Bus Walk this Summer on the 576
Easy Walking; 2 mile along Montgomery Canal, allow an hour
The 576 is the number of the bus from Shrewsbury Bus Station to Oswestry Bus Station passing through some of the loveliest North Shropshire countryside. It is ideal for accessing short walks between villages, pubs and cafes in this scenic part of the county. During the summer, I'll be posting different short walks from the bus which are relatively easy and offer a chance to explore the area and take refreshment in each respective village. This makes for a great day out.
First up is a short pub walk between Maesbury Marsh and Queen's Head. If you are on the bus from Shrewsbury ask the driver to stop before the canal bridge at Maesbury. If coming from Oswestry the bus stops opposite a bus shelter in the village and you'll need to walk ahead along the pavement to the canal bridge. You might like to take refreshment before setting off so why not call into the Navigation pub, a very traditional hostelry serving food and Stonehouse beers as well as a traditional cider (not open Monday lunchtimes).
Otherwise cross the road with care to walk down steps to the canal towpath. Continue ahead along the path away from the Navigation pub and village. The surface is compacted at first but then becomes a green swathe which can be muddy after wet weather.
The canal features date from the 1790s and reflect a tine when the waterways were important in transporting goods to and fro from rural areas. In this case, the quarries at Llanymynech were vital to the survival of this particular navigation. You'll pass by a series of locks where there are views across to nature reserves and water reservoirs.
The final stretch is along a wider track past an old canal house and under the A5 to the hamlet of Queen's Head where lo and behold there's a pub of the same name offering refreshment all day so it does not matter what time you arrive in the afternoon. Beers are usually from Stonehouse brewery plus a guest from elsewhere. Time for a welcome break!
From Shrewsbury: suggested 576 buses at 0900,1100, 1300 (journey time 59 mins)
From Oswesrty: suggested 576 buses at 1045, 1245, 1425 (journey time 11 mins)
Buses back from Queen's Head to Shrewsbury... catch the 70/70A every half hour at 00 and 30 mins past the hour until 1730.
Buses back from Queen's Head to Oswestry...catch the 70/70A every half hour at 10 and 40 mins past the hour until 1840.
Buses operate on both routes Mons-Sats...info at arrivabus.co.uk
For pub opening times and information about pubs look at 'What Pub'