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CROFT CASTLE AND PARKLAND – NATIONAL TRUST
image B4362, Yarpole, Leominster, HR6 9PW 01568 780246 9.2 miles

1000 years of power, politics and pleasure in an intimate family home located at nearby Leominster.

Situated on the English-Welsh border, Croft is a quiet, ancient place steeped in British history and politics with a picturesque castle and medieval parkland re-fashioned during the 18th century.

Surrounded by 1,500 acres of woods, park and farmland, Croft became home to a resilient and prominent family, beginning with Bernard de Croft in the 11th century. Later, Sir Richard Croft fought in the Wars of the Roses while Sir James Croft was rewarded with high office for his loyalty to Elizabeth I.

You will find portraits in the castle and memorials in the nearby parish church which record the many members of the Croft dynasty who served in later political and colonial positions.

Sir Archer Croft’s failed investment in the South Sea Company fuelled the family’s debts and eventually resulted in the Crofts losing their home. Croft was then sold to the ambitious Johnes family who installed elegant Georgian Gothick rooms overlooking the ancient parkland and built a walled garden, now housing a glasshouse, orchard and productive vineyard.

Walks and carriage rides created through the wider picturesque pleasure grounds of Fishpool Valley with its deep quiet pools, mill and grotto are all now undergoing an ambitious programme of restoration. Wider walks lead to the Iron Age hill fort of Croft Ambrey with magnificent far-reaching views to the Welsh Mountains.

Bought back by the Croft family in the 20th century, the castle briefly became a family home once more, even hosting a school during the Second World War. In 1956 it was secured for the nation. Today you will find a varied collection on display showing the many aspects of Croft’s history.

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BERRINGTON HALL – NATIONAL TRUST
image Berrington Hall near, Leominster HR6 0DW 01568 615721 8.2 miles

Georgian grandeur on a human scale; neoclassical mansion by Henry Holland set in ‘Capability’ Brown’s final landscape and gardens

Standing proud and strong, this fine Georgian mansion sits within ‘Capability’ Brown’s final garden and landscape. Discover the rare curved walled garden for the first time as we reveal this unique Brownian design in June as part of our Berrington Garden Project. In the house, discover jewel-like interiors, designed by Henry Holland and home to the Harley, Rodney and Cawley families. Uncover the story of Ann Bangham, first lady of Berrington, and see her restored 18th century court mantua dress. Experience some of the extremes of the 18th century in the wig and bum shop (grown-ups & kids) and find the hidden ‘below stairs’.

Created as the perfect house in the perfect setting, Berrington Hall has many secrets for visitors to uncover. In this, one of Henry Holland’s first houses, you can also explore the family rooms and, on select days, see how the servants moved around the house unseen by the family and guests.

The interiors include Biaggio Rebecca ceilings, fine period furniture and there are some pieces on display from the Wade Collection. The house is surrounded by Capability Brown’s final landscape. Though it has a slightly austere exterior, the house has delicate interiors and a homely, welcoming feel.

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CLEE HILL
image Clee Hill, Ludlow, SY8 5.6 miles

The view at the summit is tremendous, and is accessible via car by making use of the road beginning in Clee Hill (Village). Please note that the ‘carpark’ area at the top is riddled with extremely large, water filled potholes, so proceed with caution. There are plenty of trail walks some starting from the ‘carpark’ area at the top.

The Clee Hills are a distinct area of uplands separated from those further west. There are some significant areas of common land including Clee Liberty, Clee Hill and Catherton Commons. The hills are surrounded by a high plateau of sandstone with red soils and mostly enclosed pastoral land.

Villages are often small and scattered, and there are some medieval deserted settlements. Clee Hill is the largest village, and bears a strong influence of past and present mining and quarrying. The high point of the A4117 on Clee Hill Common provides remarkable views south to the Malvern Hills, Herefordshire and beyond. The old squatter settlements associated with former mining result in a surviving pattern of small land holdings, including non-agricultural uses. Small hay meadows and high quality grasslands survive in amongst these.

In the west the area extends to the perimeter of Ludlow and along the edge of the Corve Dale, where larger traditional country estates are found. The market towns of Ludlow and Cleobury Mortimer are both 5.5 miles distant. Ludlow to the west and Cleobury to the east. There are substantial woodlands on the eastern flanks of Brown Clee near Burwarton.

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STOKESAY CASTLE
image Ludlow Road, Craven Arms, SY& 9AH 0370 333 1181 6.9 miles

Step into the finest and best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England. Discover the great hall, unchanged for over 700 years. Spot characters carved in the timbers of the 17th-century gatehouse and climb to the top of a fairy-tale tower for breath taking views of the Shropshire Hills.

Stokesay Castle was constructed at the end of the 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow, who at the time was one of the richest men in England. It remains a treasure by-passed by time, one of the best places to visit in England to experience what medieval life was like.

