Trails around Oswestry
In Oswestry, you'll find the perfect base for exploration on either side of the border.
The origin of Oswestry's name is in a violent past. When Oswald, King of Northumbria was defeated by Prince Penda of Mercia in 642AD, his torn body was nailed to a tree - Oswalds Tree, hence Oswestry. An eagle carried away one of his limbs. Where the eagle dropped it at a place now known as Oswalds Well in the south-west of the town, a spring with healing powers is said to have risen up.
The town was once the centre of the rail network which connected England with North and West Wales. This area, with the Iron Age hill fort of Old Oswestry, was probably an importnant hub several thousand years before the railways.
People still gather in Oswestry today. You'll find the busiest and biggest street-market in the Welsh Borders here, continuing a 700 year old tradition. In fact there are two markets, one at the Horse Market and Bailey Head in the town and the other at Oswestry Smithfierld livestock auctions just outside.
Setting out from Oswestry, you're very much in the borderlands, a chance to enjoy the countryside of both England and Wales.
Exploring around Oswestry you can either take a short trip into Shropshire's own Lake District at Ellesmere, amke Nesscliffe Hill and Montgomery Canal your afternoon's objective or cross the border for a day trip into the Tanat Valley - the hidden valley of Wales.