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16 things to do in Ludlow

Visit the charming market town of Ludlow for rural rambles, medieval ruins, and cosy pubs packed with lush, local produce.

Written by
Emma Hughes
Georgina Lawton
Kayleigh Watson

Nestled in the Shropshire Hills, the historic market town of Ludlow seems to have it all within its cosy reaches: a huge ruined castle, hundreds of listed buildings, cobbled streets and world-class restaurants. It's also the ideal base for country strolls that end in pints of ale in snug, old pubs or - alternately - newly established breweries.

Switching off is guaranteed, as Ludlow’s streets are rarely crowded. That is, unless you visit (along with 20,000 others) for its annual food festival. 

RECOMMENDED: Discover Cheltenham, Cardiff and Snowdonia

Best things to do in Ludlow

First Up

First Up

Head off on the circular Bread Walk. Start at the castle before and crossing the River Teme, where the scenic path takes you beside the water for about a mile. Stop for a drink in The Charlton Arms on the balcony overlooking the river. 

Stop for lunch

Enjoying your riverside spot? Fine dining can be found at CSons at The Green CafeIt serves up delicious, unfussy and locally sourced food on a lovely waterside terrace. The Springfield chicken shawarma and the Shropshire asparagus and goat's cheese are amazing. 

Soak up the vibes

Soak up the vibes

Ludlow Castle towers over the town. It has roots in the tenth century, but it's layered with history and is one of the best-preserved medieval ruins in England. Some towers and rooms complete with grand fireplaces are still accessible. Wander the grounds, the setting for Ludlow's major festivals, and enjoy the incredible views.

Branching a bit further out? Take a detour instead to Stokesay Castle for your dose of heritage. One of the best-preserved fortified manor houses in England, their great hall remains unchanged after 700 years and its fairy-tale tower offers glorous views of the Shropshire Hills. 

A bit more architecture

If you prefer your historical landmarks with the glass intact, then be sure to stop by at St. Laurence's Church. One of the largest parish churches in the country, its striking stained glass windows are a focal point with some of them being centuries old. It is also home to 201 step tower that has views of Shropshire for miles on a clear day. 

Splash the cash

Splash the cash

Ludlow's historic streets are home to boutiques and antique shops. Head to Corve Street to find modern art and furniture at Gallery 131, locally sourced veg at Myriad Organics, and fascinating vintage knick-knacks at the Period House Shop

Drink like a local
Photograph: Jo Jones/

Drink like a local

Have a traditional tipple or two at The Wheatsheaf Inn, a pub built into Ludlow's medieval gate which date backs to 1668, or head to The Church, a Grade II- listed pub, for a fantastic G&T. If a more contemporary localé is on the agenda, then make a pitstop at Ludlow Brewing Company. Founded in 2006, sip one of their flagship Ludlow Gold by their log burning fires.

Not on the hard stuff? Check out the stunning, seventeenth- century Feathers Hotel for afternoon tea. 


Traverse the local hills

Shropshire has some stunning scenery and that surrounding Ludlow is no exception. Clee Hills - covering both Titterstone and Brown Clee - was once home to medieval coal mining, but is now traversed by those who have an appreciation for nature. Take the Three Castles Walk to see - as the name suggests - three castles and cross the River Corve, or alternately visit Whitcliffe Common just outside of town and shows the turrets and towers of Ludlow castle in all their glory.

If you only do one thing

If you only do one thing

Ludlow has a long history of street markets dating back to the twelth century, therefore it makes sense to plan a trip during one of its famous fayres. Ludlow Food Festival (September 13-15 2019) takes place inside the castle ruins with more than 180 food and drink offerings, while Ludlow and Mangalonga in August is a foodie feast and rural rumble. 

If your diary doesn't comply with those key dates, the town is home to the longstanding Ludlow Market which is home to over 40 stores selling a combination of local produce, cheese - or head over on a Sunday for the specialist flea market that covers garden fare, crafts and books.

And if you stay the night, wake up here
nicholas yarsley

And if you stay the night, wake up here

Would you travel across the country for some bread? If the loaf in question is Lee Westcott's IPA sourdough slathered in Marmite butter, the correct answer is, 'When's the next train?' The former head chef of The Typing Room in Bethnal Green upped sticks last year to open Pensons, a modern restauarant in a fifteenth- century barn on the Netherwood estate. Luckily there's somewhere to lay your head right next door. The Hydea Grade II*- listed medieval house comes with roll-top baths, a hot tub and cloud-soft beds. Emma Hughes 

The Hyde, from £2,600 for a three-night weekend. 

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