The Pheasant at Neenton makes a perfect base for a break in the heart of south Shropshire’s glorious, yet quiet and undiscovered countryside, or visiting the world-famous Ironbridge Gorge, cradle of the Industrial Revolution.
Whether you’re planning to spend your day visiting Ludlow, the slow-food capital of England (20 minutes); taking in the stunning views from the Shropshire Hills or enjoying this great walking country; touring the bevy of museums in and around the Ironbridge Gorge, the historical heart of the Industrial Revolution; travelling on the award-winning Severn Valley Railway; or visiting one of the many National Trust and English Heritage properties in the area, you can look forward to a wonderful evening at The Pheasant.
Bridgnorth and LudlowEnchanting market towns
Bridgnorth, just10 minutes from the Pheasant, is two towns in one: High Town, with its now-slighted red sandstone castle founded in 1101, its churches and many fine 16th and 17th century mansions looks down over Low Town, once a thriving port along the banks of the River Severn. Take a stroll round the walls around High Town, saunter down Cartway to Low Town, and glide effortlessly back up on the Cliff Railway
Ludlow (20 minutes) is a quintessential medieval market town, with an 11th century castle, adjacent to the town centre, situated on a cliff high above the River Teme, commanding the Welsh Marches. Full of architectural gems, Ludlow bustles with activity, busy with events and festivals throughout the year.
Ludlow is a mecca for the food lover, thanks to the many quality food & drink producers based in and around south Shropshire. The Ludlow Food Centre brings their products conveniently together for your delectation.
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Shropshire Hills AONBSpectacular scenery
The Shropshire Hills AONB stretches away westwards from the Pheasant across more than 300 square miles of hills and rivers, fields and woodland. This is old England, true ‘ancient countryside’ with small fields bounded by meandering hedges, majestic old trees and deep wandering lanes.
The hills afford spectacular panoramas, and Brown Clee Hill, the highest point in Shropshire, is less than 3 miles from the Pheasant. Magical views stretch west deep into Wales but on a clear day from the summit you can see the Cotswolds and the Peak District as well as Snowdonia.
The character of the Shropshire Hills is rooted in the fascinating and diverse underlying geology, which has greater variety than any comparable sized area in the UK, or indeed the world.
The AONB is the perfect place to leave the car behind and walk, cycle or take to horseback to drink in the views and lose yourself in the landscape.
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Walking the Shropshire HillsViews from the hilltops
These hills were made for walking! With more hilltops than anywhere in England except the Lake District, and paths that are never arduous, glorious views are in easy reach wherever you go.
There are long distance and waymarked paths just waiting for you to put your boots on. The 136-mile Shropshire Way is a series of loops around the best bits of South Shropshire, and further west, but in easy reach for a day out from the Pheasant, there’s the 177-mile Offa’s Dyke Path and the 15-mile old Drovers’ Track, the Kerry Ridgeway, that crosses the border into Wales.
There are picturesque lowland walks too through woods and meadows and along river valleys, There’s a wealth of guides, many freely-available, describing walks for every ability, including easy-access paths, or for the more adventurous there’s lots of open access land where you can just roam at will.
But right on your doorstep there’s the delightful stroll from the Picnic Area up to Five Springs on Brown Clee, which brings views deep into Wales and is a perfect 90-minute preamble to dinner back at the Pheasant!
Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage SiteMuseums galore!
Fiery cradle of the Industrial Revolution, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ironbridge Gorge has ten outstanding museums of international award-winning quality that can keep you enthralled for a week, let alone a day out!
You could spend a day in the reconstructed Victorian Town at Blist’s Hill where you can step back in time and directly experience the way life was for local people 150 years ago. There are museums recounting the history and technology of making iron and fine china, tiles and clay pipes.
Go deep into the amazing Tar Tunnel where liquid bitumen oozes out of the rock. Walk across the first-ever bridge made of iron and tour the houses of Abraham Darby and the families of the ironmasters to see how the other half lived.
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Severn Valley RailwayPremier Steam Railway
Bridgnorth is home to the Severn Valley Railway, one of the very best and longest preserved steam railways in the country.
Take a trip down the scenic Severn valley to Bewdley and Kidderminster. Hop off at charming country stations such as Arley or Hampton Loade to see how railways ran 60-70 years ago, and maybe walk back a section of your journey along the riverside path.
At Highley you can wander round the Engine House to get up close and personal with huge steam engines. Choose your trains carefully and you can have a leisurely lunch or afternoon tea as the scenery rolls by.
Or for an exceptional treat, book a Footplate Experience. Drive and fire the engine yourself and drink in the aroma of hot oil and steam for an experience you’ll never forget!
Shropshire HeritageNational Trust - English Heritage
South Shropshire abounds with cultural heritage you can visit – much of it cared for by the National Trust and English Heritage.
There are grand country houses like Attingham Park with immaculately landscaped grounds or Dudmaston with extensive woodlands, where you can roam and picnic. Or you may prefer the Tudor stone-built Benthall Hall, home to the same family for over 500 years.
Black-and-white timbered Boscobel House with its famous Royal Oak tree, and nearby Whiteladies Priory, were hiding places of King Charles II after defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
Visit Wroxeter, once the 4th largest city in Roman Britain, and discover the daily lives of its inhabitants nearly 2000 years ago.
Then there’s Stokesay Castle, the best-preserved fortified manor house in England, with a Great Hall unchanged for over 700 years and a fairy-tale turreted North Tower.
The list goes on…….