Spot-on breaks for Spring
Spring is here. And England is the place to be. Enjoy a host of seasonal activities and events going on all over the country. Pick up a spring sale bargain at the shops, eat and drink at quirky cafes and restaurants or explore the verdant countryside.
Here are just a few experiences in Shropshire to whet your appetite...
Snuggle down in a 16th century inn, with 21st century design
Stay in a snug at the Lion & Pheasant - a boutique townhouse hotel with contemporary design, located on one of Shrewsbury's most historic streets
The Lion & Pheasant combines the best of contemporary design with a 16th century coaching inn as its canvas. Located on Wyle Cop, one of Shrewsbury's most historic streets, with its independent shops and black and white facades, it is the ideal place to stay for a weekend exploring Shrewsbury. Each of the 22 rooms is individually designed and the Snug Doubles are perfectly proportioned for a romantic short break. The 2 AA rosette restaurant serves understated, honest food from the heart, using the finest local produce. At the end of the day why not enjoy a cocktail in the 'Inglenook' Bar, with its massive open fireplace, low beams and flagstone floor, from the aptly named 'Thirsty Pheasant' bar tender.
From £99 bed & breakfast; from £150 dinner, bed & breakfast (Snug Double, per room, per night)
Follow in the footsteps of Prince Rupert
Spend the weekend at the Prince Rupert Hotel in the heart of Shrewsbury, former home of King James I's grandson
Follow in the footsteps of Prince Rupert, grandson of James I and nephew of Charles I, by staying in his former home. Situated in the heart of Shrewsbury, many of the building's original features, dating to the 12th and 15th centuries are evident, and Prince Rupert would still recognise the surrounding cobblestone streets and Tudor buildings. When it comes to enjoying a romantic meal, you'll be spoilt for choice - will it be the oak-panelled Royalist Restaurant, Chambers - the Tudor Bistro, or Camellia's Tea Rooms, a wonderful place to relax, listening to music from the grand piano. You might not want to venture from the old-world charm of the hotel, but don't forget that it's perfectly located to explore Shrewsbury's attractions.
From £105 bed & breakfast; from £155 dinner, bed & breakfast (Standard Double, per room, per night)
Sail on Sabrina - Goddess of the River Severn
Enjoy Shrewsbury from the unique perspective of the River Severn, by day or night, on board Sabrina
Named after the Roman Goddess of the River Severn, Sabrina is a triple deck passenger boat, which cruises the meandering loop that the River Severn forms around Shrewsbury. Take a 40 minute day cruise of the Severn and enjoy the beautiful views of Shrewsbury's most well known sights and attractions from the water. See the spires and towers of St Chad's, St Mary's and The Market Hall, the expansive vista of the town's 29 acre Quarry Park and the English and Welsh bridges, which cross the river where the Severn's loop starts and finishes. On your return leg, listen to the entertaining commentary from your captain, whilst enjoying hot or cold refreshments from the onboard bar.
From - Adult £6.75; Child £3.15; Concession £5.40; Family £16.20 (Day trip advance booking prices)
Explore the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
In this beautiful corner of Shropshire, Ironbridge created the spark which started the Industrial Revolution
Whilst Britain's first iron-making centre may be a peaceful place today, in the past Ironbridge Gorge was filled with smoke, fire and blast furnaces from which the sounds and smells of early industry arose, bearing the world's first iron bridge, as well as it's first iron rails, wheels, boats, the first steam locomotive. Other industries were also first developed in Ironbridge, ranging from decorative ceramic tile making, hand-painted porcelain and clay pipes. Now a World Heritage Site, ten interactive, hands on museums form the Ironbridge Gorge Museums and tell the story of the Gorge's place in industrial history. Step back in time at Blists Hill Victorian Town and come face to face with its townsfolk, visit the Coalport China Museum and Jackfield Tile Museum amongst others, and of course marvel at the world's first cast iron bridge, which spans the Severn Gorge.
From - Adult £27.50; Child £16.50; 60+ £21; Family 1 Adult £50; Family 2 Adults £68 (Annual Passport Ticket prices to all ten museums, valid from 29th March 2014 to Friday 13th March 2015)
Take an Audio Tour around Stokesay Castle
Stokesay Castle is simply the most romantic castle in Shropshire, even though it isn't technically a castle!
Stokesay Castle is actually one the country's finest and best preserved 13th century fortified manor houses. Located in the peaceful South Shropshire countryside, near to the Welsh border, the audio tour will help you to imagine Stokesay Castle as the centre of medieval life. Stokesay has a magnificent open-hearthed great hall, with fine cruck-built timber roof, shuttered gable windows and a precipitous staircase, and has scarcely been altered since it was built. Together with its timber framed gatehouse and parish church, it makes an outstandingly picturesque group of buildings. You will be able to glimpse into a distant age, when strength and elegance were combined, and also enjoy cottage-style gardens, a tearoom in summer and a gift shop.
£6.40; Child £3.80; Concession &5.80; Family (2 adults, 3 children) £16.60; English Heritage Members Free (Prices valid from 1st April 2014)