Long Mynd and the Devil’s Chair
Long Mynd Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 24.8 miles starts from Church Stretton. It climbs over Long Mynd to the Stiperstones before traversing the ridge and returning. There is one really hard climb, that being the first one out of Carding Mill Valley, but after that the route consists of long but steady climbs and three 2 mile descents with nothing too technical, just fun and fast. With 9 miles spent on quite country lanes the ride does seem shorter than the full distance would suggest. The ride starts off in the centre of Church Stretton, conveniently next to a Co-op and some public toilets, at a pay and display car park which isn't too expensive.
1. Leave the car park (GR454936)from the exit by the supermarket and turn right. A short distance later at the mini roundabout turn right again. At the following crossroads continue straight on. Follow the road for a while to a junction with the next road on the left, with the brown sign pointing to Carding Mill Valley (GR453942). Turn left and follow the road up the valley. After leaving the houses go past a car park on left, then the Visitors Centre. Follow the road through a ford and on to another car park.
2. Don't take the little track on the left but follow the wide track out the back of the car park. Follow the track through a few fords. Where the valley splits turn 90deg right to cross the stream for the final time, after which the trail kicks up steeply and climbs up the left hand side of the valley. The loose rocks and steepness make the first part of the climb a push for a short distance but it soon becomes rideable again. While it is possible to climb all the way to the top from this point it is very steep with water bars further up. The trail eventually levels out and leads to a junction at the top of the hill (GR427958).
3. Turn left and follow the wide gravel track down a gentle slope to a junction with a track on the right, just before the gravel track bears left (GR424956). Go through the low wooden posts and follow the track on the right along the top of the hill. Follow this track to the next junction and turn right onto the tarmac (GR420953). Immediately take the doubletrack off to the left to start a descent of over 1.5miles. After descending through a number of bends follow the rutted double track through a dip. Go up a short climb then descend to a gate at the start of a line of trees on the left. Go through the gate and continue descending straight ahead. Keep going straight on, through the next gate, then descend the rocky double track through a couple of bends to a gate at the at the farm at bottom in Coates (GR393954).
4. Once through the gate follow the tarmac round to the right and go over the cattle grid. At the junction directly after go straight on, past a lane on the right, and descend on the singletrack lane to the Horseshoe Inn at Bridges. Go past the pub and climb to the junction just after (GR393964). Turn left to the junction with the road a short distance later. Turn left and follow the road to the next junction a short distance later (GR392965). Turn right and climb the lane. The lane becomes quite steep after a while and comes to a junction. Turn left and continue climbing. The incline becomes more manageable over the next couple of miles with only a few more short sharp kicks before coming to a junction by a car park and the top, at the southern end of the Stiperstones (GR369976).
5. Go straight on, past the car park, and descend the lane to a junction. Bear right at the junction and descend to a junction with a track on a left hand hairpin (GR358980). Go straight on along the track, but take care as the hairpin is a blind corner. At the next continue descending the double track past a track to the house on the right. Continue following this track, past the wooden buildings on the right, to a junction at the end of the woods on the left. Go straight on to the next junction then go straight on again. Go through the gate at the house and follow the track as it bears left up a short climb, before coming to a crossroad junction (GR354989).
6. At the crossroad turn right and climb the wide track. Go past a junction with a track on the right to the next junction with a track on the left, just before the buildings ahead (GR359991). Turn left, then at the junction immediately after turn right and continue climbing to a gate. At the crossroad junction directly after the gate go straight on and continue climbing, taking in the views over Powys on the left and the Devils Chair on the right, to a junction in the tracks on the top of the hill (GR371996).
7. At the junction turn left on the technical, rocky track along the ridge. Go straight on at the next junction and follow the double track that soon starts descending. The start of this fast descent is quite popular with walkers, so please be careful. Continue following the track ahead, past a couple of tracks on the left, then when the trail flattens off bear right to a junction with a gate ahead and a track on the left (GR376009).
8. Turn left down the muddy double track and descend through two gates into the corner of a field. Bear slightly right to follow the ruts through the field to a gate in the trees line opposite. Go through the trees and continue descending through the next field on the rutted double track. Once the track improves and the fences close in on either side, stay by the fence on the left and descend the main track through a number of bends, generally bearing left, past a couple of tracks on the right. At the bottom, where the rocky double track finishes at a lane, go straight ahead to the gate in the bottom of the dip (GR380021).
