Places To Visit in Shropshire
There are plenty of places to visit and things to do close to The Barn.
As the name suggest, Richards Castle is home to a pre-conquest motte and bailey Castle, St Bartholomews, the ancient 12th century Church and a detached 13th century Bell Tower. Both the Church and Bell Tower were placed within the defences of the Castle and were probably founded by Richard FitzScrobe from whom the Castle and village derive their name.
This group of historically important buildings, in a lovely, peaceful setting, are well worth a visit. English Heritage has conserved the Castle ruins, constructing interesting pathways and viewing points, while The Churches Conservation Trust has carried out extensive repairs to the Church which is only rarely used.
You may like to continue your walk a short distance onto Hanway Common with spectacular panoramic views. This is the annual venue for The Soap Box Derby, now a popular great family fun day.
The local post office and shop are situated 2 miles (approx) away in Orleton and supermarkets in Ludlow and Leominster will deliver.
If you love good, local, fresh food, there are several local pubs and eateries to choose from for dining out or enjoying a drink. Ludlow has 2 Michelin-starred restaurants (Mr Underhill's has been voted 'Best UK restaurant outside London' by Harden's UK Restaurant Guide 2010), not to mention speciality food shops, food fairs and markets to tempt your taste buds.
You will receive a welcome treat on arrival at The Barn; this may be homemade cake, local ale or cheeses, a bottle of wine or seasonal home-grown fruit or vegetables to whet your appetite.
There are also three pubs close by, The Castle Inn, The Bakers Arms and The Boot in Orleton. You can sample some Real Ale in either!
The Mortimer Trail is just a half mile stroll from the door. You can walk from Ludlow to Kington (30 miles in total) or if you fancy just a few miles a day, we would be happy to pick you up and drop you off along points of the Trail. Kington is an historic market town in Herefordshire on the English/Welsh border, 18 miles away or about 35 minutes by car.
The nearby Shropshire Hills, one of the first areas to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, cover an area of 802 square kilometres, extending from The Wrekin to the Clun Forest and from the Stiperstones across to the Clee Hills. Shropshire's Clee Hill is just 10 miles away (20 minutes in the car) so you can easily see for yourself why celebrated poet A.E. Housman called them the 'Blue Remembered Hills'.
Across the border in Mid Wales, the Black Mountains, the most easterly peaks in the Brecon Beacons, are 40 miles away by car (about an hour and 15 minute drive). Don't be dissuaded by the word 'Mountains' either; they are a little less demanding than the Black Mountain (singular). Drive for a further 15 minutes and you'll find yourselves in the heart of the Brecon Beacons.
Panoramic views of the Shropshire Hills, Malverns and Black Mountains can be seen from Hanway Common, just a 20 minute walk from the door.
There are numerous cycle routes throughout Shropshire and Herefordshire to enable you to explore the stunning scenery. Cyclists can make use of the abundant forestry tracks and quiet lanes and should you wish to secure your own bikes this can easily be arranged, or if required, cycle hire can be obtained locally. Wheely Wonderful Cycle Hire is just 3 miles or 10 minutes drive away and Pearce Engineering Cycle Hire is also nearby in Ludlow. Please let us know if you would like cycle hire to be arranged for you.
Castles & Stately Homes
Shropshire has 32 castles, with Ludlow (just 10 minutes away from The Barn at Ryecroft) and Stokesay (20 minutes away) being 2 of the finest. You may remember seeing nearby Stokesay Court, a magnificent late-Victorian mansion from the Bafta and Oscar winning film 'Atonement' which was filmed here.
There are around 50 National Trust properties in Shropshire and Herefordshire. Berrington Hall is a neo-classical mansion set in landscaped grounds near Leominster. This and Croft Castle and Parkland also near Leominster, are only 15 minutes away by car.
The counties' gardens are not to be sniffed at! They usually play a big part in guests' visits to The Barn at Ryecroft.
Stockton Bury Garden in Kimbolton, near Leominster is 10 miles away. This 4 acre garden is set amongst medieval farm buildings and you'll be greeted by impressive plant collections all year round.
Burford House is a stunning Georgian Mansion that offers unique shopping opportunities in Tenbury Wells (again, only 2o minutes away). It sells everything from new and vintage antique furniture and original art, to plants, pots and gifts for gardeners in its historic walled Garden Centre. You could enjoy a homemade meal or an afternoon cream tea in their riverside café-bar.
Also just 20 minutes from The Barn at Ryecroft is Hampton Court in Herefordshire; a castle on the meadows of the river Lugg, surrounded by woodland and grounds. Find your way through a maze of Yew trees and climb to the top of the castle's gothic tower, or follow the wisteria tunnel to a waterfall in the sunken garden. The Orangery Café that adjoins the castle serves delicious lunches and teas.
Hergest Croft Gardens lie in the Welsh Marches with views from Kington towards the Black Mountains. There are beautiful flower borders, an Azalea Garden, Maple Grove, and Park Wood, all for you to explore and relax in.
Historic Ludlow (the nearest railway station) is 5 miles north from the Barn at Ryecroft - famous for its fantastic food, Norman Castle and Georgian buildings.
Ludlow Castle provides the setting for The Ludlow Food & Drink Festival every September, Ludlow Festival in June/July which attracts performers from all over the world and the Medieval Christmas Fair in November (see Events for specific dates).
The Assembly Rooms provide year round live entertainment, films and exhibitions. Other local attractions include the award winning Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms and Acton Scott Historic Working Farm in nearby Church Stretton, the film location for BBC TV's popular 'Victorian Farm' and Victorian Farm Christmas' series.
Shrewsbury is Shropshire's historic county town, birthplace of Charles Darwin and home to over 600 listed buildings, many of which are black and white timber framed. Explore the cobbled streets and discover the town's collection of independent shops, cafés and restaurants.
Nearby attractions include Attingham Park, Hawkstone Historic Park & Follies, Wroxeter Roman City and Wroxeter Roman Vineyard.
Ironbridge is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll find the Ironbridge Gorge Museums; a collection of 10 hands-on, interactive museums including Blists Hill Victorian Town, Enginuity and Jackfield Tile Museum.
Hereford is the nearest city to The Barn at Ryecroft. It's home to Hereford Cathedral's copy of the Magna Carta, dating back to 1217 and The Mappa Mundi; a unique piece of British heritage. It records how thirteenth-century scholars interpreted the world in spiritual and geographical terms. Hereford Cathedral also has one of the most effective anti-theft deterrents - a chained library! It is the largest to survive with all its chains, rods and locks intact and well worth a visit.
You may also like to explore Herefordshire's Black and White Village Trail. It's a 40 mile circular route taking in timber-framed buildings and churches, so ideal for getting out and about.
As well as rich history, Hereford offers shopping, culture and leisure, with many cafés, pubs and reviving walks by the river Wye.
For more places to see and things to do in Shropshire, visit www.shropshiretourism.co.uk