Out and About in Shropshire and Beyond
Shropshire has given the world:
- the theory of evolution: Shrewsbury is the the birthplace of Charles Darwin;
- the Industrial Revolution: Ironbridge is a World Heritage Site;
- the modern Olympics;
- Wales: the border runs a litle way west of us
In Shrewsbury and other Shropshire market towns, as well as over the border in Chester, there are a large number of boutique and independent shops, which continue to provide excellent, personal service.
Shropshire's timeless countryside, which is a restful haven for both people and wildlife, is interspersed with charming, historic market towns.
These include Wem (granted the first ever town charter in 1086), Ellesmere, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, and Much Wenlock (home of the modern Olympics). Many traditional, independent shops survive in these small towns; as they do in Shrewsbury, Shropshire's county town. This ancient town, birthplace of Charles Darwin, is famed for its half-timbered Tudor buildings, many of them listed, and is situated in an idyllic spot on a hill within a huge loop of the River Severn.
Shropshire also has a number of individual farm attractions and all sorts of museums, including the well preserved Severn Valley Steam Railway.
Shropshire has a mini-Lake District in the north of the county, with the meres landscape near Ellesmere, and David Bellamy has campaigned to protect this area's ecology.
Of course Shropshire now enjoys a timeless, rural pace of life -- the inspiration for very many writers:
- J.R.R. Tolkien's 'the Shire' in The Lord of the Rings,
- P.G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle, and
- H.E. Houseman's Shropshire Lad
Shropshire gave birth to the Industrial Revolution at Ironbridge, now a World Heritage Site. Today there are ten award-winning museums explaining the momentous developments which took place at Ironbridge Gorge.
In addition, one of the National Trust most prized houses, Attingham Park, is in Shropshire, near Shrewsbury, along with scores of castles, manors, country houses etc to enjoy. Shropshire also has a large number of notable gardens and one of Prince Charles' favorite gardens, Powis Castle, is just over the border near Welshpool.
Shropshire also boasts a number of other historic ruins, buildings, and country houses including: Weston Park; Hawkstone Historic Park & Follies; Stokesay Castle, Wenlock Priory, Haughmond Abbey (all English Heritage); and Attingham Park (National Trust). This list is far from exhaustive. There are many beautiful gardens in Shropshire too.
In addition to these attractions (more information about these is available below), many activities, including the following:
|Golf||Hot air ballooning|
|Paintballing||Out door Activity Centre|
|4x4 off-roading||Farm Visitor Atractions|
|Rally driving||The Victorian Farm|
|Gliding||Walks with hawks|
It is often a good idea to book these sorts of activities well in advance, especially at busy times (for e.g. around New Year for shooting).