Tag Archives: rural retreat

Christmas Shopping and 6 Other Things To Do in Shropshire Now

Shropshire in England is an undiscovered county packed with natural beauty and history. Winter time is the ideal time to visit with crisp mornings and stunning views

As we move into the Winter months, things always quieten down a bit here at the B&B. However we mostly stay open throughout the Winter months, so I thought I’d suggest some ideas of things to do if you’re planning a visit.

1. Linger over Breakfast

It’s not difficult to linger over breakfast in the Winter. Our view is amazing whatever the time of year. We have the log fire on at breakfast time in the guest dining room in the Winter months and keep the bird feeders in front of the dining room filled, so you can enjoy the wild birds as well as the chickens.

Frosty Winter View From Our South Shropshire B&B

2. Do some Christmas Shopping

Ludlow and the surrounding market towns in South Shropshire have lots of independent shops, providing an opportunity to buy some unique gifts.

There are also quite a few craft & Christmas festivals. Have a look at the Shropshire Events Guide for a complete list.

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3. Indulge in Fabulous Local Food

Of course all of our lovely local restaurants are open in the run up to Christmas. Always advisable to ring and book at any time of the year, but especially so around Christmas. I’ve compiled a list of restaurants here with phone numbers and postcodes.

Of course if you don’t want to go out you can always bring a bottle of wine and order a platter to be waiting in your room fridge.

Local Shropshire Cheese Platter - B&B Shropshire, Hopton House

4. Visit some Art Galleries

Each of our market towns has a collection of art & craft galleries. In Ludlow you’ll find the wonderful Silk Hat Gallery with regular exhibitions.

5. Explore a few National Trust Properties

The National Trust properties no longer shut over the winter but Winter hours may be reduced so check their websites before you go and visit.

Our local favourites are Croft Castle, Berrington Hall, Powis Castle and Attingham.  They all have some Christmas events on – here on the ones at Powis Castle. The illuminated gardens sound magical.

6. Partake of the Local Beer

We are lucky to have more than our fair share of breweries in South Shropshire.

There are many varieties for sale at the Ludlow Food Centre or you can take a tour of the brewery at the Ludlow Brewing Company.

I’m more of a wine fan than a beer drinker but I will make an exception for a Shropshire Lass from Woods Brewery.

Shropshire Lass Beer from Woods Brewery

7. Walk the Beautiful Countryside

Those of you who have visited us before will know there are a multitude of walks to choose from locally. Take the drive to Clun and do a circular walk, then finish back at the village and enjoy a pint of local beer or visit the tea rooms.  Or you can take the train up to the Long Mynd. The area called little Switzerland by the Victorians with good reason.

We also have walks from the house. Here’s an 8 mile dog friendly circular from our friends at dogpeople.co.uk

View from the top of the Long Mynd - South Shropshire Bed and Breakfast


Cosy Winter Retreat – 4 Reasons Why I Love Winter

I’ve been a bit quiet online recently.  Mr B&B brought back a rather nasty cold virus from one of his trips down to the South East and it’s taken me 2 weeks to recover. Luckily the B&B has been quite quiet so I’ve been able to rest once the breakfasts have been served and the rooms tidied.

I’m actually very good at and enjoy  taking things easy.  Unlike Mr B&B who can’t sit down for 5 minutes. Even when he’s watching a rugby match, he’ll pause it and pop outside for 30 minutes to cut up some logs or scythe a bit of the meadow. I think I was probably a dormouse in a former life.

4 Things I Love About Winter

1. Snuggling Down on the Sofa

A walk up the lane towards Hopton Titterhill in Shropshire on a winter's day

I do like it, when the weather turns wet and windy and when all my chores are done, when I can just settle down on the sofa snuggled up in a throw, preferably accompanied by a dog or 2. Either just watching the weather or indulging in…..

2. Reading a Good Book

My favourite authors all seem to publish their latest books at this time of year. I’ve just finished reading Philippa Gregory’s book on Katherine Parr ( the 3rd book on Katherine Parr I’ve read this year ), I’m currently reading Bernard Cornwell’s latest and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Phil Rickman’s next Merrily novel.

Phil Rickman is a local author who has written a whole series of books about an exorcist vicar based in Herefordshire. You may have seen it televised as Midwinter of the Spirit on ITV recently.

I love Mr Rickman’s books and have read them all 3 times now. Despite the rather bizarre sounding subject matter, I do find them to be my favourite winter comfort read.

They’re also mostly based in Herefordshire and Wales and sometimes Shropshire. Mr B&B and I have done several tours of places he’s mentioned.

We’ve got a big library of books for guests to borrow.

3. A Long Cold Walk

A walk round Ludlow castle in Shropshire in Winter


I think autumn and winter are my favourite time for walking. I love the colours we have here in Autumn, but I also love Winter when the trees have lost their leaves. There are those amazing cold frosty days with clear blue skies. Just don a scarf,, hat coat and gloves and  you’re ready to go. But I also love to walk when it’s dark and misty and drizzly ( odd I know ). Ludlow is an amazing place to walk on a dark mizzly day. Walking by the river and round the castle is so atmospheric and is perfect topped up with the most amazing carrot cake and hot chocolate at the Green Café.

Hot Chocolate and carrot Cake at the the green cafe in Ludlow



4. Taking a Long Hot Bath


If you’ve stayed at Hopton House, you’ve probably worked out I love my baths. All our rooms have big double ended baths and bubble bath.

I do love to sink into a bath on a cold wet day, especially after that cold wet dog walk,  for a couple of hours with one of my books.

Hopton House, for your cosy winter retreat