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Berrington Hall Herfordshire

Berrington Hall Herefordshire

Berrington Hall is a stately home owned by the National Trust and situated in north Herefordshire about 20 minutes drive from Sutton Court Farm Holiday Cottages. The neoclassical mansion house was designed by Henry Holland and is set in landscaped gardens created by his son in law Capability Brown. The house and gardens were created in in the 18th century by London banker Thomas Harley. Sunsesequent owners included the 7th Lord Rodney who inherited the estate in 1864, but was forced to sell later in life to pay gambling debts, and Lord Cawley, a Liberal MP who made his fortune producing black die, particularly after the death of Queen Victoria sent the country into mourning in 1901.

There is a cafe in the old stables, and a fantastic Georgian walled garden with a rare curved wall designed by Capability Brown. Berrington Hall is situated just off the A49 between Ludlow and Leominster.

Croft Castle

Croft Castle

Croft Castle is a beautiful National Trust property set in the rolling countryside of North Herefordshire. It makes an ideal day out from Sutton court Farm Holiday Cottages. Croft Castle has been the seat of the Croft family for over 1000 years. Situated near the village of Yarpole between Ludlow and Leominster, the Jacobean house is surrounded by fabulous gardens and parkland. The main house is more of a stately home then castle, the medieval fortress was destroyed by parliamentary troops in 1645. Before that in 1461 the Battle of Mortimers Cross  took place on the grounds. Sir Richard Croft was one of Edward of Yorks advisors during the War of the Roses and the battle helped Edward to victory and the crown. The Crofts where an important family in the Welsh Marches with close ties to the Mortimers.

The surrounding gardens and parkland would be with a day out in itself, with a magnificent avenue of Spanish chestnuts and several huge oaks including the famous ‘Candelabra Oak’. If you continue through the parkland you will reach an iron age fort with great views of the surrounding countryside. The Fishpool Valley walk takes you through wonderful woodland past the series of dams and pools as well as the icehouses and pump house which were part of an ambitious victorian engineering project.

Ironbridge Gorge

Ironbridge

Ironbridge is situated in a picturesque gorge on the River Severn. This historic town bills itself as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The early Industrialist Abraham Darby perfected the method of smelting Iron with coke in nearby Coalbrookdale in the 1709, helping to kickstart the Industrial Revolution. Named after the famous iron bridge built his Grandson Abraham Darby III in 1779, there are several museums exploring the industrial heritage of the area including Blist Hill Victorian Town, a recreation of daily life in the 19th century, with authentic shops and cottages as well as tradespeople in action in their factories and workshops. Other museums include the Coalport China Museum, Coalbrook Museum of Iron and Engeuity, and interactive museum particularly aimed at children.

The main museums form part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums and a ticket can be purchased to visit all the sites. You will need more than one day to see them all, so you might want to consider an annual pass. Tickets can be purchased from their website.

Tenbury Wells Applefest

Tenbury Wells

Tenbury Wells is situated 10 miles east of Ludlow and makes a great day trio from Sutton Court Farm. Nestling idyllically in the Teme valley, this spa town just over the border in Worcestershire was described by Queen Victoria as ”my little town in the orchard”. Famous for it’s ‘Applefest’ held once a year in October.

Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury is Shropshires county town and famous for its black and white timber framed houses, but is also a surprisingly vibrant place with plenty going on throughout the year. The birthplace of Charles Darwin, who attended the famous Shrewsbury School. There is also and Abbey, Castle and the excellent Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Shrewsbury is surrounded by a loop of the Severn, so which ever way you wander through it’s charming cobbled streets you often end up back at the banks of the UK’s longest river.