A weekend in Shrewsbury and Ludlow

Tim, Mum and me hired a car and drove up to Shrewsbury on Friday. We’ve found a great place that lets you hire a car for £55 from Friday to Monday which is perfect.

On Saturday we drove to Attingham Park to have a look at the C18th Regency house that is undergoing a massive renovation project. We had the opportunity of looking round gratis as it open to the public as part of the annual Hertiage Open Days fun.

We then moseyed on down to Ludlow with Jon to go to the famous food festival. It was pretty crowded but there were enough alcohol tasters to get most of us through the day. The festival is held in the grounds of the ruined castle and for those brave enough you can climb up the tower and survey Shropshire and all the marquees! Ludlow is seeped in history and has over 500 listed buildings in the town so it’s a delight to walk around. We went down to look at the The Feathers Hotel parts of which date back to 1619 and just outside the castle is a magnificent medieval merchant’s town palace with wooden winding stairs and low ceilings that we got to peek in as it was in use as a space for a variety of stalls and shops selling arts and crafts. It’s currently up for sale so if anyone has the money they should consider helping to preserve it. We walked through Broad Gate – the only surviving C13th town gate of the once fortified city and down to the river. I spent the whole time wishing I’d remembered to bring my camera. We stopped for coffee in Bakers Of Tower Street and supped it on their lovely roof terrace.

On Sunday I toured Shrewsbury with the family and took in the castle with Laura’s tower at the top – a tower built by one of the castle’s occupants for his daughter. I was shown many little medieval courtyards and side streets as well as the old school that Darwin went to which is now a used a library. I passed the drop stone that Darwin pondered over and visited the Unitarian Church he went to with his mother. I went to look at the gravestone inscribed with the words Ebenezer Scrooge – used in the film of a Christmas Carol – before admiring the round church. I then walked through The Dingle – a sunken flower garden in Quarry Park and then down through the rest of the park to see the statue of Hercules restored in 2004. We just happened to catch the British Driving Society’s procession of 20 horse drawn carriages through the park which was great fun – the carriages had come all the way from Attingham Park and were to go back there although some of the tiny little ponies looked like they’d never make it.

The thing that struck me about both Ludlow and Shrewsbury was how proud the towns were of their old buildings and how well things had been preserved. It’s truly a haven for all those who love looking at old buildings crooked and leaning all wooden beaned and wattle and daubed out over the streets.

While I was taking in beautiful old Shrewsbury; Jon, Tim and Mum took turns to canoe up the Severn in Jon’s inflatable canoe which ensured they were all soaking wet in time for dinner.

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