9. After the gate climb a short way to a junction. Go through the gate on the right, to the right of the lane, and climb the dirt double track. A short distance up the double track take the signed track through the gate on the right, leading into the coner of a field (GR381021). Bear left and descend on the grass, keeping close to the fence on the right. The track soon turns into a nice section on woodland singletrack before reaching a gate. Go through the gate and continue descending straight on along the fire track through the woods. Beware of mountain bikes crossing this trail on the DH tracks. Follow this descent straight on all the way to the junction at the bottom (GR391023).
10. Bear left at the junction then a short distance later turn right down a track that leads to two gates set at 90deg to each other. Go through the gate on the right then bear slightly right across the field to the stream crossing. It can be quite muddy here depending on what livestock is in the field. After the stream bear slightly right to climb into the next field, in the direction of the farm. In the next field bear right, to stay low in the field, and ride to the small gate in the trees below the house (GR391021).
11. After the gate bear left through the trees and go up a short rise to the next gate. After this gate go across the bottom of the field then through the another gate. After this riding becomes a lot less muddy. Follow the track ahead, to the right of the lane and descend to a gate at the end on the left (GR393019). Go through the gate then turn right and descend the lane, which bears left before coming to a junction with a road at the bottom (GR398019).
12. At the junction turn left then take the next right (GR398021). Go over the cattle grid and climb straight ahead towards Huglith farm. At the farm go through the gate on the right and climb to the ridge of Huglith Hill. At the crest, where the track turns right up the ridge, go straight ahead through the gate and descend through the next field to a gate at a junction with the next track (GR413021). Turn right and climb the double track. Go straight on at the junction in the dip then descend to the junction with a lane (GR404011).
13. Turn left and climb the lane to the junction with the road (GR406003). Turn right and climb the main road to a junction at the crest. Go straight on and descend the road for a while before the next junction at the top of a short uphill at Stitt Farms (GR403985). Turn left and climb the steep lane. The lane soon turns left and continues climbing for a while. Go past two field entrances on the right to a junction on the right with a double track marked as a right of way (GR408986). Go down this short but fun descent to a gate in a dip by som e ponds on the left. Go straight on through the gate and climb the rutted double track. Not long after descend the double track through a few fast bends to a couple of fords by a farm, on the left. After the second ford follow the lane off to the right then bear left and climb to a junction (GR416974).
14. Turn left and climb the lane. After a while the lane turns right to climb back onto Long Mynd. At a junction halfway up, with a track on the right, bear left and continue climbing the lane. At the junction with a track on the right at the top turn left to stay on the lane. Descend to the next junction at the fence, with tracks on either side (GR436967). Turn right along the grassy track, following the fence now on the left. The grassy track soon starts descending and comes to a wide, open grassy junction where the fence bears off to the left (GR439967).
15. Jink right, away from the fence, and continue descending directly ahead down another wide grassy track It’s then time to really put the hammer down on this undulating grassy track, but keep an eye out for horses and walkers. Keep going straight on down the trail. When the track steepens continue straight on, in the direction of the white house. Go through the rock section that jumps out you to get the adrenalin flowing then go straight on over a small rise. After the crest go down a short descent to an easy to miss junction in the bottom of the dip (GR451962). If the track then bears left and comes to a junction at a lane, with a house on the right, you have gone a little too far.
16. Turn right and cross the short, slightly boggy section using the wooden planking, towards a cut in the valley, ahead . Near the end of the flat area take the track that drops into the cutting on the left. This tight singletrack bears right across some off camber bedrock before coming out to a plateau. Go straight on to a junction at the far side of the plateau (GR450961). Turn right for a sweet bit of singletrack that clings to the side of the hill and twists its way to a junction at the valley floor (GR448961).
17. Turn hard left and follow the wide grassy track down the valley, along the left hand side of the stream. The track soon bears right and becomes hardpack. After crossing a ford turn left and continue down the valley. Go across the next ford to where the track becomes a tarmac lane. Follow the lane down through the houses to a junction with the main road at the bottom (GR459954). Turn right and follow the main road all the way back to Church Stretton. Go straight on at the crossroad in the middle of town then at the mini roundabout turn left and return to the car park to complete the ride.
There are some permissive tracks used on this route, details of which can be found in the trail guide available from the Tourist Information Centre at Church Stretton.