By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
Shropshire and Denbighshire have a wide variety of wonderful things to see and do – here are some of our top picks.
You’ll need to fuel up for the big adventure, and there’s no better place to start than Ludlow, the wonderful culinary capital of the region. Dig into a full English breakfast at one of the many wonderful local cafés, then wander up to the castle to explore the ancient building, which dates all the way back to 1086.
Next, grab a basket full of fresh Shropshire produce from a local deli or farm shop, then head out for a bracing walk in the Shropshire Hills safe in the knowledge that you’ve got all the makings of a wonderful hearty picnic lunch to enjoy while you soak up those far-reaching views.
The rest of the afternoon can be spent in Ironbridge Gorge. Widely regarded as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the surrounding valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Marvel at the outstanding feat of engineering that is the world’s first iron bridge, then choose from one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums. Get hands-on with science and engineering at Enginuity, perhaps, or go back to Victorian times at Blists Hill.
Next get over to Shrewsbury, check into a hotel and book a restaurant for dinner. This most atmospheric of towns is awash with excellent options, but for chic, inventive dining that’s a real treat, try and get a table at The Walrus.
After a good night’s sleep and a restorative breakfast, it’s time to hit the road once more – or the winding Shrewsbury streets, that is. A good wander around town is like entering a portal back to Tudor times, particularly on atmospheric Wyle Cop, Fish Street and Butcher Row.
Now cross over the border into Denbighshire and to Plas Newydd in Llangollen. This former stone cottage was converted into a gothic fantasy of oak and stained glass by Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby – otherwise known as the celebrated Ladies of Llangollen.
Grab a light lunch at one of Llangollen’s many cafés (if the weather’s fine, Riverbanc has a lovely waterside terrace) then it’s time to get out on the river. Taking a horse-drawn boat from Llangollen Wharf is exciting enough, but the real drama is at Horseshoe Falls, an early 19th-century weir designed by engineering wunderkind Thomas Telford.
If locomotives are more your thing, skip the river and jump on a steam train. The Llangollen Steam Railway runs alongside the River Dee to Corwen, with stunning views as standard.
End the day with an evening stroll along the beach. Both Prestatyn and Rhyl have plenty of space for sandy strolls. Grab some fish and chips and eat with your toes in the sand or splash out at the stylish 1891 Restaurant at Rhyl Pavilion. If you want to make a real night of it, you could even catch a show!
Getting to and around Shropshire
Sport in Shropshire
Things to see and do in Shropshire and Denbighshire: our top picks