Whether walking, cycling or using public transport, there are plenty of ways to get out into the Wrekin Hills.
The Shrewsbury to Ironbridge section of Route 45 of the National Cycle Network (a long distance link between Chester and Salisbury) skirts the southern edge of The Wrekin as it travels along Spout Lane, which is an officially designated ‘Quiet Lane’. To the north of the hill, another artery of the network, NCN Route 81 (connecting mid-Wales to the West Midlands), cuts straight through the centre of Wellington town centre, where cycling parking is available in a number of locations. To find out how these options fit into the local picture, it may be worth downloading a copy of Telford and Wrekin Borough Council’s cycling and walking map, which contains a plethora of options for heading out into Wrekin country.
Should you need help with spares and repairs, they can be found in Wellington at Perry’s Cycles (33 Tan Bank TF1 1HJ) and Saturday Cycles (3a Market Approach TF1 1BW).
Wellington is a ‘Walkers Are Welcome’ town, a national accreditation scheme that not only recognises excellent walking opportunities for local people and tourists but the quality of information available to them. For more details about local rights of way in the area, take a trip to the Wellington group’s website. A network of footpaths passes directly through the Wrekin Forest, including medium- and long- distance routes such as the Shropshire Way, Severn Way and Hutchison Way. More locally, a guided series of forest trails suitable for walkers and riders (look out for those colour coded finger posts!) have been devised for The Ercall and Limekiln Woods. At Little Wenlock, the Tom Pickering Benchwalks provide another series of self-contained circular walks around former mining sites that once blighted the area.
Wellington is the closest railway station to The Wrekin and lies on the mainline between the mid-Wales coast and the West Midlands, with hourly services to Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth and Birmingham, and a twice-daily train to London. Details and timings of local services can be found by visiting the National Rail Enquiries website (station code: WLN). Information about travelling with bicycles can be accessed via the websites of West Midlands Railway and Transport for Wales, the companies responsible for the majority of local services on the line.
Details of local bus services travelling through Wellington can be found by visiting the website of Arriva, the local service provider. No buses currently pass directly by The Wrekin itself.
Local people comprise three quarters of all visitors to The Wrekin but, despite this statistic, evidence suggests nine of every ten trips to the hill are made by car. Aside from providing the motivation for the creation of this website (and our ‘Explore The Wrekin’ guides), the congestion these relatively short journeys create is unsustainable in the long-term, threatening the quality of the ‘wilderness experience’ that attracts so many to the area in the first place. Although a pay car park can be found opposite the main track up the hill at the Forest Glen (which is owned by Shropshire Wildlife Trust) it often becomes very busy, especially at weekends — when the surrounding lanes are regularly clogged by cars. Free parking is available, however, in Ercall Lane close to the bridge over the M54 and, if you don’t mind a good walk (of one to two miles), many more spaces can be found in Wellington town centre.
If you’re cycling or walking around The Wrekin and feel the need for a quick snack, your opportunities on the hill itself are currently very limited! However, there are a number of options in the wider vicinity, several of which specifically cater for visiting walkers:
The Huntsman, Little Wenlock (TF6 5BH)
The Buckatree Hall Hotel, Ercall Lane (TF6 5AL)
Red Lion, Holyhead Road, Wellington (TF1 2EW)
The Wickets, Holyhead Road, Wellington (TF1 2EB)
Old Orleton, Holyhead Road, Wellington (TF1 2HA)
Are we missing your business out? Let us know, and we’ll add it to the list.