Canadian Cycling Magazine
Where to stay
You can tour the region if you wish, or simply base yourself in one or more locations and take on the great single-day rides. Church Stretton is a very popular old market town with loads of great b&bs and a campsite. It also has many cafés, pubs and restaurants. It’s probably the best base for a short visit. Ludlow is a bigger town with a fine castle. It’s well-blessed with accommodation and dining options, but it’s to the south of many of the prime rides. The tiny towns of Bishops Castle and Clun are well worth a day or two. They open things up for raids into neighbouring Wales.
There are numerous campsites around, which are great when the weather is good. There are also a number of youth hostels, offering budget bunks and other sleeping options. The yha Bridges ( yha.org.uk), near Ratlinghope, is nicely situated, and is popular with cyclists.
Riding Shropshire’s northeast
The riding to the north of the A5/M54 is flat-rolling. As long as you avoid the main roads, there are some great rides and superb old English countryside, with a lot of quaint half-timbered villages along the way.
Exploring the mid-south
South from Telford and around to the west of Bridgnorth is a hilly and scenic place to ride. There are some awesome roads and a lot of great scenery around here, particularly along the limestone escarpment Wenlock Edge.
This prime area is well worth a week of any rider’s time. Directly to the west of the A49 is where the best riding is found. From Church Stretton west and over to the Stiperstones, slightly north toward Church Pulverbatch and due south to Ludlow and along the borders with Clun, Knighton and anywhere in between – paradise on dropped bars is what you will find here.
Bike shops and resources
There are several very good bike shops in Shrewsbury (28 km north of Church Stretton). Check out the Trailhead ( thetrailhead.co.uk). In Telford, there is the mountain-bike orientated Plush Hill Cycles ( plushhillcycles.co.uk). A few minutes south of Church Stretton, you’ll find Blazing Bikes ( blazingbikes.co.uk). The mostly mountain bike shop is connected with The Station Inn ( stationinnmarshbrook. co.uk) that offers food and accommodation. Ludlow also has a couple of good places with Epic Cycles ( epic-cycles. co.uk) being the main road bike centre.