Mercian Way Cycle Routes
c/o Shropshire Council
Discover ancient woodland, peaceful river scenery and the Severn Valley Railway whilst cycling from the Wyre Forest to Bridgnorth. Free Maps: Phone or see website.
Discover the hidden heart of the country by exploring the Severn Valley as you've never seen it before. Walkers and cyclists can now enjoy some of Shropshire's most spectacular scenery by travelling this newly-opened section of the National Cycle Network's Mercian Way. Running from the ancient Wyre Forest near Bewdley through the award-winning Severn Valley Country Park at Alveley, the route not only covers quiet rural lanes it includes miles of off-road tracks that take the visitor into a lost world of unspoilt riverside, woods and meadows, far from main roads and the frenetic pace of everyday life.
The Highley section is particularly appealing, offering a unique opportunity to walk or cycle alongside the majestic vintage steam trains of the Severn Valley Railway in a safe, family-friendly, traffic-free environment. There are plenty of country pubs and village shops providing food and drink along the way, and plenty of family friendly attractions including Arley Arboretum, one of the oldest in the country. Then there's Highley's Sculpture and History Trails and Chelmarsh Reservoir with its colourful sailing dinghies and abundant bird life. Take a river crossing via the historic Hampton Loade Ferry, marvel at spectacular Daniel's Mill, still powered by its massive iron water-wheel, and taste all the delights of beautiful Bridgnorth, including the famous Victorian Cliff Railway.
And why is it called the Mercian Way? From the Wyre Forest to Chester the route runs through the former ancient Kingdom of Mercia, once ruled by the powerful Offa, the first man to claim the title of King of England. To commemorate the route's links with the region's turbulent past, special cast-iron waymarkers have been commissioned in the form of Anglo-Saxon warriors. Set up at strategic points along the trail, the soldiers will be on duty all year round to ensure that travellers can easily get their bearings.
Free cycle maps are available from tourist information centres, libraries, bike shops and can be downloaded for free from www.shropshire.gov.uk/cycling.nsf, or they can be sent to you for free by phoning Shropshire County Council on 01743 253008.
The Mercian Way Cycle Route is open 24 hours a day, all year round.