STOWE HILL, CWM WOOD, HOLLOWAY ROCKS, RAGGED KINGDOM
Shorter Walk: 5.5 miles (8.5 kms) Full Walk: 7 miles (10.5 kms)
Allow: S.W. – 2-2.5 hrs F.W. – 3-3.5 hrs.
A moderate walk with some gradients — mainly section 1, with views of Knighton, Stanage and Shropshire Hills via woods and open country. Not suitable for the disabled.
Take road S.R Stowe 0.5 mile. off A4113 Knighton to Ludlow, and park near Church in space provided at OS Grid Ref. SO312735.
(1) Approx. 30m past the church at junction of lane with tracks. Take the track to the (R) past a house and up through the plantation climbing to where it meets another junction. (The forest road that goes ahead at the junction then swings right and up is not a Right of Way but often used to avoid the house garden on the right of way.) Bear (L) and follow path at gate and stile into field. Skirt the bottom of the hill following the line of trees on (R) to their end. There bear (L) uphill into an oak plantation, ignoring a gate on the (R). At the end, continue on a path keeping fence and wood on (R). At the end of the wood turn (R) through a gate in the (RH) corner into the Cotroger plantation, coming out to another gate through which Cwm Wood is now seen on the (R). Continue forward in fields just (L) of Cwm Wood to a kissing gate into the wood; follow the fence left to a gate (or go ahead to a forest track and go left). (Avoiding the kissing gate and continuing to follow the fence is easier but not a right of way.) Continue down edge of wood until a farm track is reached. Turn (L) and proceed ahead. (Away on the (R) lies the Iron Age hill fort of Caer Caradoc, and further (R) the village of Chapel Lawn in the valley). Keep ahead for approx. 400m until edge of plantation on (R) is reached. Continue to a gate next to the plantation.
(3) After gate bear (L) passing pool on (L). Cross the field at about 45degrees until Knighton and Kinsey Wood appear ahead. Go through a gate to reach top of a downhill track which follow steeply down passing through Holloway Rocks and winding round to bear (R) to a gate and stile then passing a substantial pool on the (R), where bear (L) following track downhill to another metal gate.
(Here, the shorter walk proceeds forward through the gate downhill to rejoin the road to Stowe Church, and back to the starting point).
(4) For the full walk, do not go through the metal gate but turn sharply R) up a short but quite steep slope (into Ragged Kingdom). Go through the next gate alongside the (LH) fence, take the gate at the corner of the plantation onto a well-defined track up through the Ragged Kingdom plantation, through trees and rhododendron bushes, to the end of the wood. Pass through field gate into open fields alongside (LH) fence. Just below the brow of the hill turn (L) onto broad farm track leading downhill to Stowe Farm. (Good views of Stowe Hill and a substantial part of the route already covered, can be seen on the (L) and ahead, also views down the Teme Valley and, in the distance, the Malverns). Towards the bottom of the track after going through the penultimate gate before the farm, turn (L) keeping to the edge of the gully, continue downhill to a metal gate in (LH) corner leading onto hardcore track, where turn (R).
(5) This now leads directly back to join the road passing the farm and back down to the main A4113 and the starting point.
Submitted by Jean Heggs, revised by Marion Cox 2018.