Distance: 13km (8.1 miles).
Climbing: 460m (1,509ft).
Time: 1hr to 2hrs.
The Long Mynd is a beautiful area that rises up to provide some superb riding on hard, rocky, well-draining ground. It does get extremely busy with walkers though, especially in Carding Mill Valley.
Carding Mill Valley (grid ref SO 446/944, postcode SY6 6PW).
Turn off the A49 at Church Stretton, into Sandford Avenue. Turn right into Shrewsbury Road, then take the first left into Carding Mill Valley. Parking is free at the start of the lane but must be paid for beyond the hut.
Maps and useful books
Ordnance Survey Landranger 137: Church Stretton & Ludlow.
Stay at Willowbatch at the head of the trail (www.willowbatch.co.uk, 01694 722358), the YHA in All Stretton (01588 650656) or Small Batch campsite in Little Stretton (www.smallbatch-camping.co.uk, 01694 723358). Shropshire Hills MTB centre has pods and a bike shop (www.mtb-shropshire.co.uk, 01694 722593). Call the tourist information centre on 01694 723133 for more options. There’s a cafe and toilets at the start, a choice of places to eat in Church Stretton, and the Ragleth Inn in Little Stretton is nice too (www.theraglethinn.co.uk).
Continue up Carding Mill Valley, keeping right at the forks along the main track, which is a tough, long climb and technical in places. At the top turn left on a good track. Bear right at a fork on the marked bridleway and stay on this past a small car park and across a road.
Continue uphill, over a track crossing, to the viewpoint, Pole Bank. Descend the far side, to the road. Keep ahead/right on this, past a small car park on the right. After 250m turn left on a grassy permissive bridleway.
Follow this down, keeping left at the fork. Then go up and down once again, into Little Stretton. Turn left at the junction, then left at the crossroads on the B5477, by the Ragleth Inn.
Follow this road all the way back into Church Stretton, through the centre and then left, back into Carding Mill Valley.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide
MBUK Big Ride images by Russell Burton