Homes and gardens of the Shropshire Hills
There a number of substantial historic homes to visit in the Shropshire Hills, among them Stokesay Court (between Ludlow and Craven Arms), whose significant claim to recent fame is as the film location for Atonement, adapted from the Ian McEwan novel and starring Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy. You can see precise film locations on one of the regular tours.
Wilderhope Manor, at Longville in the Dale, is a beautiful Elizabethan house, restored by John Cadbury in 1936. Although owned by the National Trust and open to the public on a limited basis, perhaps the best way to see it is to stay there as a guest of the YHA, which runs the building.
The Dower House Garden at the National Trust property of Morville Hall, near Bridgnorth, has been home to writer, broadcaster and gardener, Dr Katherine Swift since 1988. Its impressive one and a half acres are divided into a sequence of gardens to tell the story of Morville Hall through gardening, from medieval times to the present. The gardens include a turf maze, cloister garden, Elizabethan knot garden, 18th century canal garden, Victorian rose border, Edwardian fruit and vegetable garden, and a wild garden. The gardens are open on the May Bank Holiday weekend of Morville Festival and at least twice weekly from April to September.
The tranquil gardens at Westhope College, near Craven Arms, are open to the public from April to September. With rare fritillary orchids and delightful woodland walks with many artworks to discover. The £1 admission is great value.
In the same valley is Wildgoose Nursery and Gardens on the Millichope Estate with a great range of violas and other garden plants in the renovated walled garden along with restored Georgian curvilinear glasshouses. Stop off in their tearoom for a snack or lunch.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.