Castles of the Shropshire Marches

Along the border between England and Wales
Discover the heart of the Shropshire Marches on this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transported. Stay in fine hostelries serving real ales and delicious home-made cuisine, and explore dramatic Norman castles and fascinating Saxon hillforts en route.
Castles of the Shropshire Marches. 4 nights
Castles of the Shropshire Marches. 4 nights

Holiday information


A walking holiday in Shropshire

In the heart of the border Marches, Shropshire is an archetypal English county of great historical importance, from the Saxon hillforts and Norman castles built to defend against Welsh incursion, to the rolling hills and winding river valleys that provided the background to the Industrial Revolution. Today all is calm, and this quiet, unspoiled corner of rural England within a stone’s throw of the Welsh border is a fascinating area to explore.
Leaving historic Bishop's Castle, this walk follows ancient drovers’ trails along the ridgeways, or 'cefns' of the border, linking in with sections of the Shropshire Way as you approach the historic market town of Ludlow. You pass through charming unspoiled villages, explore castles and hillforts, and wander across common pastureland that has not been ploughed for centuries.



The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    You should always be prepared for wet weather, whichever month you are travelling.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 6 6 9 12 16 19 20 20 18 14 9 7
    mm 67 52 60 56 62 60 52 72 61 60 65 75
  • Arrival in Bishop's Castle
    Night 1: at The Castle Hotel (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Linear walk from Bishop's Castle: 16km (10 miles), 5.5hrs; ascent 400m/descent 350m
    Your first walk begins with a short transfer south to the picturesque riverside village of Clun. After visiting the ruined castle, once an important border fortress, continue east to one of the finest hillforts in England, Bury Ditches. Soak in the spectacular views from the top before making your way back to Bishop's Castle through this unspoiled border country of quiet valleys, shady copses and fertile common land.
    Linear walk from Bishop's Castle: 16km
    Around Bishop's Castle, approaching Bury Ditches
  • Bishop's Castle to Ludlow: 15km (9.5 miles), 5hrs; ascent 200m/descent 230m
    Leaving Bishop’s Castle behind, you are transferred to the 13th-century Stokesay Castle, arguably the best fortified manor house in the country. Take time to explore its halls, tower and moat before continuing on foot along the Shropshire Way, passing through gentle and undulating countryside as well as the tiny hamlet of Bromfield, whose unassuming Norman church boasts a remarkable painted ceiling, before crossing Oakly Park and the River Teme to reach Ludlow, where you spend two nights at The Cliffe at Dinham.
    Bishop's Castle to Ludlow: 15km
    Stokesay Castle, en route from Bishop's Castle to Ludlow
  • Explore Ludlow
    Once described as “the most perfect town in England”, Ludlow is an architectural delight of medieval and Tudor half-timbered houses crowned by its impressive Norman castle. The town is also famous for its gastronomy – ranging from its lead in the Slow Food movement, to its many fine restaurants, a bustling farmers’ market, a wide selection of specialist food shops and two annual festivals: the Ludlow Spring Festival in early May which showcases local produce to the tune of local bands; and the Marches Food & Drink Festival (held every September) featuring the famous ‘sausage trail’.

    Circular walk from Ludlow: 9.5km (6 miles), 3hrs; ascent/descent 230m
    Or, for a final stretch of the legs, we also provide notes for a short circular walk into the hills south of Ludlow. After crossing the River Teme, your route climbs through the mixed woodland of Mortimer Forest, named for the Norman Lords who once controlled the area, before dropping down into the secluded Mary Knoll Valley and returning to Ludlow via a different path.
    Circular walk from Ludlow: 9.5km
    Ludlow town trail


You stay at one inn and one country hotel, both very welcoming and of a high quality.
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 4 nights: 01 March 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 March 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2024 £675 £230
    1 May - 30 Sep 2024 £695 £230
    1 - 27 Oct 2024 £670 £230
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2025 £705 £240
    1 May - 30 Sep 2025 £725 £240
    1 - 27 Oct 2025 £700 £240
    3rd & 4th person discount -£60 to -£62
    Single traveller supplement £60 to £62
    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, and any connecting travel detailed below.

    Included travel: transfer Ludlow-Bishop's Castle to collect car OR from/to Craven Arms or Ludlow railway stations

    Please note: this holiday is not available to children under 12 years, nor are dogs permitted on Inntravel holidays

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    The Castle Hotel, Bishop's Castle
    'Master': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £27
    'Master': 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £35
    The Cliffe at Dinham, Ludlow
    Premium: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £16
    Premium: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £17
    Standard plus: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £9
    Standard plus: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £9
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £26
    Superior: 01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £27

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    The Castle Hotel, Bishop's Castle (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £165 £165
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £171 £171
    The Cliffe at Dinham, Ludlow (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2024 £140 £140
    01 Mar - 31 Oct 2025 £146 £146
  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - via Craven Arms station

    Outward route Price per person Latest
    arrival time
    taxi Craven Arms station to hotel (0h20) included flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Craven Arms station (0h30) included flexible

    Connecting travel options - via Ludlow station

    Outward route Price per person Latest
    arrival time
    taxi Ludlow station to hotel (0h30) included flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Ludlow station (0h10) included flexible
What is included
  • 4 nights
  • 1 dinner
    2 picnics
    4 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • taxi to/from local railway stations or to collect car

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • Yes, absolutely. Over the years, we have arranged a great many holidays in the UK for customers living in the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond.

    If you've never travelled with us before, it's worth reading the web pages which explain how we can cater for customers who live outside the UK. The main thing to bear in mind is that our tour operator's licence doesn't allow us to book flights that originate outside the UK, and nor are we able to book rail travel in the UK, so we can't make travel arrangements for you, other than pre-arranging taxis between the local railway station and the accommodation – see the ‘prices & travel’ section for the options available.

    For practical information about travelling to the UK, see the 'what do I need to know about travelling to England, Scotland and Wales?' question.
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • We are happy to take bookings for families of teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved, but please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.

    At the request of some of the accommodation providers on this holiday, we are unable to accept bookings for children aged under 12.
  • Unfortunately not. The Inntravel team includes many dog owners, but the extra considerations – such as whether taxi firms accept dogs for transfers to the start of walks, whether routes cross private land on which dogs are not allowed, and proximity to a vet’s – would add another layer of complexity to what are already quite complex holidays.
  • As a minimum, you will need a passport to enter the UK; requirements vary according to your nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. You’ll need to check requirements on the website of your own country’s government or that of the British government. Our essential travel information page provides links to websites where you can find out about the applicable requirements, along with general official travel advice.
    English is the most widely spoken of several official languages; in Wales, for example, Welsh has equal status. The currency is the British pound (Scotland issues its own bank notes, but Bank of England notes can be used in Scotland and vice versa). The UK follows Greenwich Mean Time during autumn and winter, but switches to British Summer Time (GMT + 1) from late March until late October.
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