About

The Wistanstow Challenge (Tour des Marches) follows a 26-mile route through the stunning South Shropshire countryside. If you find the full distance a step too far, you can retire at 12 or 18 miles. It welcomes both walkers and runners, and 2013 will be its seventh year.

Along with the Fire Fighters Charity, the walk also raises money for a local cause in the Wistanstow parish:

2007-10 Wistanstow Primary School
2011 Wistanstow Under 5s group
2012 The Smithy – Wistanstow’s Community Shop

Our event has grown from the initial 75 entries of 2007, to an over-subscribed entry (Max. 150), of 2011 and 2012. The 2013 Entry Form will appear shortly on the relevant page.

Route - Starting at Wistanstow, the route makes its way west to Clun, before heading north to Bishop’s Castle and then east on the homeward journey back to Wistanstow. You’ll experience the rich mixture of hills, river valleys and woodland that make up the stunning scenery. For much of your day you are in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – established in 1958.

As well as using paths that are well known (including parts of The Shropshire Way), we are happy to introduce you to more secretive parts of the rights of way network. Not to worry though, we do provide:
  • a detailed route description
  • colour outline map of the route (1,50 000 scale)
Please note that parts of the route make use of PRIVATE land, over which we’re permitted access by the landowners and tenants for the day of the walk only. This explains why we do not publish the route on the internet and why it should not be attempted at any other time – thanks for your understanding.

Food, drink, and toilets -  A basic breakfast is provided prior to the start, with two water checkpoints and two food checkpoints (Clun and Bishop’s Castle), along the route. A simple meal (incl. vegetarian option), awaits everyone back at the finish.

Toilets are found at the event centre – Wistanstow Village Hall, and at the two food checkpoints of Clun and Bishop’s Castle.

Retirements and Certificates - Please don’t worry if you have to retire (12 or 18 mile options), as you’ll be transported back to the finish and everyone will receive a certificate for the distance achieved. Completions by men under 6hrs 30mins and by ladies under 7hrs 30mins, will result in a gold certificate.

This walk is organised by the
Marches Group of the
Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA)