We are in the Corvedale, an especially scenic location in the south of Shropshire. This is arguably the most scenic and rural area of the County and includes the Shropshire Hills, designated as An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty . It is ideal for country lovers, walkers, bird watchers and people who are interested in history. There is something for everyone, provided it is a tranquil, rural spot that you are seeking. Indeed, the Council for the Protection of Rural England found that the Shropshire Hills is one of only three tranquil areas in the whole country.
The FERNDALE FLAT is on the B4368, about a mile west of Shipton, at SO547905. Ordnance Survey maps label this location as Hopescross. We overlook the River Corve, towards the Brown Clee Hill, the highest spot in Shropshire. Walkers can leave the car at the Flat and follow the Shropshire Way and other local paths from the front door. Lovers of small and historic towns will enjoy visiting Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Much Wenlock and Church Stretton. A stroll in our own developing woodland leads to a viewpoint from which the Tudor manor house, Wilderhope, and views towards Wenlock Edge, can be seen. Increasingly frequently, deer visit the grounds and can be found resting in our lane.
Other advantages of this location include the lack of street lighting so the stars can be seen at night and the relative lack of noise and bustle so the birdsong can be heard in the daytime, songthrushes at twilight and owls in the later evening. Overhead, there are frequent visits by buzzards and the occasional sighting of red kites. Kingfishers and herons have also been seen alongside the nearby brook.
FERNDALE is easily accessible by car. Public transport is negligible so a car or cycles are essential, if only to make visits to hostelries for evening meals. Trains to Shrewsbury, Wales, Birmingham and other more distant places can be caught from Craven Arms and Telford. Each of these stations has a car park. Cycle hire (including electric bikes) is available in the area. We offer an electric vehicle charging point for the seriously ecological motorist.
If you prefer to travel to Shropshire by train, you could hire a car to reach the Flat and for local journeys. In this case, you could arrange car hire with Enterprise Car Hire, who will meet your train at Telford or Shrewsbury Stations. Telford is a few stops from Wolverhampton or Birmingham New Street. Both stations have connections to the north and the south. Phone 01952 200353 (Telford) or 01743 444777 (Shrewsbury) to make the arrangements. www.enterprise.co.uk
Another idea is to rent a car from the car-sharing club, Co-wheels. These cars can be collected in Ludlow, a short walk from the station. See www.co-wheels.org.uk
Ludlow and the Titterstone Clee from Whitcliff
Ludlow - famed as one of England's finest small towns with its Norman castle and walls, mediaeval street pattern, market square (with events most weekends), timber framed houses and shops, two especially fine streets of Georgian houses, river walk and restaurants. The Tourist Information Centre and Museum are of interest and there is also a leisure centre with swimming pool on the outskirts. Festivals include the Food Fairs in June and September and the Arts Festival in the summer.
Much Wenlock grew up around the Priory which is now an English Heritage property. This very small town is unspoiled and has a museum and information centre, interesting shops, including an award-winning independent bookshop and several places to eat. The modern version of the Olympic Games began here.
Wenlock Edge - in the care of the National Trust: views, wildlife (including the recently returned red kite), walks. Part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Church Stretton - sits at the foot of the spectacular Shropshire Hills. Much of this area is owned by the National Trust. The Long Mynd and Caer Caradoc appeal to serious walkers. Others may prefer to drive up the Burway or the Cardingmill Valley (or catch the shuttle bus in the summer) and take more gentle walks from there, to watch the hang gliders or to enjoy the views. In Victorian times, Church Stretton was marketed as a spa town because of its mineral water supply. The water, but not the spa, is still available. There is an award-winning tea shop and several good cafes and restaurants in the town plus an excellent deli and an independent bookshop. Electric bikes may be hired here.
There are plenty to choose from in South Shropshire, ranging from pubs, country inns and cafes to award-winning restaurants. Four inns, serving food, are within a few miles of the Ferndale Flat.See Things to See and Do for more information on places to visit.