Ludlow is often called “the perfect historic town”. Situated on the River Teme in the outstanding countryside of the Welsh Marches, its medieval street pattern survives almost intact, along with many ancient properties including a magnificent ruined castle and one of the largest parish churches in England. There are over 500 listed buildings in the town.
Ludlow Castle is one of the most interesting castles in the Welsh Marches. It is 900 years old and features examples of architecture from the Norman, Medieval and Tudor periods. Its long history includes associations with some of the greatest families in the land. Audio-guide available. Closed on Christmas Day and January weekdays. Otherwise open from 10am every day. Tel 01584 873355 for details.
Ludlow Street Market
Ludlow has held street markets since the twelfth century. Nowadays, markets are held every Monday, Friday and Saturday throughout the year, with Wednesday markets from April to September, with Christmas markets on Wednesdays in December. The market is held on Castle Square, in the heart of the town centre, where you will find over forty stalls selling a range of goods including fresh produce, cheeses, books and a selection of local crafts.
As well as its street markets, Ludlow also has a range of specialist markets. There are fortnightly Antique & Flea Markets running from March to December, craft markets, garden fairs, book fairs and an annual green fair. To find out more about these markets, visit the Ludlow Market web site
Ludlow Local Produce Market – a monthly farmers’ market with over 20 stalls selling food and drink form within 30 miles of Ludlow, held on the second Thursday of each month.
Shopping in Ludlow
Ludlow has a fine range of shops, including traditional family businesses where shopping for food and clothing is an enjoyable experience. There are also plenty of book, antique, art and craft shops that are well worth a visit.
Crafts in Ludlow
Ludlow and the surrounding area are home to a wide range of highly skilled and respected craft workers, who maintain a tradition of tastefully designed, well made items of jewellery, pottery, textiles and furniture. Many craftworkers have workshops in the town, or display their work in local shops, galleries and on the street market.
There are also many craft fairs and markets throughout the year at which local craft workers display and sell their wares. See the Local Events pages for full details of craft events coming up in Ludlow.
Ludlow Assembly Rooms is an arts centre providing cinema, music, and drama. For the latest programme details, phone 01584 878141.
South Shropshire Leisure Centre, at Bromfield Road, provides a range of modern facilities including a sports hall, swimming pool, fitness and health suites, courts for hire and a refreshment area. The centre is open daily. Tel: 01584 874620 for details.
Elm Lodge Golf Course, a nine hole pay and play course on the fringe of Ludlow.
The Linney Riverside Park is a great place for family fun. A new and exciting play park was opened in March 2012. Picnic benches, toilets and car parking are all available on site. There is a gated floating jetty for canoe access to the river. Entry to Linney Riverside park is free. Parking: £1
Led by members of Ludlow Historical Research Group, tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays from Easter to late September, starting at 2.30pm from the cannon in front of the castle. Each tour covers the historic town centre and lasts for about one and a half hours. Daily during Ludlow Festival. 01584 873197.
The museum on Castle Street has exhibitions telling the story of Ludlow from the building of the castle and the establishment of the town, through medieval prosperity and political intrigue, to fashionable Ludlow of the 18th century. Also `Reading The Rocks’: a celebration of Ludlow’s contribution to international geology. For details and opening times contact 01584 873857/875384.
St Laurence’s Parish Church
The parish church is one of the largest in the country. It was mostly re-built in the mid-15th century but some earlier features survive. There are fine misericords and stained glass. The poet A.E. Housman, author of ‘A Shropshire Lad’, is commemorated in the churchyard. Open all year. Stewards on duty in the spring, summer, and autumn 10 am-5 pm. Conducted tours can be arranged via the Rector at 4 College Street. Tel: 01584 872073.
Further information about the church and its activities can be found on the St Laurence’s web-site.
Ludlow is surrounded by ideal countryside for walking. Walks from the town lead out to forests and farmland; the Shropshire Hills are a short bus or car ride away.
Whitcliffe Common, steep and wooded, overlooks the castle and the river: it contains many short walks, and contains two internationally recognised gelogical Sites of Special Scientific Interest. (More details.) Ludlow is at the start of the Mortimer Trail, a long-distance path to Kington on the Herefordshire/Wales border. A range of walking leaflets, maps and booklets are available from the Tourist Information Centre.
Food & Drink
Ludlow has, over the last few years, been steadily building up a reputation for being the centre of an area outstanding for its good food and drink. There has always been a strong presence from the Ludlow contingent of high class chefs and restaurants in the Michelin Guide with at times a larger number than anywhere in Britain outside London. And this statistic is not just confined to the Michelin guide. The AA restaurant guide and the Consumers Association Good Food Guide show the same conclusions. Click here for places to eat
But good restaurants are by no means the only thing that Ludlow has to offer lovers of good food and drink. The Ludlow & Marches Festival of Food and Drink takes place in the Castle and throughout the town centre over the second weekend of September with a Spring event held in May each year. See our Events guide for details . It is the biggest and unquestionably the best of its kind, with a tremendous atmosphere of fun, enthusiasm and dedication to food and drink of all kinds