Nestled in the Shropshire Hills, the historic market town of Ludlow seems to have it all: hundreds of listed buildings, a huge ruined castle, cobbled streets and world-class restaurants. It's also the ideal base for country strolls that end in pints of ale in old, cosy pubs. 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.
Best things to do in Ludlow
Enjoying your riverside spot? Fine dining can be found at CSons at The Green Cafe. It 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.
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.
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. Not on the hard stuff? Check out the stunning, seventeenth- century Feathers Hotel for afternoon tea.
Plan a trip to Ludlow 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.
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 Hyde, a 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.