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March 2, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Ironbridge Walking Festival 2018

The Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival involves 53 free guided walks in & around the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, 5 – 13 May. It’s now probably the biggest walking festival in the West Midlands & one of the best in the country.”

Walks 48 & 52 on the festival’s last day (Sun 13 May), include a very rare chance to walk in the Apley Estate, but also a stop off in at Apley Farm Shop’s Creamery Cafe. Apley Estate which is strictly private at all times. This is an exceptional occasion when access is given.

The Festival offers a number of ‘themed’ walks ranging from two to 21 miles covering a whole host of topics from the wonderful landscape and geology of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site to the wildlife that inhabits The Gorge’s ancient woodlands. The walks are graded in terms of suitability for walks for everyone through to walks for experienced countryside walkers.

New for 2018

The Festival has a number of brand-new walks for 2018 which include an 8-mile steam-train walk taking in the Telford Steam Railway and a 4-mile walk that looks at Ironbridge through the eyes of tourists over the past 200 years. Also new are the Family Walks – a 4.5-mile walk, encompassing a photo trail around the local woodland. Food-lovers will enjoy a new 10-mile walk that takes in the pretty local village Little Wenlock and its renowned pub, The Huntsman, where lunch will be available to buy.

The Festival kicks-off on 5 May with a 21-mile walk to the ‘Thankful’ village of Harley on the stunning Wenlock Edge. Harley is the only ‘Thankful’ village in Shropshire – known as such because all men sent to the First World War returned safely.

A couple of walks will take in views of the impressive cooling towers of the former Ironbridge power station. The towers are marked for demolition in the near future so these walks are a wonderful chance to catch a glimpse of these four light-pink concrete monoliths.

Some of the walks are timed to enable carers and parents with school aged children to participate and there are some evening walks starting at around 6pm.

There are a number of routes for the more serious walker with the aim of providing a challenging but enjoyable day out. They range in length from 12 to 21 miles and mainly involve walking away from roads; some include steep ascents. Walkers will also need to carry enough food and water for the whole day.

There is also an opportunity to complete the 50 or 100-mile challenge in the nine days by completing the series of daily 10 – 15 mile walks. Some of these comprise two walks of six miles each, with a break to allow time for lunch in Ironbridge.

All walks are free, however pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 people. Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on some walks, but please check before booking.

To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at tic@ironbridge.org.uk or call 01952 433 424.  For more details about the walks visit www.ironbridgewalking.co.uk or email info@ironbridgewalking.co.uk.

Programme of walks

Below is the full programme of walks for the 13th Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, running from 5 to 13 May 2018. Grade 1 walks are suitable for all – Grade 5 are for experienced countryside walkers with above average fitness. The programme is subject to change at short notice.

SATURDAY 5 MAY

  • Walk 1, 8am – ‘Thankful’ Harley and Wenlock Edge. 21 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 2a, 9.30am – The Money side. 5 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 2b, 1.30pm – The Sunny side. 5 miles, grade 3 (can be combined with Walk 2a)
  • Walk 3, 10am – Steam Trains and Views. 8 Miles, grade 3
  • Walk 4, 10.30am – Ironbridge though Tourist’s eyes. 4 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 5, 10.30am – A tour of the Ironbridge Museums. 12 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 6, 2pm – The Gorge’s Transport History. 4 miles, grade 2

SUNDAY 6 MAY

  • Walk 7, 8am – Industrial Wenlock (Edge). 20 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 8, 9.15am – Telford Town Trails. 15 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 9, 10am – Circular Tour of ‘The Jitties’, Broseley. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 10, 10am – Birds of the Wrekin. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 11, 10.30am – Family Walk (Coalbrookdale). 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 12, 2pm – Catch them while you can! 6 miles, grade 2

MONDAY 7 MAY

  • Walk 13, 8am – South West of the Severn. 20 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 14, 8.30am – Forgotten Stations and Furnaces. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 15, 10am – Limekilns New Works. 11 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 16, 10.30am – Broseley Heritage. 5 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 17, 2pm – Family Walk (Ironbridge). 4.5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 18, 6pm – Pub Walk. 3 miles, grade 2

TUESDAY 8 MAY

  • Walk 19, 9.30am – The New Shropshire Way through the Gorge. 14 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 20, 10am – Banghams Wood. 5 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 21, 10am – Lloyds Coppice and beyond. 6 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 22, 2.30pm – Buildwas & Little Wenlock. 8 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 23, 6pm – The Geology and Mining Legacy of the Gorge. 4 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 24, 6pm – Spectacular Views of Ironbridge. 4 miles, grade 3

WEDNESDAY 9 MAY

  • Walk 25, 8am – The Ironmen Way. 21 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 26, 8.30am – The Gorge Before the Industrial Revolution. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 27, 9.30am – A Walk by the River, an Ancient Church & Wyldwoods. 11 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 28, 10am – Coalbrookdale Dingles. 3 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 29, 1.30pm – Benthall Hall Estate & Gardens. 5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 30, 6pm – Life and Times of Madeley. 4 miles, grade 2

THURSDAY 10 MAY

  • Walk 31, 8.30am – Gorge-ous Landscapes. 16 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 32, 9.30am – Grindleforge & Kemberton Mill. 12 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 33, 10am – Benthall Edge. 3 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 34, 1.30pm – Round Coalbrookdale. 6 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 35, 2pm – Sutton Wood. 3 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 36, 6pm – Getting to know Broseley and Gerry Foxall. 4 miles, grade 2

FRIDAY 11 MAY

  • Walk 37, 8.30am – China Man, Green Man & Wyldwoods. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 38, 10am – Views from the north-side of the Gorge. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 39, 10.30am – The Geology & Mining Legacy of the Gorge. 4 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 40, 1.30pm – Pools and a Mediaeval Manor. 7 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 41, 6pm – Tour of Brewing at All Nations. 4 miles, grade 2

SATURDAY 12 MAY

  • Walk 42, 8am – The Gorge by Rail. 20 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 43, 9.15am – The Wrekin ‘Giant’ Walk. 15 miles, grade 5
  • Walk 44, 10am – Circular Tour of ‘The Jitties’, Broseley. 4 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 45, 10.30am – A walk to Much Wenlock and lunch with a Huntsman. 10 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 46, 11am – Madeley Court Nature Ramble. 2 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 47, 1pm – Lloyds Heritage. 7 miles, grade 3

SUNDAY 13 MAY

  • Walk 48, 8am – Apley Estate and Terrace Walk. 20 miles, grade 4
  • Walk 49, 9am – The Madeley Trail. 6 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 50, 10am – Circular Tour of ‘The Jitties’, Broseley. 4 miles, grade 3
  • Walk 51, 10.30am – Mindfulness Walk around Coalport and Jackfield. 5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 52, 11am – Apley Terrace and Estate Walk. 6.5 miles, grade 2
  • Walk 53, 1.30pm – Workers, now and then. 6 miles, grade 2

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