Shropshire Hills & Ludlow


Our Shropshire Hills Art Adventure

Update: Shropshire Hills Art Week 2017 is 3-11 June 2017. Brochure 2017 for download

This post originate during the 2016 Art Week

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking my 5-year old daughter on a magical mystery tour of Shropshire Hills Art Week. In one day we took in inspirational art, design, sculpture and I watch her eyes widen with wonder at every corner.

This year Shropshire Hills Art Week celebrated its 3rd birthday having been set up in 2014 by artist, Jules McRobbie. Speaking about her role as director, Jules says, “I am inspired by other people’s creativity, which makes running SHAW very exciting for me. But it is something that I could not do without the help and support of the talented and gifted SHAW artists.”

Bank House B&B, Bishops Castle

Bank House B&B, Bishops Castle

My experience of SHAW 2016 began at Bank House B&B in Bishops Castle; a gorgeous, recently renovated Georgian boutique bed and breakfast and arts venue. Bank House is a perfect location for art as it has such space and light. I love the way that the walls have their rugged, aged form as the colours compliment the range of art beautifully. Once we had made our way through the sitting room we found ourselves lurking on the magnificent stairwell absorbing the stunning art, perfectly bathed in the light from the central window.

Art on Display at Bank House B&B
Art on Display at Bank House B&B

The whole experience was fantastic – from paintings to wood work, from fused glass to jewellery, Bank House was home to it all. Visit the Shropshire Hills Art Week website to see all the artists that were showcasing their incredible work at this venue. For more information about Bank House B&B please visit:

Will & Lottie O'Leary
Will & Lottie O’Leary Stone Masons

From Bishops Castle we headed out into the Welsh hills to The Upper House in Knucklas. The Upper House is the home and workshop of Lottie and Will O’Leary, who hosted artists Jessica Jackson and Jane Farrington. Our visit here was magical, for The Upper House is set in the most beautiful, idyllic spot with stone carvings and animals lurking in their stunning garden and animals freely and happily wondering about. All this wonder and that is before you head up the stairs of Will and Lottie’s workshop and head into their creative space.

Upper House, Knucklas
Upper House Exhibition

I entered the exhibition space with an overwhelming ‘wow’. The collaboration of artists in this wonderful space was inspiring – Lottie, Jessica and Jane so complimented each other and offered such creative excitement.

Behind the Curtain, Jane Farrington

Behind the Curtain, Jane Farrington

I spent a long time here so it was useful that my mum was with us as She and Georgia spent a fun-filled hour in the wild garden whilst I absorbed all this exhibition had to offer. To see more about the artists involved in this exhibition visit:

I was reliably informed that we had to pay a visit to the Old School Arts in Knighton as it is such a memorable place. So we happily took this advice and said goodbye to Knucklas. Old School Arts is a live-work artist space in a fascinating old school house.  We had a really lovely time meeting artists, Ciara Lewis and Kate Morgan-Clare, whose work is incredible, before becoming inspired in the ingenious madness of the inventor’s lair – you have to visit to discover what happens behind the doors of the Old School!

Old School Arts
Old School Arts

Take a look at some of the magic that so captured Georgia’s imagination….

There was free cake too so what more can you ask for?

I had a fear at this point that Georgia would be out of puff for the art worked but clearly not as she demanded more! So from Old School Arts we headed out to Aardvark Books in Bucknall. This was a perfect location to finish our day’s travel around the Shropshire Hills as, apart from providing a temporary home to some incredible artists, Georgia was consumed by Aardvark’s Book Burrow! To see the full range of artists exhibiting here visit:

Kim Davis Wood Turner
Kim Davis Wood Turner

I enjoyed a lovely chat with Kim Davis (Wood Turner) and Nancy Frost (Ceramicist) and really this is what makes the Shropshire Hills Art Week so good.

Nancy Frost at Aardvark
Nancy Frost at the Aardvark Exhibition

It was a wonderful opportunity to talk to artists about their work and to discover how important Shropshire is to it. The space was really well curated and the work so impressive that I got consumed by the space for some time….. Until Georgia could hear ‘Let It Go’ blasting from a car stereo and legged it out to perform in the car park!

I wish that we could have visited all the venues as we loved our creative day so much. I have to say that Jules and her team of volunteers are incredible – what an achievement it is to bring all of these incredible artists together. If you are an artist and are interested in being part of Shropshire Hills Art Week next year please email If you have always thought about visiting but have yet to do so, then don’t miss out next year. I asked Georgia to describe Shropshire Hills Art Week:

“It has been so much fun. I want to be an artist when I grow up. I loved it. And we got to go to another country! Can we come again tomorrow?”

The Bank House Exhibition
The Bank House Exhibition

So there you go!


Louise Welsby