The Shropshire Countryside
Beginning in the south of Shropshire, the town of Ludlow is a deservedly popular destination. Its primary claim to fame rests on two buildings - one in superb condition, the other falling into a state of ruin. The former is the magnificent Feathers Hotel, a frequently photographed half-timbered inn which has welcomed guests since 1521.It is arguably the finest example of half-timbering in England.
The partial ruin is Ludlow Castle, the seat of the Lord President of the Marches until 1689. The castle was home to Princes Edward and Richard, sons of Edward IV.
Moving north from Ludlow, at Stanton Lacy the doorway of the little parish church contains one of the few recognisable examples of Saxon sculpture we can see today, and a little further on the small town of Aston Munslow is home to a country life museum covering eight centuries of Shropshire life.
If you are driving, take the B4371, a minor road which runs along the crest of Wenlock Edge. This high ridge provides lovely views across the Shropshire countryside. At the north end of the road is Much Wenlock, whose narrow streets are ringed by half-timbered buildings.
A highlight of Much Wenlock are the ruins of St. Milburga's Priory, originally founded in 680 by St. Milburga, grand-daughter of the pagan king Penda the Terrible. The priory was sacked by the Danes in the 9th century and later re-endowed by Lady Godiva (yes, THAT Lady Godiva). The buildings you can see today were built just after the Norman invasion in 1066.
In High Town are the ruins of Bridgnorth Castle, partly destroyed by Cromwell's troops in 1646. The castle keep now leans crazily to one side at an angle three times that of the more famous leaning tower at Pisa. The grounds of the castle are a public park once described by Charles I as "the fairest walk in my domain."
Bridgnorth is also home to the Severn Valley Railway, which operates steam trains on a 12 mile run to Bewdly during the summer months.
These are just a few of the highlights of the Shropshire countryside, and the locations listed should combine very nicely into a circular day drive.
Shropshire Travel and Tourism information
Shropshire Hotel Accommodation