Shropshire perfectly captures the rural English idyl of open moors, gentle, heather-clad hills, postcard perfect farming villages, good food and peace and quiet.
This is wonderful countryside to explore at your own pace, but some of the best places to stay in Shropshire are the county's capital Shrewsbury, one of England's best preserved Tudor towns, Ironbridge, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and Ludlow, near some of the county's most beautiful castles, and with some of the county's best food.
Shrewsbury's castle and abbey (home of fictitious monk, Brother Cadfael), are famous enough to attract the coach trips, but this charming, medieval market town deserves more than a day trip. Amidst the timbered Tudor houses and winding lanes leading down the the River Severn you can see the birthplace of Charles Darwin, the Old Market Hall, and Henry Tudor House, where Henry VII stayed before the Battle of Bosworth.
Ironbridge is almost a polar opposite to Shrewsbury's Tudor timber, a very industrial looking town, home of the first ever, you guessed it: iron bridge. Convenient for the mines and the railways, this was the sight of the Coalbrookdale blast furnace, where they discovered coke.
Ludlow is a totally different looking town again. Topped by Ludlow Castle, the best preserved 11th Century stone-walled court in Britain, below you'll find an excellent selection of independent grocers, bakers, cheesemongers and butchers. With local produce of such high quality, Ludlow also has some of the best restaurants in the region. Ludlow is definitely one of the best places to stay in Shropshire for foodies.
A splendid Elizabethan manor located in rural Shropshire. Steeped in history (it features oak panelling from the 1400s), romantic, atmospheric, yet comfortable and hospitable. Highly recommended for a country getaway with self catering cottages for those who prefer more flexibility.
Good value, glorious views and exceptional trouble taken to ensure guests enjoy their visit
A new venture in a very old and beautiful building brings comfortable rooms to an established fine-dining restaurant