Ferndale Flat, Shropshire Self Catering
 

Things to See and Do in and Around Shropshire

What's On in the Area?

These events are all within a reasonable distance from the Ferndale Flat.

  • Farmers' Markets:  Bishop's Castle - 3rd Sat; Craven Arms - 1st Sat; Ludlow - 2nd & 4th Thursday; Much Wenlock - 1st & 3rd Friday; Bridgnorth: Saturdays
  • Shropshire Hills Shuttle Buses run: May - September (www.shropshirehillsshuttles.co.uk)
  • Bishop's Castle Arts Festival: February
  • Borderlines Film Festival: Feb - March (www.borderlinesfilmfestival.org)
  • Flounders Folly open, last Sunday of the month plus bank holidays, 11.00 - 4.00 (check website: www.floundersfolly.org.uk)
  • Wenlock Poetry Festival: April (www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org)
  • Morville Gardens open - three including Katherine Swift's Dower House: May  (www.morvillefestival.co.uk)
  • Shropshire County Show: May at West Mid Showground, Shrewsbury (www.shropshirecountyshow.com)
  • Ludlow Spring Food Festival: May
  • Gardens open: Stokesay Court: May
  • Garden open: Preen Manor: May
  • Ludlow English Song Weekend: May  (www.ludlow-arts-classical.org.uk)
  • Shropshire Hills Art Week: June (www.shropshirehillsartweek.co.uk)
  • Open Gardens in Harley: May
  • Shropshire Hills Art Week: June
  • Morville Hall Gardens: June
  • Gardens open: The Old Rectory, Hope Bagot: June
  • Much Wenlock Garden Trail: June
  • Millichope Park: May, June, Oct (www.ngs.org.uk)
  • Mynd Hardy Plants, Diddlebury gardens: June
  • Haydn Festival, Bridgnorth: June (www.englishhaydn.com)
  • Gardens open: 12 gardens in Cressage: June
  • Much Wenlock Festival: June
  • Ludlow Fringe Festival: June - July (www.ludlowfringe.co.uk)
  • St Laurence's (Ludlow) Music Minifest: June www.ngs.org.uk
  • Gardens open (at five neighbouring properties); Morville: June (www.ngs.org.uk)
  • The Secret Gardens of Ludlow: June
  • Bishop's Castle Walking Festival: June
  • Gardens open in Cardington: June
  • Gardens open in Munslow: June
  • Ludlow Summer Festival at St Laurence's: June (www.ludlow-arts-classical.org.uk)
  • Tour d'Arts Alive (cycling in Clun area): June (www.artsalive.co.uk/tour)
  • Bishop's Castle Real Ale Festival: July
  • Wenlock Olympian Games: July
  • Festival at the Edge (story telling): Much Wenlock: July
  • The Hollies, Clun, garden open: July
  • Garden open: Jessamine Cottage: July & August
  • Nursery open: Mynd Hardy Plants: May, June, July, Aug (www.ngs.org.uk)
  • Ludlow Small Gardens open: July
  • Church Stretton Arts Festival: July - August (www.strettonfestival.org.uk)
  • Church Stretton Walking Festival: August (www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk)
  • Burwarton Agricultural Show: first Thursday in August
  • Magnalonga 7-mile walk: August (www.mangalonga.co.uk)
  • Ludlow Green Festival: August
  • Clun Carnival: August
  • Shrewsbury Flower Show: August
  • English Heritage Open Days in Shropshire: September
  • Ludlow Food & Drink Festival: September
  • Autumn Steam Gala; Severn Valley Railway: September
  • Garden open: Preen Manor: October
  • Grounds open: Millichope Park: October
  • Clun Valley Beer Festival: October
  • Long Mynd 50 Mile Hike: October
  • Ludlow Mediaeval Christmas Fayre: November
  • For a full calendar of events in Shropshire go to:
    www.shropshiretourism.co.uk/shropshire-events
  • To see all the Shropshire  gardens open under the national scheme go to: www.ngs.org.uk
Long Mynd, Church Stretton

View from the Long Mynd, Church Stretton

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Walking

What sort of walker are you?

For amblers, there are walks on neighbouring paths, including the Shropshire Way which passes nearby. There are several short and long walks that can be undertaken from Ferndale without taking the car, for example, a circular walk of about an hour which takes you via woodland to Wilderhope Manor (a Tudor house owned by the National Trust and used as a youth hostel). Go a bit further and you reach Wenlock Edge.

For ramblers, In the opposite direction, a walk along the Shropshire Way takes you to Holdgate (Norman castle, interesting church, deserted village), and beyond. There are many more walks after a short car journey or cycle ride, for example along Wenlock Edge or up the Brown Clee Hill.

