This circular route takes us to the summit of the Wrekin, one of Shropshire's best known landmarks and a fantastic viewpoint. Our route takes us up the steeper southern slopes of the Wrekin, and thus avoids the crowds until it reaches the summit, but be aware that this approach does involve a prolonged steep climb which gains 500 feet in a third of a mile. Proper walking boots will thus be required.
We started this walk from the village of Little Wenlock, where there is a limited amount of parking close to the new village hall. If this space is full, use the car park at step 5 (Lawrence's Hill).
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The village hall is built on a bend in the main road through Little Wenlock. Turn left onto this main road, and follow it as it runs through the village, with the woods that shroud the lower slopes of the Wrekin visible in the distance. At the western end of the village a side road branches off to the left.
Turn onto this road and follow it for two miles as it runs down hill towards the River Severn. This section of the walk offers a series of fine views up towards the Wrekin as well as tantalising glimpses of the Shropshire Hills off to the south-west.
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At this point there is a choice of two routes - the one we had planned to use or the one we did use! To use our planned route continue along the road until the Shropshire Way is signposted leaving to the right. Follow this path as it climbs up to the summit of Little Hill, ignoring step 3 and the first part of step 4.
To follow our actual route follow the road for two miles, to the woods at the south-western corner of the Wrekin. Turn onto the first footpath signposted to the right, and follow it through the woods, ignoring any side branches. This alternative runs close to the edge of the trees, and gives some views out to the east.
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Stay on this footpath until it brings us to a forestry road signposted as a permissive footpath. Turn left and follow this track as it runs across the hillside.
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This track soon crosses the Shropshire Way, easily recognisable as a long straight path that crosses the track at ninety degrees, running straight up the hill. Turn right and follow this path as it climbs up towards the summit of Little Hill.
We follow this path all the way along the top of the Wrekin. The climb through the woods up to Needle's Eye is long and steep, but unavoidable - ignore any side-paths or forestry tracks that appear to offer easier ways up - after a short distance they each turn downhill. Instead continue with the climb until it eventually emerges onto the open ground at the top of the Wrekin. On top of the hill our path soon becomes a major track, which we follow across the top of the hill and all the way down the northern slope to the road and the car park at Lawrence's Hill.
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Turn right onto the road and follow it for about a third of a mile as it gently curves around to the right. Be careful on this busy stretch of road.
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After a third of a mile on the road we reach a rough track that leaves to the left. Turn onto this track and follow it as it climbs up the side of Maddock's Hill and then runs gently downhill towards a scattering of farms.
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Ignore any side turns on this track and follow it until it joins a minor road at a t-junction. Turn right onto this road and follow it back towards Little Wenlock. After one final climb just outside the village our minor road joins the main road through Little Wenlock. Turn right and follow this road back to our starting point.