To the north the Peak District; to the south the Cotswolds roll idyllically; Birmingham bustles tirelessly to the east; and to the west, just beyond the border this county sits against, Wales and lofty Snowdonia lean towards the UK’s West Coast. But let’s talk about the county, for this is a place with more than enough reason to keep you from straying far from its jagged frame. Shropshire. Like any other of the country’s great counties, it is a part of the greater puzzle. So let’s take it up as the small but vital piece it is – and explore.
First Things First
Swing the window open and invite into your room and your lungs those first clear gulps of a spring breeze that has made its way from the coast to pass by you here and through the fabric of the new day. Cast your eyes over the verdant patchwork of trees thick with the season and dotting the spread of low, quiet towns and quieter villages. Breathe it in. Think breakfast. Head to Tower Street in Ludlow for the very popular Bakers; considered by locals and tourists alike as the best breakfast in town. Once you’ve eaten heartily of a full English or some French toast and washed the soft buzz of the morning down with another cup of freshly ground coffee, look towards your plans for the afternoon.
Lunch at Ludlow Castle
Walk the ways of bygone kings, queens, princes and nobility amongst the inner bailey and beyond at this stunningly grand castle dating back to the 15th century. Survey the beautiful Shropshire surroundings over the tops of the crenellations. The view goes through some incredible changes with the seasons: the crisp, glistening whites of winter to the lush greens and browns of spring, summer and autumn. No matter the time of year, Ludlow Castle stands firmly as a stalwart of the Shropshire story. But as timeless as the atmosphere may be, there’s so much more to see. So grab some sandwiches or soup from the on-site Tea Room and let the kids chew over the magical things they’ve seen and imagined in the space of just a couple of hours.
Bishop’s Castle Before Dinner
Don’t worry; you’re not going straight from one castle to the next. (Unless you want to: there are more options for castle tours in the area). No, Bishop’s Castle, a 30-minute drive from Ludlow Castle, is nestled amongst some of the finest unspoilt country in Shropshire. Stretch your legs while walking along way-marked routes over hills and through valleys and walker-friendly villages. They are passionate about the countryside and what it can offer walkers here; so you can rest assured that the locals will look after you and that you’ll find the perfect afternoon’s walking. You may have worked up a thirst for some real local ale and a few courses of quality Shropshire fare. Well, you have only to head to the famously historic pub and brewery that goes by the name of The Three Tuns Inn. This is the pub in Bishop’s Castle, and if you’re tired of today’s popular ‘theme pubs’, you’re in luck: this haven for weary travellers and locals alike retains the spirit of a traditional pub. So what better way to wrap up the afternoon with a few pints of real ale brewed on site, or a few glasses of quality wine from a considerately designed wine list? Sit back, happily caught in the warm glow of the open fire. There are an overwhelming number of options on the menus here and you’ll leave feeling more than replete. Maybe stick around for the open mic before heading back for some well-earned rest.
A Morning of Memories and More Plans
I know, I know. It pains you to think of leaving. But counties have a way of sticking around even if you can’t. So bask in the memories you’ll have gained in such a short time. Let the little ones keep reminding you of it every day. And then? Well, how many more days do you have? Shropshire can’t be given to you in mere paragraphs. But you won’t need to be told how to spend your time in the most meaningful ways while staying here. So whether you extend your stay or you leave with hopes to return one day, know that you’ll always have those 24 hours to remember it by.
Our Wonderful Houses in Shropshire
Albright Lodge | Sleeps 17 | Wollaston, Shrewsbury