For scramblers who like longer treks or hills, there's Offa's Dyke, the Long Mynd, Caer Caradoc. and the Wrekin.  A walk of 11 miles in the Corvedale takes in three castles.

There's a lot of choice with 1275 km of public footpaths; you could do a different walk everyday.

  • For a map of the Shropshire Way long-distance path as it passes the Ferndale Flat, click here
  • Our own grounds offer several acres of developing woodland (about 20 years old but now quite woody) and views towards Wenlock Edge and Wilderhope Manor from the viewpoint at the top of the wood.

For more information, visit:

www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk

www.shropshireramblers.org.uk (you could join one of their rambles)

www.shropshirewalking.co.uk  (detailed walking routes can be downloaded)

www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/things-to-do/walking/  (6 local walks, each of 5 or 6 miles, can be downloaded)

www.shropshirebirds.com

www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk

www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

www.shropshiregeology.org.uk

Cycling

You are welcome to bring your own bikes or you could hire them locally.  We have under-cover storage.

For information about cycle hire and electric bike hire:

www.wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk

See: www.shropshirecycling.co.uk for suggestions about routes

http://www.pyrblu.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/bike_cartoon.gif

Learn Something New

There are several interesting local courses that you could attend whilst staying in the Ferndale Flat:

At Acton Scott Farm Museum (about 15 mins by car):

At the Rushbury Pig, Roman Bank (about 15 mins):

At Westhope Craft College (about 15 mins):

  • Taster Tuesdays (Monthly): try a new craft
  • Dressmaking, textiles, pottery, jewellery, patchwork and more.  See www.westhope.org.uk

At Brynmawr Farm, Newcastle, near Clun (about 30 mins):

  • Sheep and lambing, keeping chickens, cattle, smallholding, conservation, maintaining farm vehicles, ecology (eg bats, beens, butterflies, plants) - all set on an organic farm. (See www.clunvalleyorganics.co.uk)

At Hopton Heath: Oak Heath (about 30 mins):

At Ironbridge: the Small Woods organisation (about 30 mins):

At Andrew Crawford’s workshop, Acton Scott (about 15 mins):

At Ferndale itself (0 minutes):

At Hopton House, Hopton Castle (about 25 mins):

At the Discovery Centre, Craven Arms (about 15 mins):

At the Brompton Cookery School, Atcham (about 30 mins):

At Attingham Park (National Trust), near Shrewsbury (about 30 mins):

At All in a Spin, Newcastle on Clun (about 40 mins):

At Moor Hall Farmhouse, Newcastle on Clun (about 40 mins):

At the Cardingmill Valley (National Trust), Church Stretton (about 20 minutes):

 

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Robert (on the right) stayed at the Ferndale Flat and made this fine box on one of Andrew Crawford's courses.

Folk and Other Music

  • On the third Thursday of alternate months, catch a train from Craven Arms and travel along the picturesque Heart of Wales railway line, a single track line which Dr Beeching failed to close, for an evening of folk music led by local musicians in pubs.  Organised by Folk Down the Track.  Contact Graham or Jacki on 01584 872665 or visit www.slowtravelmarches.co.uk for details.
  • The Haydn Festival is held in Bridgnorth in June.  (www.englishhaydn.com)
  • Ludlow Fringe Festival: June - July (www.ludlowfringe.co.uk)
  • St Laurence's (Ludlow) Music Minifest: June

Horses, Donkeys and Goats

  • North Farm Riding Establishment, Whitcliffe, Ludlow offers interesting rides into the Mortimer Forest.  There is a minimum age of 5 years.  One or 1½ hour rides for beginners and novices; 2 hours for more experienced riders.  Riding hats supplied.  Rate for one hour: about £20 per horse.  Phone: 01584 872026  Advance booking is required.  See www.northfarmludlow.co.uk
  • Not for riding but the rescued donkeys at Brickyard House Farm, near Bridgnorth like to be visited.  See www.donkeyrescueuk.org
  • Rays Farm, near Bridgnorth, is another place to see donkeys, plus deer, owls, goats and other farmyard favourites.  See www.raysfarm.com

Real Ale

Shropshire has 51 pubs listed in the 2013 Camra Good Beer Guide.  There are 17 independent breweries, including the Three Tuns at Bishop's Castle, Wood's at Craven Arms, Hobson's at Cleobury Mortimer, the Six Bells at Bishop's Castle and the Ludlow Brewery.

  • Bishop's Castle Real Ale Festival: July
  • Clun Valley Beer Festival: October

Local Places of Interest

 

Wilderhope Manor (about 2 miles away: walk there on the Shropshire Way from the Flat) is owned by the National Trust and used as a Youth Hostel. This Tudor house is open to visitors on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons when the cafe is open.

