Category Archives: dog

Autumn in Shropshire

We’ve been enjoying  a lovely autumn in Shropshire. I’ve been taking the opportunity to take lots of lovely dog walks in the woods.

Purslow Woods, which you can walk to from Hopton House, but I tend to cheat and drive the 2 minutes up there, is looking magnificent. It’s full of sessile oak which has the most amazing coloured leaves right now. A lot of them have fallen, but in a few weeks time, when all the leaves have fallen, there’s a thick carpet of them to kick through.

We have  lots of availability for the rest of the autumn. The autumn duvets are on the beds and each room has completely controllable heating, so you won’t go cold. Book now for a late autumn break!

Here are some of my favourite autumn photos

a collage of autumn photos including apple pancakes, chickens, a butterfly and lot s of leaves - bed and breakfast shropshire

 

9 Things to do in Shropshire this autumn

9 Things to do in Shropshire this autumn

Shropshire is an undiscovered county sitting on the edge of the West Midlands between Birmingham and Wales. Here at Hopton House we’re just 6 miles from the Welsh Border and only 1/2 mile from Herefordshire.

It’s not on the main UK tourist trail but one thing is certain; when travellers accidentally come across Shropshire, normally driving through it to get somewhere else or visiting a food festival, they invariably fall in love and return many times.

I love Shropshire for its wonderful countryside; dramatic hills, valleys and woodlands but it’s more than just countryside. There are a few things about Shropshire you might find quite surprising and  many things to do and places to visit. Here are a few of my favourites.

1. Home to the first successful food festival in the UK

Ludlow, in the South of the county and 20 minutes from us, has become well known in recent years for its food festival. It’s held every year in the 2nd weekend of September and was the first successful food festival in the UK. It’s held in the grounds of Ludlow Castle and in the surrounding town. If you want to avoid the crowds, go first thing on a Friday.

7 things to do in Shropshire this autumn - visit the Ludlow Food Festival

2. Home to royals

Long before Ludlow became known for food, it was the administrative capital of Wales. Arthur, Prince of Wales, and probably better known as older brother to Henry VIII, was living at Ludlow Castle with his wife, Katharine of Aragon, when he died in 1502.  His heart is buried in St Laurence Church. The castle is home to the annual Medieval Craft Fair during the last weekend in November.

3. The Oldest Brewery in the UK

If you like your beer then Shropshire is the place to visit. It is awash with breweries and Bishops Castle is the home to the Three Tuns brewery, the oldest licensed brewery in the UK. There are several beer festivals held through the year, The Clun Valley beer festival is held in October.

4. The world’s industrial revolution started here

Given  how rural it is, it may come as a bit of a surprise that  Ironbridge in Shropshire was home to the industrial revolution in the 18th century. Today there are many museums for you to explore Shropshire’s industrial past. Blist’s Hill is an open air recreated Victorian Town.

5. Amazing geology

The Long Mynd is well known for being one the most beautiful areas in the UK, but it also has some of the most fascinating geology. The most famous Silurian site in the world is Wenlock Edge. A 400 million year old coral reef is now exposed and lots of fossils have been found here.

9 things to do in Shropshire this Autumn - visit and walk on the beautiful Long Mynd

6. Walk in the steps of Keira Knightley

If history, food and geology aren’t your thing and you’re more of a film buff, then Stokesay Court was the country house used in the film, Atonement. It’s open for guided tours once a month.  A special thank you to Tim King for letting me use his photo of Stokesay Court.

7 unusual things to do in Shropshire this Autumn - visit Stokesay Court, where Atonement was filmed

7. Visit the place where the modern Olympic Games all start

If you watched the Olympic Games in London in 2012, you may have wondered why one of the mascots was called Wenlock.  Much Wenlock in Shropshire is home to the Wenlock Olympian Games., which were started by Dr. William Penny Brookes. These games are thought to have inspired the modern Olympic Games that began in 1896.

Much Wenlock is a lovely town to visit and you can follow the Olympic Games Trail.

8. Enjoy amazing autumn colours

Whilst New England in America is renowned for its autumn colours, we also have some amazing displays here in Shropshire on a smaller scale. Last year the colours lasted well into November, which is when I took this picture. The hills turns purple with heather – visit the Stiperstones or the Long Mynd to get the best displays.

9 things to do in Shropshire this autumn - enjoy beautiful autumn colours

9. Visit Stokesay Castle

Just 6 miles from Hopton House, visit  the finest and best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England. Stokesay Castle was built in the 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow, who at the time was one of the richest men in England.

