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Shropshire maybe one of England's quieter counties but there is still plenty to see and do, with numerous historic houses and castles with beautiful gardens, the famous Ironbridge, museums and family attractions.
The local landscape reflects the fact that Shropshire is geologically unique and creates the special habitats that ensures the wildlife is so diverse and makes Shropshire great walking country. Wenlock Edge is regarded as the finest escarpment in all England and a popular walking venue boasting nine varieties of orchid.
Ludlow was described by John Betjeman as "the loveliest town in England" and by Country Life as "the most vibrant small town in the Country". It has a lively market, food fairs, speciality food shops and many restaurants and Inns. Michelin restuarants include la Becasse but there are many more and with over 500 listed buildings, mainly Georgian or half-timbered, Ludlow is also a feast for the eyes.
Ludlow Castle has dominated life in Ludlow for centuries and as a venue for festivals, events and open air theatre, Ludlow Castle still plays a vital part today.
The Ludlow Museum is the custodian of the Ashes of A.E.Housman, the celebrated poet and author of "A Shropshire Lad". Ludlow hosts a number of festivals and fairs each year. The Ludlow Marches Food & Drink Festival is held every September, Ludlow Festival is held in June/July attracting performers from all over the world. In November the Medieval Christmas Fair is held locally.
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire and features those breezy black and white 'magpie' half-timbered houses so typical of the Welsh Marches and was first mentioned in a charter of 901. Shrewsbury is a stunning historic town with over 660 listed buildings and some very strange street names - Dogpole and Mardol, Gullet Passage and Grope Lane.
Guided Walking Tours from Shrewsbury Tourist Information Centre occure everyday in summer and Saturdays in winter. They take in Shrewsbury Abbey - founded in 1083 and still a place of worship today and also Shrewsbury Castle which guards the only land approach to the town. Look for Shrewsbury's shuts and passages - a unique maze of narrow alleys which criss-cross the town centre and form part of the town's medieval street plan.
A statue of Charles Darwin stands outside the library - he was born here and attended Shrewsbury School which was then housed in the library buildings.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museums are a series of ten amazing museums located in the spectacular and beautiful, Ironbridge gorge, near Telford, that offers a great day out for people of all ages.
Spanning the Ironbridge Gorge and set either side of the River Severn, the indoor and outdoor museums offer visitors a chance to step back in history and experience the sights and sounds of the gorge's past. The museum's take visitors on a journey from the start of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1700's to the Victorian era 100 years later.
The museums stand as a testament to the Ironbridge Gorge that 300 years ago changed the world forever. It was here in Shropshire that the Industrial revolution first started when Ironmaster Abraham Darby discovered the secret of smelting iron with cheap and plentiful coke instead of expensive and less efficient charcoal. Britain's first iron-making centre produced the first iron rails, wheels, boats, the first steam locomotive, as well as the first iron bridge.
Ironbridge was declared a World Heritage site in 1986 to protect the heritage and remains of the Industrial revolution for future generations.
Shropshire is famous as the birthplace of industry, but it's given the world much more than this...