Captain Smallman escaped from the Roundheads during the Civil War by climbing down a privvy shute and leaping on his horse from Wenlock Edge.  He survived.  The horse didn't.

Shipton Parish Church (St James) is open at all times and is famous for its snowdrops in February and its association with the three More children who were transported to America on the Mayflower. Service details are available at the Flat or in the church porch.

Millichope Manor (about 2 miles) has large, landscaped grounds that are open in the National Gardens Scheme when the snowdrops, bluebells and wild flower meadow are in season and at other times too. Details about this and others in the Gardens Scheme are available in the Flat.

Acton Scott working farm (about 6 miles) has Tamworth pigs, shire horses, chickens in the farm-yard, horse-drawn ploughing and harvesting, rural crafts, milk maids, waggoners, butter making - all depicting farming life at the turn of the 20th century. Made famous by the recent BBC TV series, Victorian Farm. (Open from Easter to October: discount vouchers for entry available at the Flat.)

The grounds of Morville House (about 7 miles) are sometimes open under the National Gardens Scheme.

Preen Manor (about 5 miles) also has interesting gardens to visit under the Gardens Scheme. The local church has what is said to be the oldest yew tree in England.

Over 30 Shropshire gardens participate in the Gardens Scheme. Details in the Flat.

Ludlow

There's a Norman castle (1085) in a very prominent position, town walls and the Broad Gate; a mediaeval street pattern; mediaeval timber-framed (eg the Feathers Hotel) and Georgian brick houses, especially in Broad Street (one of the most memorable streets in England according to Pevsner); the Butter Cross; St Lawrence's Church (the largest Shropshire parish church with superb views from its very tall tower); river walk; interesting shops and galleries; award-winning restaurants; traditional bakers', fishmonger's, greengrocers' and butchers' shops; an independent book shop; frequent markets (food, antiques, crafts); food fairs; annual festival in the castle grounds; films and other performances in the Assembly Rooms; information centre; library and museum; supermarkets; organic shop and delis; leisure centre; golf course; horse racing. Use the Park and Ride during busy festivals or catch the train (one stop) from Craven Arms where car parking is free.

Visit www.ludlow.org.uk

Much Wenlock

A priory (founded in about AD 680) and grounds (English Heritage); Guildhall, market hall and several other interesting buildings; small shops (including award-winning book shop, art gallery, gifts, a butcher famous for pies, small supermarket); cafes and public houses. There is an information centre and a museum. Much Wenlock is where the modern Olympic Games began.  Wenlock Edge, beginning on the edge of the town, is an escarpment stretching to Church Stretton with a good pathway and specatular views, especially from Ippikin's Rock.  Ippikin was a robber knight with magical powers so you need to chant, "Ippikin, Ippikin, keep away with your long chin" to avoid any trouble.

Visit:

www.muchwenlockguide

www.wenlock-olympian-society.org.uk

www.english-heritage.org.uk

www.carfreewalks.org/walks/315/wenlock_edge

Church Stretton and the Shropshire Hills

Small town with a range of shops, including books, gourmet deli, organic produce, Co-op supermarket, antique warehouse plus several cafes and restaurants. Close by are the Shropshire Hills (National Tust) - follow the signs to the Burway for a steep walk or drive to the top of the Long Mynd where the views are spectacular and popular with hang gliders. Or visit the Cardingmill Valley for more gentle walks. There's a National Trust shop and cafe. This area is ideal both for serious walkers and less energetic travellers. An arts festival is held in July/August. There is a golf course on the Long Mynd. Electric bikes may be hired in Church Stretton to get you up the Burway.

Visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

See also: www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/about-the-aonb/map/

For information about the Shropshire Hills Shuttle Bus that runs from the Discovery Centre, Craven Arms, on weekends and Bank Holiday Monday, please see: www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/things-to-do/shuttles/

Stokesay Castle

A couple of miles south of Craven Arms on the A49 - this is one of the earliest fortified manors (the hall dates from 1270 - 1280) with great hall, solar, tower and Elizabethan timber-framed gatehouse, all restored by English Heritage. There's a shop and small cafe and a programme of historical re-enactments.

Visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

In Craven Arms - a visitor centre with displays and a simulated balloon ride over the Shropshire Hills, events, a shop with many local products and a good cafe. There's a full-size skeleton of Shropshire's famous mammoth and extensive meadows to explore.  The Centre runs courses and activities for children and adults and there's a daily feeding session for red kites.  See: www.shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk

Also in Craven Arms is the Museum of Lost Content with an interesting nostalgic collection.

