance trail starts in Craven Arms and follows the course of the wonderful rural railway to Llanelli in South Wales.