Shropshire Hills Discovery Tour
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Hills & moorland
Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.
Explore the area around Church Stretton, taking in the rolling Shropshire Hills, Clun Forest, the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones. Other days will take us through the Welsh Borders to Powis Castle, Welshpool and Montgomery, or along the Black and White Houses Trail through medieval Ludlow, and rural Herefordshire. We’ll also visit Shrewsbury and discover the industrial history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge.
- Stay at Church Stretton in the picturesque Shropshire Hills
- Explore the Welsh Border towns of Newtown, Welshpool and Montgomery
- Visit Powis Castle
- Medieval Ludlow and its timber framed buildings
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
- Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of Shropshire and the Welsh Borders from your knowlegeable leader
- Accommodation: enjoy a wonderful elevated location above Church Stretton, with a heated outdoor swimming pool
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together
Longmynd House is set in a wonderful elevated location above the town of Church Stretton. With excellent walks on the doorstep, and extensive public rooms, it's an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
Longmynd House has 50 bedrooms, all in the main building. There are also 8 brick-built lodges in the grounds - a popular alternative for families or couples, with all the facilities you would expect from HF Holidays.
Choose your room
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Extensive public rooms
• Large dining room with outstanding views of Stretton Valley
• Lounge bar with outstanding views of Stretto Valley
• Central lounge
|• Three additional rooms, can be used for other purposes
• Free WiFi is available in some public rooms and bedrooms
• Range of board games and books
|• Large heated swimming pool (open May to September)
• Woodland walks on the slopes beneath the hotel
• Sculpture trail
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.
Friday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. We invite everyone to afternoon tea at 4pm. This is the first occasion when everyone meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Saturday: Shropshire Hills
Get to know the Shropshire Hills’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the way in which its unique geology has created a wide variety of landscapes. We visit the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, explore picturesque small towns and the surrounding countryside, and discover social history at The Bog Centre. Why not take a short walk on the mystical Stiperstones?
Sunday: Ironbridge and Much Wenlock
Ironbridge, a World Heritage Site, is called the ‘Cradle of the Industrial Revolution’. Discover how iron was produced, technology advanced or how the Victorians lived. The area includes ten different places to visit so there is plenty of choice. Much Wenlock is the birthplace of the modern Olympic movement. Explore the Olympic Trail, or just enjoy the town’s beauty.
Monday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House. Whether its town or country, there’s lots of options for you to choose today – how about more Ironbridge Gorge museums, or seeing the Mappa Mundi in Hereford?
Tuesday: Welsh Borders
“Border country” might bring to mind power struggles but there is much more than historic bloodshed! Meet social reformer Robert Owen, discover a restored canal and the original WH Smith bookshop. Then, choose either the stronghold of Powis Castle, with its fabulous gardens, or the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, with one of the steepest gradient of all the Great Little Trains.
Architecture and Medieval history are today’s themes: Ludlow has an imposing 11th century castle and many listed buildings, where Broad Street is considered one of the finest streets in Britain; Leominster has its ducking stool and is the starting point of the trail of Black-and-White half-timbered buildings; and finally the spectacular Medieval manor house of Stokesay Castle.
Thursday: Shrewsbury & Wroxeter
There is so much to see in Shrewsbury, Shropshire’s county town and the ‘Original One-off’. Will you choose to take a river cruise, or follow in the footsteps of Percy Thrower, Charles Darwin or Brother Cadfael? Later we step back further in time to explore the fascinating remains of Viriconium (Wroxeter), the fourth largest city in Roman Britain.
Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £80 for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
During your stay at Longmynd House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Shropshire:
The attractive small town of Church Stretton is around 10 minutes' walk away. After the arrival of the railway, the town grew in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and became known as 'Little Switzerland' due to the dramatic hills on both sides of the valley. Today the town retains its bygone charm and has a range of facilities including a variety of small shops, banks, cafés, pubs and a supermarket.
Easily reached by train, or around 20 minutes' drive away, Ludlow is a particularly attractive market town. The historic centre retains many of its medieval buldings, and is towered over by its well-preserved castle. In recent years the town has developed as something of a gastronomic centre, being home to celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants and many acclaimed local food producers. www.ludlowcastle.com
A little further afield, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, are the many excellent museums of Ironbridge Gorge. Known as the 'birthplace of the Industrial Revolution' it was here that Abraham Darby perfected the manufacture of cast iron which was later used to build the area's iconic iron bridge across the River Severn. Today there are 10 museums in the gorge including the Museum of Iron, the Coleport China Museum and the excellent Blists Hill Victorian town. www.ironbridge.org.uk/
Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway is one of Britain's premier steam railways. This lovingly recreated Great Western Railway branch line is now run largely by volunteers and is home to an impressive collection of locomotives. As its name suggests the line follows the rural valley of the River Severn from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. The nearest station at Bridgnorth is about 40 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.svr.co.uk
Acton Scott Working Farm
Situated just 10 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, the Acton Scott Working Farm Museum is a living museum based around a restored Victorian farm. In recent years this has featured in the BBC2 series Victorian Farm and Escape in Time. www.actonscott.com
Also easily reached by train, or a 30 minute drive, Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire. The town centre is particularly attractive featuring many black and white timber houses dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The small town of Much Wenlock, about 30 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, is particularly attractive with many black and white timbered houses. Despite its small size the town can claim to be the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games.
