ludlow-englandShropshire doesn’t shout about itself – it has the reputation of being one of England’s quieter counties. But in fact this just means there’s lots to discover, which you might not be previously aware of, making Shropshire something of a hidden gem when it comes to English holiday destinations.

It has plenty of self-catering accommodation to offer in the form of holiday cottages, and it’s a great place for experiencing the English countryside and our rich, industrial heritage.

Blue Remembered Hills

Covering about a quarter of the county to the south, the Shropshire Hills are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The poet A E Housman wrote the famous poem cycle A Shropshire Lad, and described the “blue remembered hills” of the area, evoking a wistful but powerful vision of the English countryside.

The hills are stunning to walk across, with deep, golden valleys contrasting with dramatic rises and rugged moorland. And if you want to experience a very different view of them, you can always go on a scenic balloon ride, starting from the Craven Arms, which is the base of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

You’ll come across a whole variety of landscapes across these hills, from the almost Alpine experience of the heather-covered Long Mynd and Stretton Hills, to the sandstone of Grinshill and the fossil-filled double escarpment of Wenlock Edge.

Industry and History

The Industrial Revolution began in Shropshire, and you can get a feeling for the enormity of this historical shift when you visit the Ironbridge Gorge Museums in Telford. This is an impressively comprehensive World Heritage Site, consisting of a recreated Victorian town at Blists Hill, the Coalport China Museum, celebrating the history of porcelain manufacturing in the area, and the world’s first cast iron bridge, spanning the impressive gorge itself.

If you want to travel further back in time, then the castle that once dominated Ludlow for centuries pretty much encapsulates all that you might imagine an English Castle should be.

Construction began on Ludlow Castle in the late 11th century and it underwent several historical modifications over time, as it became home to a succession of noble families, and even royalty.

Nowadays Ludlow Castle puts on a number of regular events, including jousting and archery and historical talks. It’s also home to the Ludlow Food Festival, and has its own unique shops and traditional tea rooms.

Alongside these there are many other attractions, including plenty of charming, market towns to explore, a whole range of castles, churches and other historical places of interest, and great local produce when it comes to eating and drinking.

It may be the quiet heart of England, but Shropshire really is something to shout about.