Shropshire Hills AONB

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Coordinates: 52°29′42″N 2°48′58″W / 52.495°N 2.816°W / 52.495; -2.816

Shropshire Hills
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Map of Shropshire, with the Shropshire Hills AONB in green.
Country United Kingdom
State England
County Shropshire
Districts Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin
Settlements Church Stretton, Clun
Location West Midlands
Area 802 km2 (310 sq mi)
Highest point Brown Clee Hill
 - elevation 540 m (1,772 ft)
Founded 1958
Managed by Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership
 - location Craven Arms
Location of the Shropshire Hills AONB in the UK
Location of the Shropshire Hills AONB in the UK
Website :

The Shropshire Hills area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), in the English county of Shropshire. It is located in the south of the county, extending up to its border with Wales. Designated in 1958,[1] the area encompasses 802 square kilometres (310 sq mi) of land primarily in south-west Shropshire, taking its name from the upland region of the Shropshire Hills. The A49 road and Welsh Marches Railway Line bisects the area north-south, passing through or near Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Ludlow.

Townbrook Valley in the Long Mynd.
The Wrekin near Wellington.


The Shropshire Hills, located in the Welsh Marches, are relatively high, with the highest point in the county, Brown Clee Hill, near Ludlow, towering to a height of 540 metres (1,772 ft). This gives Shropshire the 13th tallest hill per county in England. Titterstone Clee Hill, part of the Clee Hills, is of a similar height to Brown Clee, at 533 metres (1,749 ft), making it the third largest hill. The Stiperstones are the second largest in the county, at 536 metres (1,759 ft), and are notable for their tors of quartzite; particularly notable are Devil's Chair (SO368991) and Shepherd's Rock (SO373998).

More accessible hills are the Long Mynd, which covers an area of 5,436 acres (8½ square miles) and peaking at Pole Bank at a height of 516 metres (1,693 feet), is located near Church Stretton. It contains Carding Mill Valley, a popular recreational area which was developed as a honeypot to draw tourists away from the more sensitive/protected areas of the Mynd. The Wrekin (407 metres (1,335 ft)), located in the far northeastern panhandle of the AONB, is an extremely popular hill with a well-used trail. Located near to Wellington, its position close to the major population centres of Shropshire, and good transport links (A5/M54) make it easy to access. Ercall Hill, a notable geological site, is located just to the north of The Wrekin.

Other prominent hills include Corndon Hill, the summit of which is in Wales.

Towns & Villages[edit]

Church Stretton is the larger of the two towns in the AONB, the other being Clun.

The largest town within the AONB is Church Stretton (sometimes known as "Little Switzerland"), which has a population of approximately 3,000.

Development has shifted south to Craven Arms, which is located just outside the development restriction boundaries, and is where the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership is based.

Clun is a small town of less than 1,000 located in the east, in the Clun Valley, and is the only other town (apart from Church Stretton) within the boundaries of the AONB.

Ludlow, the largest town in South Shropshire, lies just south of the AONB.

Bishop's Castle is a small town of approximately 1,500, which is located in a niche near the Welsh border to the west. Bucknell is a notable village in the south.

Knighton, which is mainly in Wales, has a railway station situated and a small part of its housing in the Shropshire Hills AONB.

Local Authorities[edit]

The AONB falls largely within the Shropshire Council area. Its northeasternmost extremity, in the vicinity of the prominent Wrekin hill, is located in the borough of Telford & Wrekin.


Bridge over the River Clun in the town of Clun.

Historical Attractions[edit]

Stretch of Offa's Dyke near Clun.

Attractions of historical interest located within or near the AONB include Stokesay Castle (near Craven Arms), a well-preserved fortified manor house.

Ludlow Castle in Ludlow was constructed in the 11th Century as the border stronghold of one of the Marcher Lords, Roger de Lacy.

Offa's Dyke, a massive linear earthwork, also runs through the area, and across the Clun Valley area.

Clun Castle is located near Clun.


Other Attractions[edit]


External links[edit]