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Shropshire

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Shropshire [1] is England's largest inland county, covering an area of 1,347 square miles. To the west it borders Wales and to the south rural Herefordshire and Worcestershire. In the north is Cheshire and, to the east, Staffordshire and the West Midlands conurbation.

Towns and villages[edit]

Map of Shropshire

Towns[edit]

  • Shrewsbury - Shropshire's county town (population: 70,000) and the birthplace of Charles Darwin
  • Bridgnorth - a town divided into low and high towns, described by Charles I as providing 'the finest view'
  • Church Stretton - Shropshire's "Little Switzerland"
  • Ludlow - gastronomic capital of the Midlands and an official "slow" town
  • Much Wenlock - birthplace of the modern Olympics
  • Newport - one of Shropshire's market towns
  • Oswestry - a market town near the Shropshire/Wales border
  • Telford - the largest town (population: 130,000) and named after the engineer Thomas Telford
  • Whitchurch - market town on the Llangollen Canal
  • Wem - a small market town and home to the modern sweet pea
  • Ellesmere - in the heart of Shropshire's "meres and mosses" and home to 9 glacial meres (small lakes)
  • Market Drayton - a market town on the Shropshire Union Canal and the home of gingerbread
  • Shifnal - a town to the east of Telford, once an important staging post on the London to Holyhead road
  • Bishop's Castle - a traditional and very small old English town near the Welsh border
  • Clun - a tiny town in the southwest corner of the county, described by A.E. Housman as "the quietest place under the sun"
  • Cleobury Mortimer - a small town in southeast Shropshire, between the Clee Hills and Wyre Forest

Villages[edit]

  • Whittington - a pretty little village near Oswestry and home to the impressive Whittington Castle situated in the heart of the village

Other destinations[edit]

Must see's in Shropshire include:

  • The Ironbridge Gorge Valley, home to the World's first Iron Bridge and home to the 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums
  • The Shropshire Hills with magnificent views of Shropshire and its neighbouring counties
  • Stokesay Castle, near Craven Arms and the oldest and best preserved manor house in England
  • Ludlow, Shropshire's gastronomic town and the first UK Cittaslow town. Specialist food and drink shops and markets can all be found here.
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire's county town and home to over 660 listed buildings including magnificent black and white examples.
  • Royal Air Force Museum Cosford [2], home of the National Cold War Exhibition.

Understand[edit]

Since 1998, Shropshire has been administratively divided into Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire County Council. However for most purposes it is still one county with the same media, press, emergency services, records service, etc.

Talk[edit]

Some parts of West Shropshire have a Welsh influence in their place names, though the people living there speak English like the rest of the county.

Get in[edit]

Shropshire is relatively easy to get to by road and rail.

The A49 (which runs from Herefordshire to Lancashire) runs through Shropshire from north to south, while from the M6 the M54 and A5 run east to west.

Railways also run from the south to Shrewsbury, stopping primarily in Ludlow and Church Stretton. The main line from Birmingham and Wolverhampton also runs to Shrewsbury and then north to Chester or west to Wales. Shropshire does have a direct link to London, albiet it only a few times a day, and it taking approximately four hours direct (the 'scenic route'), when switching at Birmingham New Street and taking two trains, arriving at London Euston would be just over two hours. The direct service is called Wrexham and Shropshire and runs from Shrewsbury to London, stopping at Wellington and Telford in Shropshire, before continuing to Banbury and then London Marylebone

Air travellers will normally fly to Manchester Airport, Birmingham International and possibly John Lennon Airport, Liverpool. East Midlands Airport is also a possibility.

Get around[edit]

Shropshire is a predominantly rural area and sparsely populated. Car transport remains essential for travellers wanting to take full advantage of the county, despite recent efforts to increase public transport usage.

It is possible to see most of the major sites by public transport. However, trains and buses can be infrequent or seasonal.

Most towns in Shropshire have their own public transport and taxi service.

Seasonal shuttle buses give access to areas of Shropshire including the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see Church Stretton).

See[edit][add listing]

With Shropshire home to over 32 castles, there is plenty of history and heritage to be found in Shropshire.

If gardens are more your thing, then you won't be disappointed. Shropshire is home to some 20 national collections including English Roses, Clematis and Tulips. Choose from the award winning Wollerton Old Hall Garden near Market Drayton, the Dorothy Clive Garden near Market Drayton and Hawkstone Park and Follies near Shrewsbury to name a few.

With over 90 attractions to visit, here is a taster of just some of the attractions that you can explore and discover:

Stokesay Castle. A very romantic 13th Century fortified manor house.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums. The world's first iron bridge (oddly beautiful) spanning the River Severn. Birth place of the industrial revolution, Ironbridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ironbridge Gorge Museums are nine award winning museums and sites that tell this momentous story.

The Severn Valley Railway. Britains premier steam railway, 16 miles of glorious countryside and restored stations. Shropshire has many other steam train attractions besides.

Wroxeter Roman City (Viroconium). The fourth largest Roman city in Britain. Wroxeter was also the city of Camelot from the ledgend of King Arthur. Much to see and learn. You can follow the trail of the Real King Arthur.

The Royal Airforce Museum Cosford. Aviation history brought to life, the largest collection of missiles in the country. Exciting displays of civil and military planes…Last of the few.

Weston Park. Ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford. Lots of events, concerts and the occasional world summit too.

Hawkstone Historic Park and Follies. Wooded magical land of Grottoes, caves, cliffs and follies. Setting for the TV Chronicles of Narnia. Awesome.

Wroxeter Roman Vineyard. One of the worlds most northerly vineyards producing red, white and sparkling wines.

A working watermill, Victorian Judges Lodgings and a Nuclear Bunker. Just how diverse can we get?

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Shropshire is is an excellent place to find locally grown produce, farmer's markets and delis. The county is home to the National winner of the retail cheese awards and a national finalist in the Taste of England awards.

Shropshire specialties include Shrewsbury biscuits, Gingerbread, Whimberry Pie and Fidget Pie.

Traditional pubs and inns, tearooms and fine dining restaurants can all be found in Shropshire.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Shropshire is renowned for its real ale and leads the way in the "home brew" revival. Here you'll find traditional pubs and inns and micro-breweries. The South Shropshire town of Bishops Castle has been happily brewing since 1642 and is home to some of the county's breweries.

You can even try Shropshire wine at Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, an historic site near Shrewsbury. Choose from a whole host of wines including Shropshire Gold, Wrekin Reserve and Wroxeter Medium. The vineyard also offers tours and tastings.

Stay safe[edit]

Shropshire is a rural county and generally safe with a low crime rate.

Get out[edit]


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