Slow Food Cycle Tour
When it comes to a cycling holiday, the quiet country lanes of the Shropshire Hills means the area’s about as good as it gets – especially when you can combine a few days cycling with fine local food and the best locally crafted beers and wines!
Wheely Wonderful Cycling – the cycling tour specialist based in the Shropshire Hills, near Ludlow – has developed a special Slow Food Cycle Tour, taking in some of the Shropshire Hills favourite pubs and some great places to shop for local produce.
The Shropshire Hills and valleys, with their modestly sized farms and benign climate, are renowned for the quality of their produce, which underpins the reputation of Ludlow, in particular. This is the home of the very best of fine food and dining and indeed where the UK slow food movement was born. There are fine craft brewers all over the Shropshire Hills, many of which source their hops locally, while the area’s wines, ciders and spirits are also deservedly praised.
A Slow Food Cycle Tour is an easy-going six-day potter, with Wheely Wonderful doing all the really hard work, just leaving you to do the pedalling! The package includes tried and tested route-finding, all accommodation booked and your luggage transported daily to the next stop. They’ll even arrange for any of that lovely food and drink you buy to be ready for you to pick up at the end of your adventure.
Wheely Wonderful Cycling’s award-winning holidays are built on a wealth of experience and the quality cycles come with full emergency backup, along with maps and route guides to ensure you can make the most of the fabulous Shropshire Hills countryside. You’ll cover from as little as ten miles a day up to an optional 34 miles, or 20 if you prefer a more leisurely time.
- The cycling tour begins with a gentle ten-miler to the Baron at Bucknell, where a newly created outdoor swimming pond might just tempt you.
- On Day Two you can choose between 20 or 34 miles as you make your way to historic market town of Bishop’s Castle and two nights at the warm and welcoming Castle Hotel.
- On the way there are two real ale pubs to try at the small but perfectly formed little town of Clun, with its Norman castle, laid waste in the 15th century by the Welsh chieftain, Owain Glyndŵr. The castle is the venue for the town’s annual Green Man Festival, a real day of family fun. The White Horse Inn brews on the premises, while the Sun Inn is a brewery tap for Three Tuns, reputedly the country’s oldest brewery, at nearby Bishop’s Castle.
- At Bishop’s Castle it’s a case of brewing by numbers, with the Six Bells Brewery and the aforementioned Three Tuns. The beer is complemented by wine on Day Three, with a visit to Kerry Vale vineyard, right on the Welsh border.
- Day Four’s 24-mile ride to Ludlow includes the opportunity to visit Ludlow Food Centre, which is the retail outlet for a wide range of produce coming directly from the 8,000-acre estate of the Earl of Plymouth, and including lamb, pork, dairy and bakery products. In the medieval market town of Ludlow itself, with its half-timbered buildings and wide variety of shops selling local produce, you can take a brewery tour or visit the 11th century castle. Staying at the world famous Feathers Hotel for 2 nights.
- The castle is the seat of the Earls of Powis and its colourful history includes a period under Richard III, Duke of York, and, subsequently, as the de facto capital of Wales. The castle sits proudly at one end of the market place and is the venue for events, including Ludlow’s Food and Spring Festivals and Medieval Christmas Fayre. Besides regular market days, the market place hosts a twice-monthly farmers’ market, featuring the very best of local foodstuffs.
- Day Five is circular 24-mile ride through tranquil Corvedale, visiting Stokesay Castle, country pubs and apple orchards by the Clee Hills. Stokesay is a must-see, and justifiably described as the best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England. Its Great Hall has been unchanged for 700 years.
- The final day takes you through the hop-producing country of the Teme valley and includes a visit to Burford House, with its ornamental gardens, shops and café.
For more information on this holiday, or to book, go to www.wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk
About the accommodation
About the breweries
Other producers and retailers
Recommended pubs and restaurants
All the overnight accommodation providers on the Tour offer evening meals, but you might also wish to try some of Ludlow’s finest dining at the Clive (next to Ludlow Food Centre) or the Cliffe at Dinham.This product has been developed as part of the Shropshire Hills Tourism Cooperation Project, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under the auspices of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project is delivered by Gravity Consulting Ltd on behalf of Shropshire Hills and Ludlow Destination Management Partnership.