Walking around Audlem

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Audlem view from Church tower

Each month, the Audlem Online team send a 500-word article about the village to the publishers of the Whitchurch Gossip and Market Drayton Gossip magazines.

These publications are widely (and freely) distributed in North Shropshire and in Audlem so many locally see a copy, particularly of the Whitchurch magazine. Many of our readers, however, are outside their distribution area.

We thought you might like to read what we said about the village this month in the March 2012 issues that were illustrated by Steve Hyder's splendid photograph from the tower of St James' church.

Walking around Audlem

Audlem has long been a popular destination for those enjoying a walk in beautiful countryside.

With the bonus of the Shropshire Union canal, with its staircase of fifteen locks passing right through the village, a network of paths and the canal’s towpath provides a multitude of walks, none of them too strenuous.

Free walks leaflets are available, with six walks ranging from a leisurely mile in length to a more ambitious six miles. They can be found in the village post office, newsagents, Mill Shop and pubs.

Each of the six walks include a stretch of the canal. A mile north is the huge Overwater marina, opened in 2010. The walk northwards along the canal towpath, the Weaver Way, is proving ever more popular with views of lakes, the River Weaver (crossed via an aqueduct), rolling countryside and the busy marina. 

To the south there is always activity on the canal and its locks with the towpath walk leading up towards the hamlet of Coxbank. It is hardly a surprise that this stretch of the canal has been described as one of the finest walks in lowland England. 

Moss Hall, a fine Jacobean house, is just outside the village and can be admired from one of the footpaths that cross meadows between the canal and the village.

Two miles to the south is Highfields, a Tudor mansion which can also be be viewed from a public footpath. OS Explorer map 257 covers the Audlem area where many more paths and circular routes can be found.

On your return to Audlem village, there’s three pubs, two cafés and take-away food to refresh you by the side of the canal or in the village centre. Few can resist sitting outside the Shroppie Fly at Lock 13 watching the canal traffic while enjoying a pint and a meal.

Nearby is the Audlem Mill Shop with a wide range of gifts including a fine collection of canal and transport books.The annual Canal Art Exhibition is being held at Audlem Mill from 11th March to 14th April.  The exhibition, now in its fifth year, will feature well over 150 works from around 15 artists, including Audlem's Sheila Webster. A wide selection of paintings in watercolour, oil and acrylics, and some photographs makes this now the largest annual collection of canal art in the country.

The Bridge Inn and Lord Combermere are both popular pubs, the former just above the canal and the latter in the village centre opposite St James’ church.

Walkers will find much of interest in the village centre including refreshment at the Old Priest House, just over the road from the church and also a popular haven for cyclists, and at Jinja Bakes Café with its fabulous cakes and coffee.

With Spring now with us, the village will soon be looking at its best. From the Easter weekend, you could combine a walk with a ride along the canal on Audlem Lass, the popular boat service between Lock 15 and the Overwater Marina.