Shropshire is a fantastic destination to head to. With historic buildings, lush nature and a rich industrial history, the county has a whole range of unique attractions. Here are some bank holiday May activities in Shropshire to keep the whole family entertained.
One of the finest medieval ruins in England, Ludlow Castle lies in the midst of the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Built in the late 11th century, the castle was initially the border stronghold of Roger de Lacy, one of the Marcher Lords. In the 15th century it became involved in the War of the Roses before becoming a palace. Take a stroll through the castle grounds and admire its varied Norman, Medieval and Tudor architecture. You can see the massive outer bailey and cross the bridge into the inner bailey, the keep and the great chamber.
Blists Hill Victorian Town
This open air museum is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums which explore the Industrial Revolution. Built on a former industrial complex, it allows visitors to experience what life was like during Victorian times. Life in the late 1800s is reenacted by actors in full costume who go about their daily lives. Visit the bank where you can swap money for shillings and pennies to spend in the shops, whether it’s on Victorian remedies at the pharmacy, a hot meal at the traditional fish shop or a new gown at the dressmaker. The museum also has a range of demonstrations including steam-powered machinery and foundrymen pouring molten iron. There are plenty of fun games and amusements like a horse and cart ride around the town, a fair ground and a chance to dress up and have your photo taken in a Victorian costume.
The romantic ruins of this 12th century monastery lie on the edge of the beautiful town of Much Wenlock. The first Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded here in 680 and later refounded by the Normans. Take a look at the Norman chapter house which was built around 1140 as a place for the monks and the prior to discuss affairs. Admire the intricate stone carvings in the walls and columns, and look out for the carved grotesque head. In the cloister garden, you’ll see a large water vessel built in 1220, used by monks to wash their hands before they ate. Head to the priory’s library to see the medieval floor tiles which were made in the local area. End your visit with a trip to the onsite shop for some heritage inspired gifts, traditional children’s toys, souvenirs, wines, chutneys and jams.
Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom
One of the most popular destinations in Shropshire, Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom is a family focused farm park with plenty to see and do. Start with one of the exciting experience days on offer, like the birds of prey experience, junior keeper experience, racoon experience or badger watching. If you’re looking for exciting May bank holiday events in Shropshire, make sure not to miss the well-loved sheep racing, where eight sheep race over jumps on their way to the finish line. You can also join an animal feeding and meet the animal session, where you can buy animal food from the shop and feed the sheep, goats, chickens and more. If it happens to be a rainy day, head indoors to see the reptiles, play a round of air hockey or have some fun in the indoor play area.
Hawkstone Park Follies
Hawkstone Park Follies is a historic parkland area covering 100 acres. Created in the 18th century, the parkland is full of rugged natural sandstone hills full of gullies, towers, caves and bridges. Head out onto one of the many walks through the ancient woodland and explore its crags, caves and crevices. Check out the Terrace Arboretum on the hilltop, where you can find over 150 species of plants including a forest of rhododendron, giant redwoods and monkey puzzle trees. Or how about trying out a new activity? The park has archery, den building, 4×4 experiences and golf. For a snack, head to the Glass House Tearoom.
If you’re looking for some fresh air this May bank holiday, head to Mortimer Forest. Lying on the Shropshire/ Herefordshire border, the forest covers a thousand hectares. There are several walking trails which are suitable for all abilities. For an easy route, try the one mile long Vinnalls easy access trail, or challenge yourself on the nine mile Climbing Jack trail. The forest is a fantastic place for wildlife watching, and is a particularly good spot for birds of prey and smaller birds like nuthatches and warblers. You’ll find open spaces filled with butterflies and reptiles, and you might even spot longhaired fallow deer through the trees. Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch to enjoy at one of the several picnic areas in the forest.