We love the county so much we thought we’d pull together a list of our 5 best places to visit in Shropshire.
First on the list and pictured above. Back in the mist of time, there was a giant who harboured a terrible grudge against the people of Shrewsbury. History doesn’t relate the detail of the grudge, but it was terrible. He decided to block the River Severn, that loops around Shrewsbury, with the intention of causing a flood and drowning the townsfolk. Being a giant and not blessed with any sense of economy of effort, he decided that one spadeful of Welsh dirt would suffice to block the river for good.
He filled a sack with rich Welsh soil and there being no trains in those days, it took him many hours of giant strides to get to Shropshire and having no sense of direction, many more to find Shrewsbury. Eventually he became exhausted with carrying the earth and sat down for a rest, only about five miles from the town. He decided to wait until somebody passed, so that he could ask directions.
Soon a cobbler, on his way back home appeared, trudging wearily along the road. The giant leapt up and with a mighty roar accosted the cobbler, brandishing his shovel and his bag of soil and demanding to know where Shrewsbury was.
The Cobbler was rather more quick witted than the giant and with a curse, emptied his bag of broken shoes in the road. “Damn Shrewsbury and all its people” he yelled, “It’s bloody miles away, I’ve worn out fifteen pairs of shoes and I’m only half way home!” With a groan, the giant subsided in a sweaty heap and offered the cobbler a swig of mead.
The cobbler gratefully accepted and the two sat there in the evening sun, cursing the folk of Shrewsbury and getting drunker by the minute. Eventually, as darkness gathered the Giant realised he’d have to get home and thanking the Cobbler for his company emptied his bag of soil at the side of the road and strode off westwards in the general direction of Wales. That giant bag of soil became the Wrekin. The first location on our list of the 5 best places to visit in Shropshire!
The Stiperstones are a long ridge of rocky outcrops in the South Waest of Shropshire dominated by The Devil’s Chair. The legend is that The Devil was intending to fill in the valley on the English side of the Stiperstones with a bunch of rocks he was carrying in his apron. It’s unclear what the function of the Devil’s apron was other than carrying rocks, but never mind, the apron broke and the rocks tumbled out, scattering across the Shropshire landscape where they remain to this day!
It is also said that at Summer Solstice, every year, the Devil presides over his minions from the Devil’s Chair and they choose his representative on earth to carry out wicked schemes. Well worth a visit, there is a car park at the base and a relatively short climb to the ridge.
You cannot tour Shropshire without visiting Ludlow. It’s on the edge of the Welsh Marches and dates from Anglo Saxon times. It is said that the original Robin Hood, a disenfranchised gentleman called Fulk FitzWarin who rebelled against the French was a Ludlow native and would-be suitor of Marion de la Bruyere, his betrayed lover whose ghost can still be heard wailing from the ramparts of Ludlow Castle. The town contains 500 listed buildings and a number of excellent restaurants to complement the campsite fare.
Ironbridge is a World Heritage site and boast the world’s first Iron Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford. It’s a beautiful town built on the side of a precipitous gorge through which the River Severn runs. Close by is the very popular Blists Hill Victorian Town which is a perfect replica of a Victorian town complete with shops that take victorian money, a blacksmith, baker, doctor, school, pub and foundry. Very popular with tourists and locals alike, it has a huge carpark and is well worth spending the day there seeing how the victorians lived.
Wenlock Edge is an outstanding natural feature, we think in the top half of the 5 best places to visit in Shropshire, with a legend attached! It’s one of the oldest geological formations in the UK and covers 18 miles of Shropshire countryside. The campsite at Lower Hill Farm where many of the photographs of the campervan were taken is tucked into the base of the escarpment offering news across the East of the county.
The best place to visit is Major’s Leap just outside Much Wenlock, where according to legend a Cavalier on the run from Oliver Cromwell’s roundheads leaped his horse off the edge of the escarpment in a last ditch attempt to save his life. His fall was broken by trees and he survived. The horse was less fortunate. Confusingly, since he survived, his ghost (and the horse’s) is said to reenact the incident periodically to the accompaniment of blood curdling screams and shouts and curses of the pursuing parliamentarians.
These are the current 5 best places to visit in Shropshire, if you’d like to roam further afield, check out our best seaside locations..