Ludlow is a picturesque historic market town in south Shropshire. Bordering on Wales, Ludlow has a long and interesting borderlands history. It boasts many finely restored period buildings from medieval, Tudor and Georgian times, has a large castle and is a fab foodie town. It is located within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty, making it the perfect base for walkers wanting to explore this stunning part of the world. For a small town, Ludlow has such a lot to offer! But where to begin? Here’s my little guide to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful town. Affiliate links are included in this post.
Things to do in town;
- Visit St. Laurence’s Church right in the centre of town. Founded in the late 11th century by the Normans, it is a Church of England parish church and grade 1 listed building. Walk up the 201 steps of its tower for epic views over the town and southern Shropshire. This costs £5 from the shop. Be sure to check out the shop too which has so many gorgeous, locally made gifts.
- Wander along the river Teme on the ‘Bread Walk’ promenade, over onto Whitcliffe Common for fantastic views of the castle. Then head to the weir at The Linney which is a great place to take a dip and paddle board in the warmer months. Millenium Green nearby is a fab spot for a picnic, with a playground for children and views over the river and castle. Csons Cafe by the weir for a coffee, snacks and ice creams.
- Ludlow Castle is a must see! Firstly establish as a Norman fortress to hold back against the Welsh it has been extended over the centuries to become a fortified Royal palace. It was abandoned in 1689 and fell into ruin however is now privately owned and maintained by the Earl of Powis. A lot of restoration work has been completed on the Castle and it is a great place to explore and learn more about the local history.
- Venture into The Ludlow museum at the Buttercross for a range of exhibits including fossils found in the area, artefacts from the church and castle and go back in time by listening to various historical characters telling their stories.
Outdoor Adventures in the Countryside;
- Mortimer Forest is a thousand hectare forest owned and maintained by The Forestry Commission. Straddling Shropshire and Herefordshire, it is a perfect place for some escapism. It is walking distance from the town and has 5 different trails ranging from easy to hard. Climbing Jack trail is considered the most difficult, though my favourite is the High Vinnals walk for the awesome views over Ludlow and the surrounding area.
- There are many Shropshire hills within a 20 minutes drive of Ludlow for walking adventures a little further afield. I would highly recommend taking a hike up Titterstone Clee Hill, which is one of my favourite Shropshire hills. Not far from Titterstone you can also find Abdon Burf, Shropshire’s highest hill at 540m/1772ft. The Long Mynd, Caer Caradoc, Ragleth hill and many others can be found around the Church Stretton area. Check out my blog on my top 5 hikes in the Shropshire hills here.
- Hopton Wood is the home of mountain biking in Shropshire. With trails ranging from Blue (moderate) to Black (extreme), there is something for everyone. You can rent bikes from Ludlow’s Pearce Cycles, who also put on uplift days at Hopton as well as other mountain biking events locally.
- Visit some other historic Shropshire Castles including the finest and best preserved fortified medieval manor in England, Stokesay Castle. Explore the stunning North Tower and wander through the beautiful walled garden and moat walk. There is a free audio tour provided and family trail based on local legends about giants to keep younger visitors entertained.
Where to eat and drink?
Ludlow is a market town perfect for any foodie. The thriving market takes place each week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is a great place to buy local food. Ludlow was the first town in the UK to ever put on a food festival, the first of which occurred in 1995. The festival extremely successful and now takes place annually in September. Whilst exploring, be sure to stay fuelled and hydrated by trying out some local cuisine. Ludlow has an array of places to snack, brunch and eat your heart out. Some of my personal favourites are;
- Breakfast from Cicchetti Bar for the perfect coffee and pastries to start your day. They do home delivery and this was complimentary with our stay at Steeple Mews.
- Lunch from Harp Lane Deli for homemade, savoury treats such as sausage rolls, scotch eggs, salads and more.
- Brewery tour and craft beer tasting at Ludlow Brewery. This is such a great way to reward yourself after a long hike! Learn about the history of the Ludlow Brewery railway shed taproom and brewery process led by a passionate guide. The tour ends with a tasting sample of some of their award winning beer. My favourite was The Gold! The venue also hosts lots of live music events and pop ups supporting other local businesses. To book a tour click here.
- Afternoon tea at The Feathers Hotel. The building itself is a grade 1 listed building originally built in 1619 and is full of history and charm. The mouth watering afternoon tea features locally sourced produce.
- Dinner at The Church Inn, a 14th century free house for delicious home made, down to earth pub classics.
- The Chocolate Gourmet offer Italian ice cream and luxury chocolates to eat yourself as you roam the town or to buy as a gift.
Where to stay?
Steeple Mews Stays 5* luxury self-catering accommodation is situated right in the heart of the town. A 20 second walk to the main street, it was such a great location for exploring the town. Steeple Mews has 6 different sized properties to chose from sleeping up to 8 adults. The houses are super modern, comfy and luxurious with all the amenities and commodities you need for a home away from home experience. There is secure underground private parking accessible via a car lift, which means no extra charges for parking and a stress free journey from door to door! Book directly @steeplemews_stays.
There are however lots of other options of places to stay from a historic experience at the castle’s own accommodation, or a classic experience at the Feathers Hotel to something a bit more budget friendly at the various lodges, glamping and camping providers around the town.
For more information on where to stay and local events check out Lets Go Ludlow.
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