The Annual Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival - 5 to 13 May

Now in its 13th year, the annual Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, 5 - 13 May, is offering 53 FREE walks, making it probably the biggest in the West Midlands and one of the best in the country.

The Festival offers a number of ‘themed’ walks ranging from two to 21 miles covering a whole host of topics from the wonderful landscape and geology of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site to the wildlife that inhabits the Gorge’s ancient woodlands. The walks are graded in terms of suitability for walks for everyone through to walks for experienced countryside walkers. 

New for 2018

The Festival is putting a number of brand-new walks for 2018 which include an 8-mile steam-train walk taking in the Telford Steam Railway and a 4-mile walk that looks at Ironbridge through the eyes of tourists over the past 200 years. Also new are the Family Walks – a 4.5-mile walk, encompassing a photo trail around the local woodland. Food-lovers will enjoy a new 10-mile walk that takes in the pretty local village Little Wenlock and its renowned pub, The Huntsman, where lunch will be available to buy.

The Festival is kicked-off on 5 May with a 21-mile walk to the ‘Thankful’ village of Harley on the stunning Wenlock Edge. Harley is the only ‘Thankful’ village in Shropshire – known as such because all men sent to the First World War returned safely.

A couple of walks will take in views of the impressive cooling towers of the former Ironbridge power station. The towers are marked for demolition in the near future so these walks are a wonderful chance to catch a glimpse of these four light-pink concrete monoliths.

Some of the walks are timed to enable carers and parents with school aged children to participate and there are some evening walks starting at around 6pm.

There are a number of routes for the more serious walker with the aim of providing a challenging but enjoyable day out. They range in length from 12 to 21 miles and mainly involve walking away from roads; some include steep ascents. Walkers will also need to carry enough food and water for the whole day.

There is also an opportunity to complete the 50 or 100 mile challenge in the nine days by completing the series of daily 10 – 15 mile walks. Some of these comprise two walks of six miles each, with a break to allow time for lunch in Ironbridge.

All walks are free, however pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited to a maximum of 20 people. Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on some walks, but please check before booking.

To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at or call 01952 433 424.  For more details about the walks visit or email

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