Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire
The Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire is an extraordinary place where nature and history have combined to produce a landscape of great beauty
Culture & Natural History
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 79766
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
The Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire is an extraordinary place where nature and history have combined to produce a landscape of great beauty. After the Ice Age, the River Severn carved out the gorge, which revealed the iron, coal and clay seams that provided the raw materials for the Industrial Revolution. The area was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
Most walks start directly from our hotel and take us along lanes, dismantled railway lines and canal tow-paths as well as countryside footpaths and bridleways through farmland and valleys. The gorge is surrounded by woodland, conserved by the Severn Valley Countryside Trust.
Walks will include sections of long distance trails such as the Shropshire Way, The Severn Way and The Coalbrookdale Trail. We will also venture further afield to Benthall Hall, Buildwas Abbey and Much Wenlock with its Priory.
We include a Passport Ticket to all of the Ironbridge Museums. We'll allow for some free time to explore more. Darby’s blast furnace in Coalbrookdale, Coalport China Museum, Jackfield Tiles, the inclined plane system at Blists Hill to move barges between levels without locks and of course the Bridge itself, built by the ironmasters in 1780 as the first iron bridge in the world, are among the highlights. You'll also gain an insight into the lives of the industrialists, engineers and workers who made this such an iconic place.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Independent arrival at The Valley Hotel from 2pm. Meet your tour leader in the hotel at approximately 6.30pm for a briefing before dinner. All evening meals are taken in the hotel restaurant.
On this holiday we include five walking days and visits to most of the Ironbridge Museums (an annual Passport Ticket for entrance to the Ironbridge museums will be given to you by your leader today).
There will be the opportunity for some sightseeing in the morning as we walk up the Sabbath Walk route to Coalbrookdale. Reaching the village via the mill stream, we'll stop to admire the well preserved houses of rich and poor and admire the blast furnace where Abraham Darby smelted iron using coke. After a visit to the Museum of Iron, we will continue into the hills to Little Wenlock and back through meadows to the hotel.
Five of the eight miles are on the walks to and from the site, with most of the ascents and descents in the morning. You may then walk one or two miles around the site as you prefer.
Today is a varied walk starting through the back streets and alleys of Ironbridge then the woodland of Lloyds Coppice to Blists Hill where we will explore the canals, former mines and blast furnaces, and the iconic Inclined Plane. There is then some free time for lunch and visits to the attractions of the Victorian town.
From the Iron Bridge, we walk past the former lime quarries and kilns of Benthall Edge Wood and then ascend on the Shropshire Way to Wyke and the former medieval village of Arlescot. Our lunch stop will be at the National Trust property Benthall Hall. Then back via Broseley Wood and the narrow alleys known as jitties.
Private transport takes us to Much Wenlock, the site of St Milburga’s Priory, with time to look around. Our walk then ascends Wenlock Edge and descends through woods, fields and along Sheinton Brook to meet the River Severn near Buildwas Abbey and return.
Our final walk of the holiday takes us first along the firmer Severn Valley railway line to Coalport, the junction of canal and river, and site of the China works, now a museum. After visiting, we will ascend through the woods to the interesting town of Broseley, former home of ironmakers and pipemakers.
Finally, we will walk down to Jackfield, the site of the former tile industry, and visit the stunning Tile Museum.
Farewells and independent departure from the hotel. Check out is by 11am. Please remember that your Passport Ticket is valid for 12 months. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.
Departure dates for your selected tour
19th Sep 2021 - 25th Sep 2021 (6 Nights)
5th Jun 2022 - 11th Jun 2022 (6 Nights)
2nd Jul 2022 - 8th Jul 2022 (6 Nights)
11th Sep 2022 - 17th Sep 2022 (6 Nights)
Private transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included.
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
We stay at the three star Best Western Valley Hotel, situated very close to Coalbrookdale and the Iron Bridge. It was once the home of Henry Dickinson, ironmaker, and then Arthur Maw, tilemaker, and is still decorated with Maw's products. A beautiful terrace and lawn stretch down to the River Severn. The spacious bar and 2 AA Rosette restaurant, where breakfast and evening meals are taken, overlook the gardens.
The well-appointed bedrooms in the hotel are clean and comfortable and tastefully decorated offering a 'home from home' environment for you to relax and unwind. All rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, flat screen television and complimentary Wi-Fi.
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Please can you budget for visits to Buildwas Abbey (free to all and free to English Heritage members), Benthall Hall (approx £8 per person in 2021 or free to National Trust members) and Wenlock Priory (approx £7.60 per person in 2021 or free to English Heritage members).
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To reach the hotel…
The nearest train station to the hotel is Telford Central (approximately 4 miles). From the station, you can catch the line 4 bus to Woodside, Warrensway, which will take approximately 45 minutes however you then have a 1.3 mile walk from there to the hotel. The line 8 bus takes you closer to the hotel (a five minute walk) and this can be taken from Telford City Centre. Alternatively, you may decide taking a taxi from the train station is more convenient with luggage and the drive is around 10 minutes. We recommend that you contact a local taxi company to obtain a quote before you travel.
An alternative train station is Shrewsbury where there are buses every 2 hours to and from Ironbridge (Dale End).
If you wish to drive to the hotel the hotel has a large free of charge car park. If you have an electric car, the hotel has an electric car charging point.
Directions if travelling by car...
South Bound from for M6 Junction 11 take the A460 to join the M54
North Bound from the M6 take junction 10A on to the M54
East Bound from the A5 and Shrewsbury join the M54
West Bound from the A5 and A38 take the A460 towards Wolverhampton and join the M5
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the hotel: www.rome2rio.com
Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7:00pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the hotel lounge half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passport Information for United Kingdom
Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
This tour is offered on a half board basis. Meals are provided at the hotel, and lunches are at your own expense.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
The walks we carry out on this holiday are covered by:
Explorer 242 Telford, Ironbridge & The Wrekin (1:25,000) or the smaller Yellow Map available for just £3.99 from the Museum of the Gorge.
Further reading - Ironbridge Gorge by Catherine Clark.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for United Kingdom
No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.
Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
View Dates & Book
Can't find what you're looking for?
Call for help or regional flights on 01707 331133