Ten of The Best Hotels in Shropshire
by Adrian Mourby (August 2012)
I find Shropshire one of England’s loveliest counties. For century this green, castellated landscape was part of the Marcher Lands, border territory where Welsh armies clashed with the English king’s representatives. Sending a Welsh king to London as Henry VII bought peace in 1485 and Shropshire flourished as a rich agricultural landscape. Prosperity unreliant on industry has created small, walled towns and country roads that seemed dotted with rectories, farms and old school houses. For those not determined to walk Offa’s Dyke (the old pre-Norman border) Shropshire still offers the chance for country strolls, eating well and putting your feet up in front of a blazing fire.
Showing below are all 9 records in "Ten of The Best Hotels in Shropshire"
You really can’t get closer to the Welsh border than this old Georgian rectory down a well-hedged lane west of Oswestry. There are only 12 rooms, four of them in converted outhouses. Walks in the area include the lovely Racecourse Wood. This is very much a place for a romantic getaway, moreover the hotel has received an embarrassment of awards for its food.
Eccleshall Road, Forton, Newport (Gwent)
Forton, on the old Roman Road that lies along the Shropshire-Staffordshire border is a small hamlet famed for its manor house and the quality of food at the Swan Inn. This former coaching inn boasts open fires, leather armchairs, a snug library bar and strong emphasis on real ales and locally sourced food that combine to make an evening at The Swan the perfect beginning to a rural weekend.
Castlefields Way, Madeley, Telford
This 16th Century Manor House was the home of Sir Basil Brooke, one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution. The new town of Telford has grown up around Madeley Court but the building is still pleasantly isolated in its own grounds. Enjoy the lake and some sympathetic new building. Ironbridge Gorge, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, is only two miles away.
The Square, Bishop's Castle
Bishop’s Castle received its Royal Charter in 1249. In 1719 an inn was constructed on the outer bailey of its ruined castle. The builder was the Duke of Chandos, MP and patron of Handel. Today The Castle has half its bedrooms at the top of a gracious eighteenth-century staircase and the other half in the servants’ garret. A great base for exploring Offa’s Dyke.
Soulton, near Wem, Shrewsbury
There was a castle at Soulton before the Domesday Book was written, but the current brick construction is Elizabethan, the work of Roland Hill, an early Lord Mayor of London. Soulton has four rooms in the main house, each named after a family who have owned the hall since the Conquest. There are also rooms in outbuildings and charming individual cottages in the grounds.
Fishmore Road, Ludlow
Ludlow is one of the most attractive towns in Shropshire and Fishmore Hall, a privately-owned boutique hotel overlooking Clee Hill, offers a perfect country retreat. Recently converted from a private school, this Georgian house has 15 bedrooms in colour-rich contemporary style with emphasis on comfort, big headboards, and England’s new fashion for baths at the foot of the bed.
Ironbridge Road, Broseley, Ironbridge, Telford
Decorated in ruched, four-poster grandeur, this former rectory must be one of the few hotels in Britain to boast a four-poster double Jacuzzi bath. The Wenlock Room is a particular favourite with those looking for romance. With its two acres of landscaped gardens, conservatory and orchard, the Old Rectory is well situated for visiting the Ironbridge World Heritage site and Blists Hill Victorian Town.
The High Street, Grinshill, Shrewsbury
This Grade-2 listed Georgian coaching inn has recently been restored in an eclectic, busy mix of styles. The Inn is the biggest building in this the tiny hamlet of Grinshill. The hill itself is where stone has been quarried since the twelfth century. There are six individual king-size suites, an oak-panelled bar and a dining room with live pianist and some of the best food in Shropshire.
Ellesmere Road, Albrighton, Shrewsbury
The Puleston family were Norman overlords in Shropshire. In the eighteenth century Albrighton Hall became one of their homes. In the twentieth it went through a number of incarnations before becoming a Mercure hotel. Eighty-six rooms may seem a lot, but with 15 acres of grounds it’s easy to find a quiet corner. The Oak Dining Room is worth booking for its original panelling and fireplace.
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