Castles & Countryside

Trails around Bishops Castle

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We journeyed through three thousand years - and more - in 'the country for easy livers' A Shropshire Lad, A.E. Housman

As we approached the hill fort site, its wooded slopes rose before us, promising a green-lined walk to reach Bury Ditches.

People of three thousand years ago had made their home here and awoke each day to the views we now had all around us. No wonder they built defences around their fort, protecting this perfect place. We turned, and turned, and turned again in silent contemplation of the landscape spread before us.

From Clunton through Clun Valley, and on to Clun, Housman's 'quietest places under the sun'. We took a walk around this minature town and felt its draw: it seems this place has always tempted people to put down their roots here. Stone Age man left only his tools and weapons to mark where he had settled, but the Saxons left their church of solid stone.

Across the bridge, a footpath led around Clun Castle ruins, one link of many in the old defensive chain.

No need now to guard against Welsh invaders - we walked in peace across the three green mounds where the quiet of a bowling green now stands in place of the former courthouse. Beneath the castle's protective walls, the medieval town had grown and spread.

Its almshouses, still in use today, once gave shelter to Clun's old men, and now offered us its cloistered gardens in which to rest our tired feet and to contemplate if we would ever want to leave.

A wooded Way

At Linley Beeches, the avenue of trees lined our path.

Take the A488 through Lydham and past the junction of the A489. Follow the signs to Linley and then take the road signed to The Bog and Cold Hill. After a short distance the road enters a wood where a public footpath sign marks the parking place for Linley Beeches.

Our walk was short over Linley Hill. We followed the line of beeches, said to have been planted by a long-gone lord, and breathed in the clear air from the splendour below.