From the 11th-century Ludlow Castle to delightful shops and restaurants, Ludlow in the Welsh Marches makes a fantastic short break
Nestled among the Shropshire countryside, just south of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ludlow has history and architecture for you to explore.
Known as the foodie capital of Shropshire, the medieval town of Ludlow welcomes over 10,000 visitors annually, especially during its three captivating, eclectic festivals. Next on the calendar is the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre on 23 and 24 November.
But even if you’re visiting outside festival season there’s still plenty to do. This lively cultural hub is also the gateway to the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the perfect base to explore the nearby hills, valley and forests.
Day 1: What to do in Ludlow
Spend the morning getting your bearings and browsing around the many independent shops and market stalls. Open-air markets have been running here for over 900 years and are very much a Ludlow tradition.
After lunch, head to the cannon outside the castle for 2.30pm to join one of the 90-minute guided tours around Ludlow. Tours run every weekend and bank holiday from Easter to October and cost £3 per person (children go free).
There's a great list of things to do in Ludlow on the local website.
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Relax and explore the local market on a sunny afternoon.
Where to eat in Ludlow
If the weather is fine, stock up on lunchtime delights from the delis and market stalls and head to the pretty Millennium Green for a picnic. In particular, the award-winning Broad Bean deli in Broad Street sells excellent local produce, while Swifts Bakery in Corve Street is renowned for its beer bread. On inclement days, grab a window seat at the Fish House in King Street and sample a sharing platter (£25 for two).
For dinner, Bistro 7 of Ludlow serves local, seasonal produce with imagination and flair. Enjoy dishes such as roast pork belly with spring onions and potato champ, sauté black pudding, and cider and sage sauce, or grilled fillet of stonebass with a seafood risotto. As with anywhere in Ludlow, booking ahead is essential.
What to do in Ludlow after dark
Sign up to a Friday-night Ludlow ghost tour. Starting at 8pm and requiring sensible shoes, a torch and “a strong constitution”, tickets cost £5 per person. Afterwards, if you haven’t had enough of ghosts, head to Ludlow’s most-haunted pub, the Blue Boar, for a restorative pint.
Day 2: What to do in Ludlow
Then head out of the castle and on to St Laurence’s Church, the largest in Shropshire and often described as the Cathedral of the Marches. Pay the £4 to climb the 201 steps to the top of the tower for the best views of Ludlow.
What to eat in Ludlow
For breakfast head to the Pea Green Café for a full English for under a fiver, with many lighter options available too.
Then, if you’re not too full, The Queens specialises in delicious comfort food with mains such as homemade Mortimer Forest venison pie and chips starting from £13.
Treat yourself in Ludlow
Ludlow now boasts its own excellent range of gins. Head to Taste at No 1 by the Buttercross to try and buy (it also offers excellent cakes) and, while there, why not sign up for one of its Ludlow gin-tasting events?
Admire the architecture of St. Laurence's church in Ludlow.
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