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Loop 1    Where is Church Stretton?

Church Stretton Loop 2 

This is a 4 mile loop best done after lunch. It consists of a monster climb up a winding forest road followed by one of the finest and longest single track downhill's in England. Definitely the finest in the district. If you know better please e-mail me with the details! A route was published (near here) in one of the UK mountain bike magazines recently, and they missed this valley out.... DOH! 
1. From the car park in Church Stretton turn away from the A49 on to the parallel B4370 and follow this a third of a kilometer south in to Little Stretton. turn right here by the pub then left after 40 yards. bear right at the fork straight after then follow this minor road up the hill and over then up a steep grade gasping in to the tiny hamlet of Minton. Go straight through here and follow on till you come to a T junction (after a further moderate road climb). Turn right here and keep going till tarmac ends and you pass through a gate on to forestry land.
2. Head straight on up this wide forestry road and follow it up for about a mile (all the way to the top) it's probably less than a mile but feels like more! When you reach the top bear right towards a sprung loaded gate and then carry on straight across the end of the runway. The official bridleway turns directly right here, straight down the grass which is the gliding club runway.... Thankfully  a permissive track is signposted which you find by hacking at maximum revs directly across the two hundred yards of moor in front of you then turning right on the trail you meet. Look out for the glider tow cables which present a real hazard as they fall to the ground when released in the vicinity of this crossing. The permissive path soon turns left and goes behind the gliding club buildings then veers right again and takes you off the airfield at a cattle grid.
3. go straight on to the grassy bridleway (right of the road) here and bear slightly right following the obvious short grass trail. After 200 yards there is a small dip and the path you need is a few yards further on on the right disappearing in to the Heather/Bracken depending on the time of year. This is a narrow path (sheep track almost) and in the summer it can be almost completely blocked with bracken. You can always see the valley ahead though and it really is worth a bit of a shove through the nasty weed to find this gem of a trail. Once on the trail follow all the way down (fastest rider first) to the farm at the end (the dogs here are a noisy pain but havent caught me yet) and continue to follow the farm road down and back on to the minor road to Minton at it's end. We like to leave this downhill to the end of the ride, then ride back up to near the top and re-run it till our legs fall off.
Follow the highlighted route to reach the bottom of the Minton Batch

see map to show top of descent here
bottom of descent here

Tips on the Minton Batch Downhill If you are pushed for time (or just lazy) it's easier to ride up the Batch from the bottom (the farm road on the right soon after Minton) than to go round the loop through the forest. Don't miss the only turn off which bears right through the bracken (We're just about to go up there on the photo above if that's any help) This is about nine tenths of the way up where the valley narrows considerably and is quite a bit steeper than the main trail.
Loop 1    Where is Church Stretton?