Over 200 people took part in a long distance walking event, with the 28-mile challenge starting from Welshpool.

At 8am on Saturday, February 24, Welshpool served as the starting line for the 2024 flagship event of the Marches branch of the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA), which saw 200 runners and walkers take on a course of mostly off-road paths.

Despite being known as the South Shropshire Circular, the event is now held in a different place each year, with walkers only knowing the exact route on the day of the trek. This year’s challenge saw participants travelling from Welshpool to Meifod and the surrounding areas.

Walkers had 10 hours to complete the route, passing through four manned checkpoints, with overall ascent of nearly 5000 ft.

County Times: Walkers ready to start the 2024 South Shropshire Circuit inside Clive's Own Welshpool Scout

Event co-founder Neil Fullwood said: “The event first started 41 years ago when I was working with Shropshire’s British Youth Hostel and we wanted to organise an initiative that would encourage people to visit the area.

“The idea of a long distance, challenging walk appealed to us and we decided to stage it on the last Saturday of February so as to keep it in winter.



“The first event was a great success, but as it grew more popular and we thoroughly explored all of South Shropshire, we decided to migrate to keep it interesting, adopting the idea of moving each year.

“As far as I know it’s not a format that any other group in the LDWA uses, but it adds a level of complexity to the event that I think is part of the reason we see so many familiar faces. Since no two years are the same. It’s lovely to see it grow from strength and strength and go to new areas, for instance this is our third time starting from Wales but the first time in our 41 year history that we’ve been to Welshpool.”

Welshpool councillor Richard Church welcomed the participants and opened the event, which set off from 1st Clive's Own Welshpool Scout Headquarters and Community Centre on Berriew Street.

Organiser Jane Webb of Marches LDWA, said "We were delighted to find such a welcoming venue with excellent facilities and extensive parking. The tough route passes through wonderfully unspoilt countryside and I'm sure will encourage entrants to return and explore the area".