If you are looking for a tranquil holiday, with historic places of interest coupled with beautiful countryside, then Shropshire may be the perfect fit for your next cottage holiday. Set on the borders with Wales, this timeless corner of England has a wealth of attractions, and we are going to take a look at the top three things to do in this archetypal English rural gem.
Ironbridge Gorge – Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
It is a fascinating juxtaposition that the rolling hills of Shropshire, a ‘million miles’ from the hustle and bustle of London and Britain’s urban heartlands, should be the crucible for an industrial revolution that would transform the world. Ironbridge near Telford was to become the centre of England’s iron-making industry. Today visitors can tour the numerous museums throughout Ironbridge Gorge that preserve our nation’s history, indeed, Ironbridge Gorge is now a designated world heritage site.
The remains of this vital industry provides old factories, furnaces, workshops and museums for visitors to enjoy. Fantastic for children, they truly bring history lessons to life. Where once this area would have been enveloped in the sights and sounds of heavy industry, this now beautiful backdrop is an idyllic setting to learn about Britain’s proud Industrial past.
Shropshire’s proximity to the border with Wales has left a historic legacy of castles to explore. Built throughout the centuries, during troubled and peaceful times alike, Shropshire boasts some of the country’s finest castles. Perhaps the most famous are located at Ludlow, Clun, Bridgenorth, Stokesay and Whittington. Steeped in the history of the nation, historic figures such as Catherine of Aragon, Owain Glyndwr and Queen Mary I paid visits (invited or otherwise) to the regions’ castles. For the modern visitor castle tours are available, whilst Shropshire also offers an array of abbeys and Roman forts to take in. Wroxeter is perhaps the most famous Roman site, as it was once the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire.
The Severn Valley Railway
What better way to take in Shropshire’s stunning countryside than a steam railway journey across the county from Bridgnorth along the Severn Valley to Worstershire? This leisurely 16 mile route follows the path of the river Severn and is open most weekends and throughout the school holidays, with many special events planned across the year. The Engine House at Highley is worth visiting. There you can enjoy exhibitions, including examples of old steam locomotives, which are fantastic for prospective train drivers of all ages!
Take a look at our featured holiday cottages in Shropshire.