Today the castle has been carefully restored and there is plenty to do here on a family day out.

Don’t Miss

  • The stunning views from the gable windows of the great hall
  • The beautifully carved over mantel within the solar
  • Our tearoom serving delicious lunches and cakes with beautiful views over the Shropshire countryside
  • The castle’s exciting events programme
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SHROPSHIRE HILLS DISCOVERY CENTRE
image Market Street, Craven Arms, SY7 9RS 01588 676060 7.2 miles

Meet the Mammoth, enjoy exhibitions and explore a 30 acre meadow!

Based in the stunning Shropshire Hills, on the side of the A49 in Craven Arms. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, a perfect place to begin your exploration of the area.

EXPERIENCE the Shropshire Hills Through Time exhibition. From start to finish, use all of your senses to explore the Ice Age through to the present day.

RELAX in the award winning café. With homemade cakes, local lunches and Shropshire cream teas, the café offers a true taste of the Shropshire landscape. Menus and specials of the day are all prepared from scratch, on site and Sunday lunches are a firm favourite.

EXPLORE 30 acres of riverside Meadows. Walk and cycle through trees, past dragonfly and butterfly hotspots and along the River Onny. Enjoy all ability access paths, perfect for wheelchairs and pushchairs so everyone can enjoy being in the great outdoors. Well behaved dogs are welcome in the meadows so you can enjoy your picnic or food from the café on our benches.

DISCOVER the visitor information service. Friendly teams are on hand to answer your questions and advise you on the best places to explore the area.

LOVE a unique range of gifts and treats in the shop. Get that perfect gift as you take home a little bit of Shropshire. With an extensive range of books and maps, start your walk from here or explore local sites.

Run by local charity, Grow Cook Learn, committed to connecting people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills based in the heart of the Craven Arms

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LAND OF LOST CONTENT MUSEUM (CLOSED)
image The Old Market Hall, Market Street, Craven Arms, SY7 9NW 01588 676 176 7.5 miles
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ACTON SCOTT HISTORIC WORKING FARM – TEMPORARILY COSED – DUE TO RE-OPEN SPRING 2024
image Acton Scott, Church Stretton, SY6 6QN 01694 781260 or 07845 655898 12.3 miles

Tucked away in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the ancient Acton Scott estate.

Visitors and holiday makers are encouraged to come and experience its timeless appeal and village character and in so doing help preserve it for future generations.

Acton Scott has long provided the opportunity to become familiar with the country life of yester year. Its Historic Working Farm is a wonderful visitor attraction with daily activities and special events. You will see traditional 19th century farm life unfold daily, while the land around is worked by heavy horses

Acton Scott offers the perfect holiday location for families and groups of friends. Finely restored, larger Holiday Houses; an authentic 19th century farm labourer’s dwelling as tipped by The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Cool Holiday Cottages. Plus Farmhouse B&B and Group Camping at the Village Hall. The choice is yours.

Acton Scott achieved national television fame as the setting for BBC 2’s ratings success story ‘Victorian Farm’ which was accompanied by a best-selling book, the estate went on to provide the film location for ‘Ben Fogle’s Escape in Time’. In 2011, Acton Scott featured in a brand new television series ‘Making Britain Count’, presented by Phil Tufnell, and was also be seen on the BBC’s popular ‘Escape to the Country’ series.

Everyone at Acton Scott works hard to enrich its appeal to visitors. A Circular walk, the ‘Country Squire’s Stroll’, takes in the estate’s picturesque landscape and many recognisable film locations. A programme of traditional craft and trade courses to learn about the forgotten skills of the past runs throughout 2020 at the Historic Working Farm.

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CARDING MILL VALLEY AND THE LONG MYND
image Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton, SY6 6JG 01694 725 000 15.8 miles

Take a walk across the wildlife-rich heathland and enjoy the views across the Shropshire Hills, or simply play in the stream in the valley.

Covering as much as 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of heather-covered hills with panoramic stunning views of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Welsh hills, this is an important place for wildlife, geology and archaeology.

There are paths for walking, cycling and horse riding, you can even drive to the top of the hill to take in the views. In Carding Mill Valley there are excellent visitor facilities including a tea-room, toilets and car parking.

In Carding Mill Valley you can play in the stream, watch birds from the hide, pond dip and relax with a picnic; or you can simply use the Valley as your base for the day and head on up the hill for an adventure. You don’t have to venture far out of the Valley to find your own piece of solitude on the Long Mynd.

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ATTINGHAM PARK – NATIONAL TRUST
image Attingham Park Estate Office, Shrewsbury SY4 4TP 01743 708123 30.2 miles

Attingham inspires a sense of beauty, space and awe. The imposing entrance, glimpses of the vast mansion against silhouettes of cedars and expansive parkland, epitomise classical design and Italian influence. Its completeness of survival exemplifies the rise and decline, love and neglect of great country-house estates. Discovering the Berwicks’ estate with acres of parkland, miles of walks, the huge organic walled garden, large playfield and welcoming mansion is a full day out. There’s so much to see and do at Attingham – whether you’re a family looking for activities, both inside and out, or simply in search of a traditional visit to a historic house and parkland. Full of life and locally loved, there’s something for everyone all year round.

