Until around 1900 it was a very small local market town, but quickly grew in the early 20th century as a popular spa town. It was at this time it got the nickname "Little Switzerland" because of its situation amongst the dominating hills. Today it remains small, but is busy and prosperous, and is popular for those who enjoy hillwalking and admiring the scenery of south Shropshire.
Church Stretton is just off the main A49 Trunk Road between Shrewsbury and Ludlow. The B4371 road from Much Wenlock ends in Church Stretton. There are car parks and on-street parking in the town centre.
Church Stretton is a small town and is easy to get around on foot. There is a local bus service, the 435 run by Minsterley Motors.
Church Stretton is a busy market town and has many shops, including Shropshire's largest antiques market. There is one medium-sized supermarket, the Co-op on Lion Meadow. Otherwise most shops are small independents.
The town has a number of small restaurants and traditional tea rooms. There are also a number of international cuisine restaurants and take-aways.
When planning for hill-walking do remember that the weather can change quickly. It is also likely to be colder, windier and wetter higher up. The Long Mynd is notorious for being a windy place and for deep snow in winter. Always take with you a good map (Ordnance Survey 1:25000 ideally) and a mobile phone if heading out into the wilds.
For exploring the surrounding hills, the Long Mynd Shuttle Bus operates on weekends and bank holidays in summer months. It runs from Church Stretton across the Long Mynd to the Stiperstones and Pontesbury.