Trees & Woodland in Spring
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Hills & moorland
Learn about the trees and woodlands in Britain's most pleasant season. Spring is a beautiful time in the woods as the birds burst into song and flowers bloom early before the plants are shaded. During this varied holiday we’ll consider the identification of the trees before the leaves appear, enjoy the spring flowers and butterflies and learn to identify the birds by their songs.
- Each day enjoy a leisurely walk through woodland with plenty of stops to view trees, flowers, and butterflies and listen to birds
- Our expert leader will guide you round the best sites
- Small, sociable groups of up to 15 guests
- A relaxed and informative way of enjoying the great outdoors
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- A full programme of excursions and visits
- Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or other mode of transport, e.g. boat
- Entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary
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
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 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 accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. 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.
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times.
- Fire evacuation notices are displayed in the bedrooms and throughout the hotel. Each room has its own smoke sensor and fire alarm. In the event of a fire a very loud continuous alarm sounds and emergency lighting comes on. We have portable Deaf guard fire alarm system for those who are hard of hearing. This consists of a vibrating pad to go under the pillow and a bright strobe light. The Deaf guard is triggered when main alarm is activated.
- In the case of evacuation there are fire exits in every function room, bar and restaurant as well as the main front entrance. On the first, second and third floors there are fire exits at either end of the corridors which open to an emergency fire escape stairwell.
- Please advise reception on check in if you think you would require assistance in the event of an emergency. Door hangers are available in the rooms which can be used to indicate a need for assistance. Fire extinguishers are found throughout the building, as are fire call points. If you discover a fire please call 9-999 from your room phone, raise the alarm and alert a member of staff.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
On our Natural World holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day, with plenty of stops to explore the woodlands and what they contain.
One of the beauties of Longmynd House is that the grounds have splendid mature trees alive with birds. For our first walk we shall explore the grounds and the adjacent Rectory Wood for a wide variety of trees and some woodland birds such as nuthatch, green woodpecker and jay. Expect colour on the ground as woodland plants flower early!
The steep scarp slope of Wenlock Edge is clad in ancient broad-leaved woodland. Historic uses such as coppicing, charcoal burning and grazing have created a varied structure with many species including ancient yews. The drumming of spotted woodpeckers is sure to be heard, and there are interesting limestone-loving woodland plants like spurge laurel.
Ludlow – The Bread Walk and Mortimer Forest
The Bread Walk alongside the River Teme is noted for the hornbeam trees which regularly attract hawfinches. From the mature trees of the riverside we walk across Whitcliffe Common to the more recent plantings of the Mortimer Forest to add variety to our day with some conifer species and their associated wildlife. A wonderful day to round off this splendid holiday.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
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.
What to bring
- Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
- Thermos flask (optional)
- Recommended field guide (optional) – Collins Gem Guide to Trees plus your favourite bird and wildflower guides
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. Please note that Church Stretton is a small town and taxis are not always available.
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, 9.45am or 10:25. This transfer costs just £7 return, however a place must be reserved 7 days in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer it is possible to book a taxi. Taxis can be limited so please pre-book. 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.
Mike Phillips is a countryman born and bred. After a rural upbringing, his adult life has (apart from a few years in commerce) been devoted to enthusing and informing people about the fascinating wildlife of the British countryside, both as a tour guide and an adult education tutor. Mike’s expertise extends to most branches of natural history and he is a passionate believer in an holistic approach to the interdependency of the natural world, from the underlying geology through the vegetation to the creatures which depend on it. He now brings his long experience to leading for HF Holidays.
Mike's knowledge of his subject was awesome. He seemed genuinely pleased to share his knowledge, open our eyes, and ignite our interest.