The cathedral city of Hereford, is just under an hour's drive away, and can also be reached by direct train from Church Stretton. Hereford Cathedral houses a chained library and the famous Mappa Mundi, a 13th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org
A grand 18th century house surrounded by an extensive deer park, located outside Shrewsbury, around 25 minutes' drive away. Now managed by the National Trust you can visit the ornate rooms and explore the walled garden and grounds. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park
This former medieval fortress has been remodelled over more than 400 years – each generation adding to the magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. Theworld-famous garden is overhung with clipped yews, and shelters rare and tender plants. The castle is located near Welshpool, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle
Just under an hour's drive north of Church Stretton, Chirk Castle is a fine medieval fortress completed in 1310. As well as military displays, the castle was also a domestic home for many centuries, and is surrounded by excellent gardens. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle
Powis Castle image ©National Trust/Andrew Butler, Chirk Castle image ©National Trust ImagesMatthew Antrobus
Travel to Church Stretton
Our address is: Longmynd House, Cunnery Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 6AG
The nearest train station is Church Stretton, which is less than a mile from Longmynd House. However the house is at the top of a very steep hill (it has great views!) so a taxi is recommended, particularly if you have heavy luggage. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
HF station transfer - great value!
Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Church Stretton station and Longmynd House. The pickup is at 3.15pm from Church Stretton station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to the station for 9.15am or 9.45am. This transfer costs just £5 return, however a place must be reserved in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer it is possible to book a taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Longmynd House Manager.
Follow the A49 to Church Stretton. At the traffic lights turn off the A49 into the town. At the first T junction turn left into the High Street. Go straight over the mini-roundabout, and then take the next right into Cunnery Road. Follow the road up a steep hill and around a hairpin bend. Longmynd House is at the top of the hill on the left hand side. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport has the quickest onward connections to Church Stretton. Trains from the airport take 2 hours, with one change at Crewe. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Church Stretton by train. There are a variety of routes, but the most convenient is to change at London Paddington and Newport as this avoid crossing London. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
A dedicated traveller, Phil researches all his holidays with enthusiasm and dedication. He has trekked all over the world for cancer and childrens' charities and has a love of the countryside born out of his childhood within the boundaries of the North Yorkshire National Park. History has always been a fascination for him. As a guide Phil hopes the guests on his tours will leave having had a pleasurable and memorable experience and been part of a happy team that really did “discover”.
Liz Lowry was born in Derbyshire and has lived in the Heart of England all her working life. She is a qualified Blue Badge guide and has degrees in History and English Local History. Liz has journeyed extensively around Britain and abroad. She enjoys travelling and sharing her appreciation of architecture, history and the local environment with others. She is especially fascinated by the development of the English landscape and how it reveals echoes of the past.
Frances has been an enthusiastic student of English literature since primary school when a Mrs Darling sparked her interest! She has lived a very itinerant life with extended periods in the US and India. She worked as a fundraiser for third world charities for many years and travelled widely with them.
Many years ago, she was involved in running a small theatre and even occasionally appeared on stage. Now she works as a Blue Badge guide, concentrating on literary tours and religious themes. As well as going to the iconic, obvious sites, she tries to include lesser known places and to entertain visitors with stories about the many people who are associated with an area - kings and queens, local legends, artists and writers.
She is also a keen hiker and tries to find routes that will allow her to visit some sort of literary shrine.
Chrissie Le Marchant
Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.
She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.
As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.
After 30 years as a Transport Planner, Graham successfully retrained as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He is a geographer by qualification and an explorer by instinct, and frequently has a map in his hand. Graham's travels have taken him to many parts of the country, where he enjoys discovering out-of-the-way places as well as an area's better known towns and buildings. He has a particular interest in the countryside, waterways, industrial heritage and places where history happened. Graham is also an HF Holidays' walking leader and has led at more than half of the UK's Country Houses.
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Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|23 Jun 2017||CSHCR - Discovery Tour - Church Stretton||7||£855.00||£805.00||Book Now|
|4 Aug 2017||CSHCR - Discovery Tour - Church Stretton||7||£819.00||£759.00||Book Now|
|22 Sep 2017||CSHCR - Discovery Tour - Church Stretton||7||£855.00||£755.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person