Here is a five-mile woodland ramble starting from the center of historic Ludlow in Shropshire.
Your walk is a mix of town and country, the best of both some may say. You can stop half way through at Ludlow Castle, take in this historic monument, may be have some lunch. Then finish your walk back in the center of Ludlow with a well-deserved rest and an afternoon tea at the charming De Grey's teashop.
We're not going to argue with Sir John Betjeman when he said that Ludlow is 'probably the loveliest town in England'. With that in mind, you can almost think of this walk as a bonus. You climb high into Whitcliffe Woods then emerge on Whitcliffe Common for the very best view of the town and its great Norman castle, towering above the River Teme.
From the common you could soon be back in the centre of Ludlow, but it is also possible to return along the riverside path, known as the 'Breadwalk' and take in a little local geology on the way.
To walk through the doors of De Grey's teashop on Broad Street is to step back 50 years in time. The building itself is much older, with low sagging ceilings and heavy beams.
But the red and white tablecloths create the atmosphere, along with the waitresses in their black dresses and white pinafores serving neatly cut sandwiches and trays of tea - with strainers. There are no new-fangled teabags at De Grey's. Tea here can be a set meal, including fresh sandwiches, spongy scones and pastries bulging with cream, or more simply, a pot of tea, with a choice of cake from the display.
Lunches range from Welsh Rarebit and triple-decked sandwiches to hearty pies and fresh salads, with a selection of wines to accompany your meal. De Grey's is open every day from 9am to 5pm (5.30pm in summer). Telephone: 01584 872764.
DISTANCE 5 miles.
Returning via the riverside Breadwalk, rather than directly, would add an extra ¾ mile to this. It's also possible to walk the 'Whitcliffe Loop' alone (2 ½ miles) by parking at the Forestry Commission Headquarters.