For information about the Shropshire Hills Shuttle Bus that runs from the Discovery Centre, Craven Arms, on weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays to several places in the Shropshire Hills from which you can walk, please see: www.shropshireshuttles.co.uk

Wroxeter Roman Town

In its prime, this was the fourth largest Roman town in England. There are foundations of walls and baths to see, plus sizeable chunks of wall. The Visitor Centre explains all. Under the care of English Heritage. Occasional events when Roman legions may be seen gathering. A recent TV series was filmed here.  Next door is a vineyard. Visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk

Bridgnorth

Another castle, much damaged by Cromwell. The tower now leans more sharply than the Tower of Pisa. Busy Upper Town of shops and markets with steep cliff railway down to Lower Town by the river. Severn Valley Railway for steam buffs. Annual Haydn festival in May. Visit: www.bridgnorthshropshire.com

Daniel's Mill near Bridgnorth has the largest waterwheel powering a working corn mill in England. See: www.danielsmill.co.uk

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums

Several museums celebrating the birthplace of the industrial revolution. The main site has a reconstructed street and shops; other sites focus on pottery, tile making, iron, clay pipes, transport on canal and river, inventions etc. The famous Iron Bridge (1778 - the first iron bridge in the world) spans the River Severn. You can pay on entry to each museum or buy a ticket for the whole collection and visit each site as you have time; it lasts for a year and permits free return visits. A recent TV series was based on the Victorian town.

Visit: www.ironbridge.info

Shrewsbury

The town stands in a bend in the river and has fine buildings representing several eras and many interesting passageways to explore. The Abbey (begun in 1080), the Castle, the Old Market House, the Music Hall, the Library and Museum (once the old Shrewsbury School), the Quarry (famously turned into gardens by Percy Thrower and now the site for the annual flower festival), intruiging street names (Grope Lane [don't ask], Dogpole, Mardol, Wyle Cop), museums, shops and cafes - an "exceedingly fine town" said Pevsner. The annual West Midlands Show (in May) is a feast for those who like agricultural and rural things.

Visit:

www.shrewsburytourism.co.uk

www.madeinshropshire.co

Bishop's Castle

The church has an unusual one-handed clock and the town is on a steep slope. There are new and second-hand books and CD shops, a chairmaker, a clock mender, antiques, two museums, a House on Crutches, knitwear, batik, a brewery, flea markets on the first Saturday of the month, a railway museum and cafes.

Clun

Described in Housman's poem, "The Shropshire Lad," as "one of the quietest places under the sun" (not just to rhyme sun with Clun; it's true), this is a deeply rural, small settlement with its castle (and a fine tower), church, river walks, almshouses, a few shops and pubs and a cafe serving good cakes.

Cleobury Mortimer

John Betjeman said the High Street is "A long airy curving street of brick Georgian houses and shops." There's a church with a crooked steeple, Hobson's Brewery and famous pork pies. And a golf course.

Others:

There are many places of interest, houses, walks, long distance paths, events and views in the area.

Visit: www.southshropshire.org.uk and, for many photographs of Shropshire places: www.virtual-shropshire.co.uk

Shipton Hall

Shipton Hall

Shipton Church

Shipton Church

Shire horse at Acton Scott

Shire horse at Acton Scott

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

Much Wenlock

Much Wenlock

View from Ippikin's Rock

View from Ippikin's Rock on Wenlock Edge

The Shropshire Hills

Views from the Long Mynd, Church Stretton

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

The Iron Bridge

The Iron Bridge

Market Square, Shrewsbury

Market Square, Shrewsbury

Clun Bridge

Clun Bridge

Further afield:

Birmingham

Best to go by train from Telford. Shops, galleries and museums (including the superb Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery), historic places (eg the Jewellery Quarter), botanic gardens, open-air events, concerts in Symphony Hall, plays in several theatres, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, refurbished canal-side with many cafes, shops and clubs - a very lively, busy and interesting city.

Visit: www.birmingham.org.uk

Hereford

Go by train from Craven Arms or Ludlow. The county town of Herefordshire with a fine cathedral which houses a chained library and the Mappa Mundi (very early world map).

Visit: www.thisisherefordshire.co.uk and www.visitherefordshire.co.uk

Hay-on-Wye

Famous for second-hand bookshops; too many to visit in one day. Plus galleries, cafes and the annual literary festival in May.

Visit: www.hay-on-wye.co.uk

Wales

Visit castles, Snowdon, the coast, interesting towns, the Alternative Technology Centre, Offa's Dyke. Too much to see and do to list here.

Visit: www.visitwales.com and www.visitmidwales.co.uk

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