From ancient landscapes to mansion restoration, the estate at Attingham has witnessed a lot of change.

4000 years in the making.
Attingham’s Estate is centred around the confluence of the Rivers Tern and Severn, with mostly flat, light alluvial soils and lots of sand and gravel. Our ancestors found this to their liking and we have lots of evidence of human activity from an early age: Iron Age field systems, Bronze Age barrows, the Roman city of Viroconium and Saxon palaces.

The Hill family
The Hill family, later to become the Lords Berwick, bought the original piece of land here in 1700 – which came indirectly from land taken from Haughmond Abbey during the Dissolution. Over the next century they added to it until there were over 8,000 acres, extending right up into Shrewsbury.

The family made their money through politics, the acquisition of land, money-lending and mining. However, not all of them proved to be so good at managing their great fortune.

The work of the last Lord and Lady Berwick to restore the Mansion meant that half of this was sold off in the first half of the 20th century, leaving nearly 4,000 acres that we still manage today.

The massive Parkland, Walled Garden and Deer Park are open for pre-booked visits, along with car park, the Carriage House Café (for takeaway drinks and snacks only), Field of Play and most toilet facilities. To ensure the safety of visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities, you’ll need to book your visit in advance.

Attingham is a no smoking or vaping site (indoors and out) and dogs must be on a lead at all times (except for off-lead paddock area).

The outdoor spaces at Attingham remain open for local visitors to access fresh air and open space for exercise in line with government guidance. This includes the parkland, walking routes, Deer Park, Walled Garden and Field of Play.

As the evenings get lighter opening hours are extended to provide additional arrival time slots. The last arrival time slot of the day is 4.30pm-5pm, the estate then closes at 6pm.

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QUEENSWOOD COUNTRY PARK & ARBORETUM
image Herefordshire, Leominster, HR6 0PY 01432 530088 16.1 miles

Queenswood is the only designated country park in the county. It includes an arboretum (a 47 acre tree collection with over 1,200 rare and exotic trees from all over the world) and 123 acres of semi-natural ancient woodland which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Queenswood features an extensive and exciting range of attractions that are interesting, fun and healthy for people of all ages. Additionally, a variety of special events are organised throughout the year.

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WEST MIDLAND SAFARI & LEISURE PARK
image Spring Grove Road, Bewdly, Kidderminster, DY12 1LF 01299 402114 22.2 miles

West Midland Safari and Leisure Park is a safari park located in Bewdley in Worcestershire, England. It was opened under the name of West Midland Safari Park in spring 1973. The park holds over 165 species of exotic animals, among other attractions such as a small theme park.

ADMISSION TICKET PRICES 2021:

  • Adult – £25.00
  • Child (3-15yrs) – £20.00
  • Concessions (Student or Senior) – £22.00
  • Under 3s – Free
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IRONBRIDGE
image Ironbridge, Telford, Shropshire, TF8 7JP 25.2 miles

Iron bridge is a large village with a population of 4,000 in Telford and Wrekin Borough on the bank of the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, near Telford, Shropshire, England. It lies in the civil parish of the Gorge, approximately 50 km north-west of Birmingham.

The world’s first iron bridge was erected over the River Severn here in Shropshire in 1779. This pioneering structure marked a turning point in English design and engineering; after it was built, cast iron came to be widely used in the construction of bridges, aqueducts and buildings.

The industrial Revolution had its 18th century roots in the Iron bridge Gorge and spread worldwide leading to some of the most far reaching changes in human history.

The Iron Bridge’s story began in the early 18th century, in the nearby village of Coalbrookdale. Abraham Darby pioneered the smelting of iron using coke, a process that was a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution. It was Abraham Darby III who cast the ironwork for the bridge that still stands today, using the same techniques developed by his grandfather. The bridge was so successful that it gave its name to the spectacular wooded valley which surrounds it, now recognised as the Iron bridge Gorge World Heritage Site.

In 2017-18 English Heritage undertook a £3.6m conservation project on the Iron Bridge, to help safeguard the future of its historic ironwork. 

Some places to visit and things too see: 

Museum of The Gorge and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse. They’ll be open Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm.

Blists Hill Victorian Town will be open Sat & Sun, 10am-5pm.

At this stage the retail & visitor information spaces at Museum of The Gorge and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse will be open. The museum exhibitions will open in mid-May. At Blists Hill Victorian Town our outdoor spaces alongside front of house gift shop, Victorian market and our traditional shops will be open. Other buildings will reopen as Government restrictions allow.