Ludlow is one of England’s hidden gems. Nestled in the Shropshire countryside, on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this bustling market town is a slice of old-world charm, and a call back to a more peaceful age. Home to some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery, and a local market that has run for almost 1,000 years, Ludlow is the perfect place to kick back, chill out, and finally let yourself breathe. So if you’re ready to relax then read on, and find our top picks for the best things to do in Ludlow.
Where is Ludlow?
Ludlow is a market town located in South Shropshire, situated just half an hour from Shrewsbury, and 23 miles north of Hereford.
Things to do in Ludlow
- Ludlow Castle
- Ludlow Millenium Green
- Ludlow Brewing Company
- Ludlow Market
- Acton Scott Historic Farm
- St Laurence’s Church
- Severn Valley Railway
- Ludlow Museum
- Stokesay Castle
- Castle Lodge
Best for: Wandering with royalty.
Roosted atop the Shropshire Hills, gazing protectively across the River Teme, Ludlow Castle is the area’s most famous tourist attraction. This fantastic fortress was initially used by the Normans as a military stronghold. However, it soon became a fortified Royal Palace and secure retreat for the upper-crust of old-English society.
Stroll through the castle’s glamorous grounds, like generations of royals did centuries ago. Peek behind the curtain and take a look at the realities of Medieval society, then head to the castle kitchen for a cup of afternoon tea.
Ludlow Millenium Green
Best for: Soaking up the stunning scenery.
Ludlow sits on the banks of the River Teme, with Ludlow Castle defended by the waterway’s deep gorge. While this amazing scenery adds to the beauty of the town, it makes heading to the river bank for a peaceful picnic slightly tricky.
Ludlow Millennium Green is the only green space on this side of the river, where you can enjoy the scenery without a difficult walk beforehand. Sitting just beneath the castle, it’s an ideal spot for enjoying some Ludlow food and drink from the local market or even taking a swim in the river, if you can handle the chill.
Ludlow Brewing Company
Best for: HIstory with a side of beer.
If you prefer Ludlow’s history lessons with a side serving of beer, this is the place for you. Sat north of the town centre, Ludlow Brewing Company is the last working brewery in the town. Not only can you tour the functioning facilities and sample some award-winning brews along the way, by the venue regularly hosts music events and lively local entertainment. It’s perfect if you’re stuck for what to do on a Friday night.
Best for: Finding the best birthday presents.
Set in Castle Square, the oldest and highest part of Ludlow, this bustling market isn’t just a heart-warming slice of life in the English countryside. It’s also an award-winning selection of exceptional wares. Running since the 1100s, Ludlow Market is known for the incredible quality of goods on sale, from hand-crafted jewellery and homemade pies to the local wine produced on the Clee Hills.
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm
Best for: Seeing Shropshire in the 19th-century.
Years ago, there was a rustic romance to farming. When shire horses, not tractors, pulled the ploughs and cows were milked by hand, not machines. Acton Scott Historic Working Farm opens a window to Shropshire in the 19th-century and gives tourists a chance to see, and sample, the traditional farming methods that have now been left behind. Bottle feed lambs, collect eggs from chicken coops, learn how to churn butter and sew seeds for a Summer harvest.
St Laurence’s Church
Best for: Seeing some gothic splendour.
In the 15th-century, the sleepy town of Ludlow was a major player in one of the most prosperous industries of age – the cutthroat world of wool-trading. So successful were Ludlow’s dealings, that the town decided to give its church a very expensive makeover. Today, St Laurence’s holds the crown of the largest parish church in Shropshire and is still so decked in Gothic splendour, it’s easy to mistake for a full-blown cathedral.
Severn Valley Railway
Best for: Unleashing your inner aristocrat
No mode of transport can compare to the train – the romance, the history and the click-clack of wheels on the track. The Severn Valley Railway lets you journey back to a more elegant age, one of top hats, handkerchiefs and three-course meals from the comfort of a Victorian train carriage. Climb aboard and take a fully-catered tour across the beautiful Shropshire countryside, a day out with more fantastic photo-opportunities than any other.
Best for: An interactive learning experience.
Priding itself on providing an interactive learning experience, Ludlow Museum takes you by the hand and walks you through hundreds of years of local history. Best of all, the museum will recommend other top tourist spots, depending on which exhibits most interest you, so you’re journey through Ludlow’s fascinating history never has to end.
Best for: Journeying to medieval England.
Built during the 13th-century for Laurence of Ludlow, this manor house is one of the best-preserved slices of Medieval England. Perfectly preserved by English Heritage, walking through its wood-beamed walls doesn’t feel like visiting a historical attraction, but stepping back hundreds of years to Henry III’s rule. Partially damaged during the civil war, Stokesay Castle’s battle scars only add to its appeal, telling tales of one of England’s bloodiest eras.
Best for: Opening a Tudor time capsule.
Dating back to the 13th-century, this stately structure was once home to Catherine of Aragon, during the short time she spent married to Henry VIII’s older brother.
A few years later, during the 1500s, Castle Lodge underwent significant refurbishment and has remained the same ever since. Today it acts as a Tudor time capsule, allowing visitors to see the same stained glass, rustic wood panels and elaborate furnishings which once housed the English elite.