Words by Lee Mylne
Falling in love with Ludlow starts in the oldest part of this Shropshire town. The best way to explore is to head out on foot to admire the many Tudor-style half-timbered houses and shops. This ancient city’s recorded history began in 1086 when Ludlow Castle was built as one of a line of structures along the Welsh Marches to defend the border, with a new settlement growing up around it. Today, the town has 500 heritage-listed buildings – including its oldest and largest hotel – The Feathers, trading since 1670.
In the main street, butchers shops spruik pheasant and duck (plucked or unplucked) and venison, while traditional fishmongers proffer fresh and smoked varieties. Local specialties also have visitors flocking to the annual Ludlow Food Festival, held at the castle each September.
Some well-preserved stretches of the town wall (constructed from 1233 onwards) still stand, and plaques mark the sites of its seven gates. Only one, the Broad Gate, has survived, with its drum towers and portcullis arch at the bottom of modern-day Broad Street.
The River Teme surges through town under the Ludford Bridge, its gushing weirs a favourite spot for birdwatching. Other outdoor pursuits include wonderful walks in the Shropshire Hills, which link the Midlands with the mountains of Wales.
There are markets aplenty to explore, with open-air gatherings taking place in the Market Square every Monday, Friday and Saturday throughout the year. There are also Wednesday markets from April to September, and a farmers’ market is held on the second Thursday of every month.
Time zone: AEST-9 hours (9 hours behind Australia)
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP)
Best time to visit: The warmest time of the year in Ludlow is mid-July. Due to its humid climate, Ludlow experiences plenty of rainfall. The city’s driest months are September, April and March.