9 Things to do in Shropshire - visit Stokesay Castle the finest fortified manor house in England

Discover Shropshire for yourself. Hopton House is perfectly located to visit all of these places. Check availability and book online today!

9 things to do in Shropshire this autumn | visit English Castles | enjoy amazing scenery and autumn colours | visit the home of the modern Olympic Games and the industrial revolution

 

 

Mitsi the B&B Dog

I’m very sad to tell you that we had to say goodbye to Mitsi the B&B Dog  last Monday. She was 14 and had gone downhill quite rapidly in the last 7 months since we lost Murphy. Whilst she enjoyed some of the perks of being an only dog, I really think she missed her best mate too much.

She came to us 13 years  ago as a nearly 1 year old rescue dog. She’d belonged to an old Welsh lady who became too ill to look after her, so she was a well loved dog even before she arrived with us.

Small black long haired collie cross dog on green grass - dog friendly B&B Shropshire

I hope she’d tell you she’d had a wonderful life here; a big garden to play in filled with rabbits, squirrels and mice, lots of games of ball, walks in the wood and up the lane, a wonderful best friend in Murphy and, of course, endless love and cuddles from us.

We’re all very sad, especially coming so soon after losing our lovely boy.

I’ve been running the B&B for 14 years this week. Murphy arrived 2 months after we opened and Mitsi 6 months after that. It’s taking some getting used to not having my 2 best pals around.

Two collie cross dogs sitting upright in a field of clover - dog friendly bed and breakfast Shropshire

We do, however, have some slightly happier news. We have a new arrival, Saffy. Saffy arrived a few weeks before we realised we’d be losing Mitsi. She will never be able to replace either Mitsi or Murphy but she is keeping us occupied and amused, which is what both Rob and I need right now.

Sable and black dog with furry ears sitting on top of stairs looking down - dog friendly B&B shropshire

She’s another rescue dog; an 8 month old German shepherd/rough collie ( lassie ) mix. She’s a very clever girl and also displaying typical puppy behaviour!

She adores people and other dogs. So she’s the perfect B&B dog. It can be quite a struggle getting anywhere  with her when we’re out where there are people, as everyone keeps stopping to make a fuss of her, which she loves.

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow her adventures there

Hopefully you’ll come and meet her soon!

Sable and black dog sitting upright on wooden floor = dog friendly B&B

Shropshire Bed and Breakfast – October

Shropshire Bed and Breakfast - October Availability

After a very busy summer and September we’re now into October. We’ve been enjoying some glorious weather, with beautiful morning mists and golden sunsets,  and are loving seeing the colours gradually changing in the garden.

We were fairly full for October at the B&B but we’ve had a few last minute cancellations so we now have good availability, including our dog friendly downstairs Barn Room which is normally fairly well booked out throughout. Click on the Book Now! button for more details.

Remember if you’d rather not go out in the evening we can leave a platter in your room; choose from cheese, ploughmans or smoked salmon. This for just £25 for 2 people.

We hope to see you soon!

Karen

Shropshire Bed and Breakfast – October

 

Autumn Walks in Shropshire

I do love Autumn and I always get a craving to head to the woods for a nice long walk. From now and into November, the colours start to look beautiful, whilst the days are generally still warm ( if not it’s a great opportunity to snuggle up in a chunky jumper and get the scarves and gloves out – you’ll have guessed I love Autumn clothes too! )

Autumn walks are also a great opportunity to forage too. Blackberries are good until the end of September. Sloes need a frost before picking ( if there’s no frost and they’re ripe you can mimic the frost by putting sloes in the freezer ). Most people will know you can make sloe gin ( or vodka ) from sloes – here’s the recipe if you’ve not made it before – but sloes are also great turned into sloe jelly, using up windfall apples.

We’re lucky to have lots of beautiful woodland autumn walks in South Shropshire. You can of course get to the woods straight from the house – there’s a great write up of a circular 8 mile dog friendly walk from the house to Hopton Woods here.  My 2 elderly dogs aren’t up to 8 miles these days so I tend to drive to one of the local walks and just do a shorter walk. Purslow Woods is a couple of minutes drive with a place to park the car or head up to Hopton Woods with larger  car parks and plenty of different circular walks. There’s also a great shorter dog friendly autumn walk ( the sessile oaks are really beautiful in autumn ) at Clunton Coppice. Details are here.

I’m always happy to point B&B guests in the direction of a good walk so if you can’t find one to suit you, please do ask when you’re here. We also have lots of maps and walking books which we’re happy for guests to borrow.

View from Purslow Woods
View from Purslow Woods