The Burway, Church Stretton

The Big One

Page updated - 5/04/2016

One of the many ways to get out of Church Stretton is to go straight up and over the Long Mynd.  Right in the centre of the town is the turning off the cross-roads with this sign - The Burway 20%

It's No.39 in 100 Greatest and scored at 9 out of 10 - so its a toughie.  An added pressure is how you can see it as you approach Church Stretton - its that grey ribbon draped over the hillside.  Takes a moment to realise its a road...

When you get up you'll be over 500m high, and you'll have gained in excess of 300m over a 3km distance.

The Burway from the A49
Page Updates - 1st April - new photos of the climb here plus exact distances have been added to the description below:

Riding the Hill
You head right and then go left as the road narrows past a white house on the left for the first 230m of "proper" hill riding.  Immediately around the corner things start going skywards with a lengthy 10% pull through more housing for 190m.

At the end of this is a cattle grid and immediately it is the high teens for the gradient.  You are coming out onto the treeless hillside and pretty soon it's 20%.  From here it carries on very steep for 390m to the start of an Armco barrier - this is the thing that is daunting about the Burway - how steep it is for how long.  And you can see it too - you can see what's up ahead and know that there's no respite.

Very soon you are up so high that you can look directly down on cars and people in the valley below, to the right.  Its a narrow road with some passing places, and watch out for the sheep.

After the initial climb you head around left into a long curving route still going upwards at 17% or so.  This sweeps around right and up to a left-hand corner - 450m of riding in this part. 

With the gradient lessening around the corner you have another 130m to a narrow brow and a small dip which is you first bit of relief. It's a total of 1390m of distance for this super tough part of the hill.

After the dip the climb continues on for another 1.5km or so but now at 10% over the high moors of the Long Mynd.  Hard to keep doing on this part (what with jelly-legs), and watch out for the wind which can whip over the gorse.

Ave. Gradient8.5%
Max. Gradient20%
Elevation Gained285m
ConditionsClean tarmac, narrow road
Strava LinkLink
Several Strava segments for this infamous hill

Follow the signs from the centre of Church Stretton.

Hills nearby
Probably advisable to take a flat route to the start of this major climb!  But if hills are what you want try coming over Bufton Bank and Cardington then dropping down into Church Stretton.

After The Burway you can drop towards Stiperstones.

Last word:
An absolute toughie - offers a long, very steep middle section that will test you.