The Tour des Marches (formerly the Wistanstow Challenge Walk), 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 the 2018 edition will be its twelve 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
2013 Shropshire Council Access Team (improve Rights of Way in parish)
2014 Wistanstow Village Hall (towards maintenance of the roof)
2015 Wistanstow Village Hall
2016 Wistanstow Village Hall
2017 Wistanstow Village Hall (towards new windows)

Our event has grown from the initial 75 entries of 2007, to a full entry (150), for the last seven years. (Entry Form and Rules)

The 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: 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 This explains why we do not publish the route on the internet and why it should not be attempted at any other time – thanks for your understanding. This and the amount of livestock encountered also explains why we’re unable to accept dogs on the walk.

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)