Ludlow sits on a ridge above the River Teme, on high ground almost certainly occupied by prehistoric tribes. But the town we see today is essentially Norman and its compact medieval layout spreading from the castle, first built by the de Lacy family, has been, for the most part, saved from unwanted 20thC development. There are two buildings dating from the medieval period: the church of St Laurence and Ludlow Castle, which are major landmarks which can be seen for miles around; you will enjoy many superb views from the walks in this book.
The town has charmed many travel writers through the decades, including John Betjeman, who was most complimentary. It is not only the medieval street pattern that is so engaging, but also the elegant Georgian houses that have survived. Broad Street is possibly one of finest streets in the country. Needless to say, the onslaught of traffic and the chain stores which seek to dominate small towns has begun to change its character; the challenge will be to respect what we have whilst offering a warm welcome to visitors.
Ludlow is also known as one of the major centres in the country for ‘slow food’ and the local group seeks to support smaller sustainable food producers in the area, many of which can be found at the twice monthly Local Produce Market in the Market Square. There are other places which stand out, such as Glebe Farm Tearooms at Hopesay and the Green Cafe in Ludlow. The authors of this book seek to promote ‘Slow Travel’ in the Marches by encouraging people to immerse themselves in the locality and this book fits this approach well.
Mortimer Country lies to the west and south west of Ludlow towards the Radnorshire hills of Wales, just a short ride by bus, train or bicycle. It is a deeply rural enclave with a richness and diversity of landscapes from rolling wooded hills to revered riverside meadows. The Arrow, Clun, Lugg and Teme rivers are all designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. There are numerous castles, churches and historic houses open to the public, plus villages with rural inns of character. There are also a small number of attractions such as the Aardvark Bookery at Brampton Bryan and Croft Castle, near Yarpole, which are ideal places for the walker to visit.