North Shropshire

So why North Shropshire? Well Dr Johnson reckoned it was "a region abounding with striking scenes and terrific grandeur" and who are we to argue? Admittedly that was in 1774…

…So lets get more up to date - A 2001 survey in The Sunday Times identified North Shropshire as one of the top 10 best places to live in England……Here's a little taster as to why…...

You'll find peaceful countryside and a unique landscape of sandstone hills, meres and mosses, and the four pretty little market towns of EllesmereWemWhitchurchand Market Drayton where old fashioned service and a warm welcome awaits.

As many have already discovered for themselves, leaving the car and taking the Shropshire air around the follies at Hawkstone or the views at Grinshill is a brilliant way of forgetting your stresses and restoring your equilibrium.

For those in need of less energetic activity to unwind, a gentle stroll around the glacial Meres at Ellesmere or Colemere can be even more relaxing.

The North Shropshire countryside is made for walking although some just can't resist the thrill of speed and elect to travel at a faster pace in the saddle.

If you want to improve on Mother Nature ask a gardener. Fewer areas in Britain can have so many attractions for lovers of plants and gardens. Wollerton Old Hall, with its many "rooms", knot garden and lime allee, will tickle your senses.

Nearby, Hadnall Country Garden Centre has a collection of old style roses for you to buy and there's even more to tempt you at the Shawbury Garden Centre, Bridgemere Garden World, Dorothy Clive Gardens and Cholmondeley Castle. You'd better book a few extra nights accommodation so you can visit them all.

With lift bridges, like those immortalised by Van Gogh, and staircase locks and aqueducts, North Shropshire's 46 miles of tranquil canal skirt around the sandstone hills on the way to Llangollen, cutting through wooded embankments and past sites of special scientific interest.

A narrowboat cruise offers a chance to leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and cruise at a leisurely 4 miles per hour (faster than rush hour in central London and a lot less frustrating). Towpath walks, local pubs and picturesque villages all add to this hedonistic way of life - but be warned, it can be addictive.

Found in the west is Oswestry, which is the best place to start exploring the Welsh Mountains and discover the delights of Lake Vyrnwy and the charm of the majestic castles of Powis, Chirk and Whittington which formed part of a later chain of fortifications, and are just down the road.

With all of this exploring you should have worked up an appetite, so whether you're looking for a traditional bar meal in front of a roaring log fire or something grander you'll find plenty of choice in North Shropshire.

Suitably recharged, its time to shop 'til you drop and stock up your larder. Home cured bacon, smoked meats and fish, farmhouse cheeses and real dairy ice cream, bread baked with organic flour, gingerbread and Clive pies even quails eggs can all be brought from our local producers..…they can also be found at Harrods and Buckingham Palace!

For more information on the market towns of EllesmereWem, OswestryWhitchurch and Market Drayton click on the name.

If you would like to visit North Shropshire and need accommodation and are interested in finding the best hotelguest housebed and breakfast or self catering property, please click here.