Walk up Stiperstones – Manstone Rock & Devils Chair from The Bog
A short walk up the popular summit of Stiperstones in Shropshire
|5.74 km||161 m||1.5-2 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: The Bog Visitor Centre
The Bog Visitor Centre serves incredible cake, tea and coffee as well as hosting a number of stalls showcasing local produce and craft. There are a number of highly regarded pubs in the area in particular The Stiperstones Inn.
Although the route is well trodden and the paths are obvious, the path along the tops are very rocky, these need some care, especially when wet. Also climbing the rocky outcrops can be dangerous and supervision is advised where necessary.
Public Transport: Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): SY5 0NL
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Walk up Stiperstones – Manstone Rock & Devils Chair from The Bog Route Map and GPX Download
Walk up Stiperstones – Manstone Rock & Devils Chair from The Bog Details
The Stiperstones are a distinctive hill in Shropshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Formed some 480 million years ago, during the last ice age the summit stood out above the glaciers and was subject to constant freezing and thawing which shattered the quartzite into a mass of jumbled scree surrounding several residual rocky tors.
This area is easily accessible, and navigation is straight forward, however scrambling on these rocky outcrops including Manstone Rock (536m) and Devils Chair can be a real joy for those seeking an adrenaline rush. This range also holds National Nature Reserve status and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, one can see many ranges of nesting birds, insects, flora and fauna.
Manstone Rock & Devils Chair Route Details
1) From the car park take a right onto the road and follow it up and round to the left, take a left-hand path on the bend and leave the road as it snakes right. Head through the first gate on the right-hand side of the drive, making sure you take the public footpath and not the house/farm. Keep heading along this trail passing through three gates, traveling in a Northerly direction for roughly 1.4km.
2) You will come to a junction with a path on your right-hand side heading in an Easterly direction. Take this path, you will see Devils Chair in front of you in the distance on the higher ridge. Continue along here as it meanders around and on to the higher ridge.
3) You eventually come to a junction on the high ridge where you will see a cairn, take the right-hand turn towards the rocky outcrops now heading in a Southerly direction. Continue along this trail cutting through the rocky outcrops including Devils Chair and Manstone Rock, standing 536m high with a trig point on top. Here you can scramble (with care) on the unique rocky tors. This ridge is roughly 2.3km long and whilst the first section is very obvious, the second half is made up of different interlocking paths, feel free to pick up the different paths but make sure you don’t lose any height either side of the ridge and keep close to the rocky outcrops.
4) As you lose height maintaining the same heading, the path snakes down the hill, hitting two gates before exiting the onto the tarmacked road (*), take a right hand turn onto this road as it snakes left and back down to the car park / route finish.
(*) At this point instead of taking a right down the road, a stile directly ahead will take you across to Nipstone rock, a lovely longer variation when weather is permitting!
The Legend of the Stiperstones
As the legend goes, the Devil was actually planning to use his load of stones to fill in the valley on the other side of the Stiperstones, which is known as Hell’s Gutter.
Unfortunately for him, as he got up after his rest on the highest rock of the Stiperstones, his apron strings snapped and the rocks tumbled out.
Instead of picking them up, the Devil left the rocks scattered all over the ridge – the mucky pup – and the legend has it that you can smell the brimstone on them in hot weather.
However, the claim that the Devil wears an apron is quite unique and the legend doesn’t offer an explanation for this.
Perhaps he was doing a spot of washing up for Mrs Satan when he had a compulsion to fill up that irritating valley in Shropshire with rocks.
Mind you, this isn’t the end of the Devil’s involvement on this rocky outcrop.
The Evil Guy is also said to use the Devil’s Chair as… er… a chair.
On the longest night of the year, according to legend, he sits on his chair and summons all his local followers – witches and evil spirits, mainly – and they choose their king for the year.