The Setting of the Jewel - The Wyre Forest Locale

Tranquil rustic seclusion

Rustic seclusion is the characteristic that strikes most people first about Manor Holding.  As it is located close to the middle of the ancient Wyre Forest, half a kilometre (1/3ml) from the nearest winding tarmac country lane, along a rough forest track maintained solely by residents of the hamlet; for whom it is the sole means of access.  It sits within fields won from the forest in medieval times, on the tip of a narrow ridge extending between steep narrow valleys filled with mixed woodland.  The cottage drive is part of an historic footpath following the crest of this ridge, with panoramic views over the forest, Severn Valley and distant Black Country as far as Dudley Castle.

The hamlet is all that remains of an abandoned medieval mining town, traces of which can be seen in the surrounding fields and woods.  But higher up the ridge has been farmed since Roman times and links to a prehistoric neolithic route between the River Severn at Bewdley and the Clee Hills to the West.

Wyre Forest

Wyre Forest Bluebells near Manor Holding

The surrounding Wyre Forest is home to one of the largest National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in England.  The cottage orchards are included within this SSSI.  The forest is laced with traffic free networks of foot, bridle and cycle tracks, including both short and long distance routes for each, connecting right to the door of the cottage.

Cyclist on Geopark Way

This ancient oak forest stands predominantly on the west bank of the River Severn, the longest river in Britain, south of the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge.  The beautiful countryside around it, much of it within the South Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is rich in historic settlements and other places of interest.


Neighbourhood facilities

Local general store and Post Office: Far Forest 4km (2.5ml)

Most major supermarkets: Kidderminster 14km (9ml)

Gourmet foods: Ludlow 23km (14ml)

Restaurants: Far Forest; Button Oak; Callow Hill; Pound Green; Stotteston; Cleobury Mortimer; Bewdley etc.


Neighbourhood attractions

Although this part of the forest remains tranquil, the wider forest is a major tourist attraction in its own right, and features such as the Forestry Commission's Wyre Forest Centre and GoApe on its southern margin attract large visitor numbers.

GoApe Tree Top Trail

Golf courses, fishing complexes and other sports are scattered around the forest margin, making the most of the beautiful settings.  As does the historic Severn Valley Railway (SVR), which follows the narrow steep sided and heavily wooded Severn Gorge up the eastern edge of the forest, linking Kidderminster, Bewdley, Arley, Highley and Bridgnorth.  The distant mournful hoot of a steam train whistle can sometimes be heard across the forest.

Other nearby attractions include the West Midlands Safari Park, Highley Lido (heated outdoor swimming, sports centre and library), Rays Farm Wildlife Centre.


Nearest towns


The picturesque Georgian river port of Bewdley, 8km (5ml) along the forest cycle paths from Manor Holding, boasts a fine bridge over the River Severn designed by Thomas Telford.  Quayside cafes provide the perfect location for watching scullers or the annual raft race on the river. The Saturday markets, open air theatre and the museum are well worth a visit.  The SVR steam trains connect Bewdley to the mainline at Kidderminster, and up the restored valley railway to Bridgnorth. 


Cleobury Mortimer

The tiny but historic town of Cleobury Mortimer 5.6km (3.5ml) distant, overlooked by the towering Clee Hills, pays homage to the Mortimer family, feudal lords of the district since the Norman conquest.  Its excellent old taverns and crooked church spire conspire to set the world spinning for the unwary.  A particular hazard for those ascending the long flight of steps up to the churchyard!



The old mining town of Highley 6.5km (4ml) distant, has something for all the family.  It offers a combined library/sports centre with open air heated lido swimming pool, a golf course, and the Severn Valley Railway's new Engine House exhibition and conference facilities.

Highley Engine House

Guest Comment

What a privelige to have stayed in a beautifully restored Grade II Listed cottage. We’re full of admiration in the amount of work that’s gone into the place to achieve the level of accommodation on offer.

Jacqui + John ,


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