Things to Do in Shropshire: England’s Most Rural County
Sprawling country estates, walks to suit all feet and pastoral beauty; there are many fantastic things to do in Shropshire.
Often cited as the most rural county in England, you can imagine the bucolic countryside vistas in Shropshire. Views for days, my friend. On the border of Wales and just a hop, skip and jump from the big bad city of Birmingham, you’re well placed for a city break in Shropshire. Swap traffic jams and busy pavements for scenes akin to the Animals of Farthing Wood. It's also the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, so if you like your holidays with a side of museums and history Shropshire is the place to head. Plum Guide Home Critics have paved a gorgeous path for you in the shape of some incredibly well-picked homes, too. Here, the best things to do in Shropshire, according to local experts.
Way back when your Dad was a young lad in the 700s (yes, a very long time ago) a jolly man named King Mercia decided to erect a dyke separating his kingdom from Wales. Oh, King Mercia, what are you like? Lucky for us, his big wall looks really nice now and is a lovely place to take a hike in Shropshire. Plan your Offa's Dyke route well and you’ll take in sweeping views of Tintern Abbey and the delightfully named Devil’s Pulpit. A photo opportunity if there ever was one.
A mighty idea indeed, well done fine folk of Ludlow; we salute you! The Ludlow Magnalonga is the sweet combination of rambling and eating, so if you like beautiful countryside and good food, this should definitely top your list of things to do in Shropshire. Starting and ending in the town of Ludlow, ramblers take the gentle eight-mile trail with foodie pit stops along the way. Each stop includes a course of locally produced food and drink – think pork, cider and apple pie and local cheeses served with Welsh Cakes. Overindulgence is positively encouraged; you’ll walk it all off anyway.
This lovely market town is definitely one of the best places to visit in Shropshire for architecture buffs. The shiny diamond in Shropshire’s crown, Ludlow draws in the big crowds with over 500 listed buildings from the Tudor and Georgian era. It is as pretty as a picture with more bakeries, tearooms and bookshops than you can shake a stick at (should you want to). Self-proclaimed as the foodie capital, it is the perfect spot to sample Shropshire’s finest Fidget Pie. Originally, in the 14th century, the pie was made with boiled pig meat and cider – locals have upped their game a bit since then and you can now find artisan versions throughout the town.
Drink and eat
Long associated with agriculture, Shropshire's bounty is almost as good as the incredible selection of fabulous Plum Guide homes in the area. Almost. The town of Market Drayton is the home of gingerbread (what a tasty home) and the county’s unctuous Shropshire Blue cheese is a must-try. You’ll find five-star dining next door to cosy pubs; whichever you choose there’ll be a beautiful walk nearby to walk it off. The thirsty won’t be disappointed with 16 local breweries across the region – they take their ale seriously here.
Drive a few miles or so out of Shropshire into Wales and you'll find Montgomery. The castle of Montgomery looks down over the town like a friendly grandparent: wise, really old, probably has some fun secrets. The historic town is one of our favourite places to visit in Wales, striding two hills and filled with listed buildings. Wander around and imagine how sweet life would be if you lived in one of them (or just book a stay at nearby Cedar View, which is just as impressive, in our opinion). There’s a myriad of walking and cycling routes, a model car museum (hoorah!) and many local events to keep you entertained. Time it right for the local Beer and Folk Festival and you’ll see the town really come to life.
Ride the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway
Hark back to a blessed time when the only tweets you had to worry about were from the birds in your garden. The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has been serving local people for over a century, transporting them up and down the stiff sandstone cliffs and saving their little legs a very steep walk. It is England’s Oldest and Steepest Inland Electric Funicular Railway, which is quite the mouthful and quite the ride. Sit smug in the little carriages and enjoy magnificent views of the River Severn. You’re in luck; there is a delightful Plum Guide home right around the corner.
Fresh air, big open spaces and the sound of birdsong; doesn’t that sound just like your morning commute? No, and that is why people go on holiday. The air at Attingham Park is a hell of a lot cleaner than the *insert tube line, traffic jam, bus route* ever is. Find 200 acres of parkland to wander and an 18th century Regency Mansion to wish you lived in. Admire the harvest in the Walled Garden or learn all about the resident trees on the Mile Walk. Attingham Park makes a great day out for all the family.
Visit David Austin Roses
Wake up and smell the roses. We’ve bet they’ve never heard that one before. If your idea of enjoyable things to do in Shropshire involves smelling oh-so-sweet and looking at pretty things, then head on over to David Austin Roses. More than just a garden centre (even if it was, who doesn’t love a garden centre?) the experts here have been breeding the prettiest of petals for over 60 years. Stroll amongst the blooms of the Rose Garden, pay a visit to the onsite cafe and spend all your hard-earned money in the nursery. We’re sure your garden will just look like David’s after a bit of pruning and potting.