This part of the world may not set the world on fire but we do have two world heritage sites and a host of other places which we enjoy and hope you will also. Here are a few ideas:
Shrewsbury, Shropshire (10 minutes by car)
Park in Frankwell and walk across The Welsh Bridge into the town centre. Take in St Mary’s church and its fine stained glass windows, The Quarry (the town’s park) with its floral centrepiece The Dingle where Percy Thrower cut his teeth as a young man, climb to the top of Laura’s tower in the pleasing castle grounds and have a cup of coffee in Ginger & Co just off the old market square.
Stick to the medieval streets and take in a fourth-generation wine merchants called Tanners or perhaps push the boat out with a trip down the river on Sabrina. The tourist information in town has plenty more ideas or visit originalshrewsbury.co.uk.
Attingham Park (20 minutes by car) and Sunnycroft (30 minutes by car). Both National Trust
Set in fine grounds and with an interesting history Attingham Park has plenty to do. Better still just at the gates is The Mytton and Mermaid (eat in the bar when it reopens in 2023). Situated on the banks of The River Severn and overlooking a fine Georgian bridge this 18th century coaching inn hides the mostly ignored and worth visiting 8th century church of St Eata. The Romans didn’t settle Shrewsbury but instead built downstream in Wroxeter. Go to Wroxeter village, park up at the hotel and sneak through a hedge for trip through history courtesy of the village church. Sunnycroft is a fine example of an Edwardian villa where the exhibits have an uncanny feeling of déjà vu on account of being recognisable from childhood memories. On the way back you can take in Haughmond Abbey and have a cup of tea and cake at the award winning cafe Battlefield 1403.
Montgomery (40 mins by car) and Welshpool, Wales (10 minutes by car)
Montgomery is a charming border market town in the Marches with a long and colourful history. Cross Offa’s Dyke into Wales and watched over by a solid Castle built during the reign of Henry III the town has several places to find good food, an interesting church complete with highwayman’s grave and the unique Bunners hardware shop where you can buy everything from a tin bath to quad bikes plus everything in-between. Travelling north is Welshpool with its narrow gauge railway and Powis Castle with its fine collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and tapestries as well as Italianate terraces and yew hedges in the gardens. On the way back you may consider having a meal at a third-generation family pub, The Windmill.
Ironbridge (40 minutes by car)
The bridge itself is the main attraction here, but bolted onto this world heritage site are museums a plenty and the Victorian town of Blists Hill which, whilst aimed at those of us who are on the younger end of the spectrum, is great fun for all. This is a full day out and you can always eat at The Mytton and Mermaid on the way home.
Pontcysyllte (40 minutes by car)
Up the A5, this remarkable aqueduct (another world heritage site) took Thomas Telford 10 years to build and was opened in 1805. It is now the oldest and longest navigable aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest in the world. Stroll across it and then drive on up to Llangollen for food and if so inclined a trip on the stream railway or white water rafting on The Dee. On your way home there is no harm in taking in the 220m long Chirk aqueduct or indeed Chirk Castle.
Chester and Ludlow (Both 60 minutes by car)
One to the north, the other south. Chester, Roman in its origins boasting almost complete walls, delightfully unique ‘Rows’ where interesting shops are positioned on two storeys and a world famous zoo. The other to the south is Ludlow, a marches market town with a fine castle, lovely views from Whitcliffe and likes to boast being the foodie capital of Shropshire. On the way down to Ludlow take in the Acton Scott working farm museum, the 13th century fortified manor Stokesay Castle and the Shropshire hills visitor centre.
Much Wenlock and Bridgnorth (40 minutes by car)
The birth place of the modern Olympic Games is as we all know Much Wenlock which is conveniently on the road to Bridgnorth and a pleasant place to stop, soak up the atmosphere and have a reviving cup of tea. Arriving in Bridgnorth with its funicular railway, partially blown up Castle Keep, thriving shops and world famous Severn Valley Railway just ditch the car and potter in on foot. There are plenty of places to eat.
David Austin Roses (50 minutes by car)
Home to one of the largest and most beautiful collection of roses in the world, a visit to David Austin seldom fails to delight. Set in over 2 acres and with 700 different varieties of roses the gardens are a treat and the café comes highly recommended. For anyone who is really not horticulturally minded there is always RAF Cosford just up the road with its bewildering collection of aircraft and associated displays.
Some walks to burn off the calories
Walks in the local area but we would recommend conquering The Lawley, admiring Carding Mill Valley, visiting the iron age fort at Nesscliffe, witnessing the views from Rodney’s Pillar or the wilds around The Stiperstones.
The Isle itself (just walk out the door)
Have a stroll around the farm taking in the Isle Pool (a 10 acre kettle lake formed 10–15 thousand years ago at the end of the last ice age), The North Pole (most northerly point of The River Severn), our Anglo-Saxon fort, some ground-breaking sustainable agricultural practices and the walled garden with its swimming pool and resident peacocks. Lastly the Home Farm is bursting with horses (dressage, livery and breeding) as well as a host of resident hens, ducks, Guinee fowl and geese.
If we can be of more help with suggestions or advice on planning your itinerary then don’t hesitate to ask.
Looking for a special dining experience while you’re staying with us?
In the surrounding area
The Isle Estate includes a relatively small, self-contained holding. Here the Isle is reducing their reliance on traditional bagged fertiliser to grow their main crops: wheat, maize and potatoes. On a personal note, Edward’s aim is to return the land to a level of health and biodiversity not seen since his birth in 1966.
Projects have gradually evolved over the last ten years. As well as the Isle ‘Enhanced Ecological Management Project’, social programmes help local and visiting communities enjoy the benefits of a rural setting. Learn more about the farm or find out how to get involved.