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Review: Church Stretton


Church Stretton, Shropshire, United Kingdom

Church Stretton - a little-known gem

  • By SilverTraveller Paul-Evans

    2 reviews

  • Apr 2012
  • Wife

69 people found this review helpful

A dozen miles south of Shrewsbury lies the Victorian spa resort of Church Stretton. This delightful town was dubbed 'Little Switzerland' in the 19th century, due to the magnificent hills which dominate the landscape to its east and west. Yet it remains relatively little-known. My wife and I have been coming here since the mid-70s; it's the sort of place of which it would be impossible to tire. There is something for everyone, and it is accessible by car, train and bus. Accommodation ranges from the luxurious Long Mynd Hotel (in a fabulous setting halfway up the eponymous hill) to Youth Hostels a few miles away. There is no shortage of eating places, from cosy and welcoming cafes on the main street to the pubs in and around the town, most of which serve food of the highest quality. Shops are many and varied, with delicatessens selling wonderful local produce. There is a distinct feeling of days gone by, with the town virtually untouched by the corporate hideousness which blights so many others. The only supermarket is the Co-op, and a definite retail highlight is the Antiques Market. This is more like a junk shop, but the size of a small department store. Once you enter, it's only too easy to lose track of time and spend hours wandering among an extraordinary array of bric-a-brac. For the lover of the great outdoors, the Shropshire Hills (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) are truly paradise. The focal point for most visitors is the National Trust-owned Cardingmill Valley. This gets crowded on a sunny Sunday or Bank Holiday, but it's easy to avoid the multitudes if you prefer. Activities include horse riding, cycling, and walking suitable for all abiliies. You can either take to the slopes – not for the unfit or faint-hearted – or let your vehicle do the hard work and enjoy the gentler terrain atop the Long Mynd. In the spring and summer a minibus service is provided. Whichever way you get there, the views from the various summits are breathtaking. Sporty types can play a round of golf on one of the country's highest courses, and a game of bowls or tennis in the town. For a different kind of thrill, have a trial session in a glider! In summary, Church Stretton is the perfect location for a relaxing break, whether you have only half a day or a couple of weeks.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • Boggy
    9 months ago
    Church Stretton is one of my favourite places in the UK. It has a unique charm and there is plenty to see and do there and in the immediate surrounds. We have booked accommodation and will visit again later this month. Arguably Shropshire's best kep secret.
  • Restlessjo
    over 3 years ago
    I'd have to agree with you. This was only my second visit, and the last one was many years ago, but I thoroughly enjoyed my couple of days in the area. The scenery is wonderful, and especially in August with the heather in full bloom. I walked up the valley and back down Ashes Hollow, and was smitten with the ponies and their foals. I managed to get down to Stokesay Castle too, and that was pretty impressive.