Best for volcanicity
Long Mynd / Shropshire
17km (10.5 miles) / 494m total ascent / technical difficulty 8 / navigational difficulty 7 / start point SO448944 / OS Landranger 137 / Memory Map region 2 Central England / Acorn Wholefood café or Berry’s on the High Street
Crystal clear springs among the volcanic hills that dominate Church Stretton helped put the town on the map as a Victorian spa resort and still feed the bottled water industry. Somewhat optimistically, the Victorians dubbed the area ‘Little Switzerland’, yet although the local peaks can’t measure up to the Jungfrau or the Eiger, they certainly boast plenty of classic singletrack.
Carding Mill Valley is the popular start point for this ride. Climb the length of the valley on the main Mott’s Road bridleway. At the top turn left and follow the ridge top trail to Pole Cott (just before a patch of trees). Turn right onto the road and follow to the gate for the gliding club. On your left, just before the gate, look out for singletrack heading down the centre of the valley. This is Minton Batch – a classic singletrack descent that follows the stream all the way to Minton. At Minton turn left onto the road, continue through Little Stretton. When you reach a terrace of houses that marks the outskirts of Church Stretton, turn left onto the bridleway. This will bring you out behind the Long Mynd Hotel. Drop down the road, turn left through town and left again to Carding Mill Valley.