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Outdoor activities at Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd

Cycling in the autumn sunshine at Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills, Shropshire
Cycling at Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Enjoy the great outdoors at Carding Mill Valley and the Shropshire Hills with miles of footpaths, bridleways and permissive paths to explore. Find out more about the best routes and keeping yourself safe while out walking and cycling on the Long Mynd.


The Long Mynd is predominantly open heathland, so you'll need to choose your destination carefully and take responsibility for your navigation. The pay-off is the natural single-track that you'll have mostly to yourself.

Download the mountain bike map for Long Mynd for details on the different routes.

Sharing the trail

You'll probably come across a lot of other users here, including walkers and horse riders, particularly in Carding Mill Valley. Please be respectful of each other, keep your speed under control and give way. Give a friendly, verbal warning when approaching walkers and horses from behind to let them know you’re passing.

Best practice for passing horses:

  • Slow down
  • Give verbal warning
  • Pass downside where possible
  • Remember, you may have to stop completely, it is their right of way.

Plan your route

The Shropshire Hills offer a variety of routes, from easy to difficult, with differing lengths that can be mixed and matched to create your own adventure. All trails are legal rights of way or permissive routes; you can travel in any direction.


There are walks available for all abilities and of different lengths, so you can choose to go on a short walk up to the reservoir or a much longer walk to the highest point on the hill and back. Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed some good scenery.

Nearby Church Stretton is a designated 'Walkers are Welcome' town. This guarantees great walking, spectacular scenery and warm welcomes wherever you go in the town and the surrounding countryside.

Visitors wild swimming at Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire
Visitors wild swimming at Carding Mill Valley | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Wild swimming

Swimming in the reservoir at Carding Mill Valley is a popular activity, but it is important to be aware of the risks involved before you get into the water. The reservoir is deep in places and the water is cold, even on warm, sunny days.

Before you visit, make sure you have the knowledge, skills and equipment you need to stay safe when you’re in the water.

Safety information

Please follow the safety advice below carefully in order to minimise the risks and stay safe while you’re in the water.

Safety advice

  • Enter the water slowly to allow your body to acclimatise
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking drugs
  • Work out where you’ll exit the water safely before heading in
  • Don’t jump in from the water tower – you don’t know the depth and the shock of the cold can be dangerous.
A smiling visitor rides a grey horse on Rockford Common in the New Forest, Hampshire
Horse riding is popular in the Shropshire Hills | © National Trust Images / John Miller

Horse riding

Views across the Shropshire Hills are stunning from all perspectives, but there’s something extra special about exploring this landscape from horseback. There are miles of bridleways across the Long Mynd and a choice of promoted, long distance routes, including the Jack Mytton Way.

For more information visit Shropshire's Great Outdoors website.



  • Ensure your bike is safe to ride and be prepared for emergencies
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Reflective materials on your clothes or bike can save your life
  • Take a jacket – the Long Mynd doesn’t have many trees, which means great views, but when the wind and rain start you’ll be pushed to find shelter.


  • Wear light layers and sensible shoes
  • Take plenty of drinks and snacks
  • Make sure you have sun, rain or wind protection with you – or possibly all three.


  • Bring plenty of warm, dry clothing, a hat, a hot drink and snack ready for when you get out of the water, even in the summer
  • Wear a wetsuit to keep you warmer.

Safety advice

  • Always have a mobile phone and identification
  • Ride, walk and swim within your ability
  • Always tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back
  • Particular care should be taken on unstable or wet surfaces.

Care for Long Mynd’s natural beauty

  • Protect plants by not riding or walking over them
  • Be considerate to wildlife and livestock - slow down on approaching animals if cycling
  • Take your litter home
  • Many trails have gates - please close them to prevent livestock escaping
  • Ride and walk through puddles and not round them to prevent trails getting wider.
Planning the route on Packetstone Hill at Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd, Shropshire

Discover more at Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd

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