Church Stretton - The first town in Shropshire to be 'Walkers Are Welcome'
As a health resort the Victorians called Church Stretton "little Switzerland"(without the wolves and avalanches) but with its alpine like hills and valleys its easy to see why. Church Stretton still retains its spa town feel with natural springs providing the source of Stretton Hills bottled water.
Above the town rises the Long Mynd which is topped by a moorland plateau of heather and rocks, broken on the eastern side by a series of "batches" or hollows. A popular walking area - ideal for exploring the Shropshire Hills. Church Stretton is the first town in Shropshire to receive Walkers Are Welcome status. Walkers Are Welcome towns are places which have something special to offer for walkers more than simply being a fantastic place to come and enjoy the great outdoors. The town also holds its own annual Walking Festival in June.
Carding Mill Valley provides a more leisurely walk popular with visitors and a tea pavilion for that all important brew. At weekends and Bank Holidays the National Trust run a shuttle bus from the railway station to the valley and up to the top of the Long Mynd. The sensible folk take it up and walk back - its easier that way.
A thriving antiques centre with over 60 stalls is open every day and nearby Acton Scott Historic Farm will give you a taste of farming at the turn of the 19th Century well before mechanisation.
St Laurence's Church is handsome - look for the sheila-na-gig, a pagan fertility symbol. Probably Saxon - definitely rude!
Church Stretton & South Shropshire Arts Festival takes place each year. The festivities result in the South Shropshire Hills literally becoming alive with the sound of music!
For more information about Church Stretton and the rest of South Shropshire, please click the link to visit the Ludlow & South Shropshire website