Local Area

Countryside

The beautiful rolling countryside west of the Birmingham and Black Country conurbation is sprinkled with small woodlands.  West of the River Severn both woodlands and hills grow. Rising to the Clee Hills overlooking the Wyre Forest, these provide the highest ground looking east until the Russian Urals on the far boundary of Europe.  The high ground is cut by deep narrow sinuous valleys fringed with woodland, including those of the Severn and Teme Rivers. The Clee Hills fall within the "South Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". Quiet country lanes meander through this verdant mixed agricultural landscape.

Historic Towns

River Severn at Bewdley Bridge

Bewdley

The picturesque Georgian river port of Bewdley, 8km (5ml) distant along the forest cycle paths (Sustrans' Mercian Way NCR 45) from Manor Holding, boasts a fine stone bridge over the River Severn designed by Thomas Telford.  Quayside cafes provide the perfect location for watching scullers from Bewdley Rowing Club and the annual raft race on the river.  The Saturday markets, open air theatre and museums are well worth a visit.  The Severn Valley Railway steam trains connect 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, still pays homage to the Mortimer family, feudal lords of the district since the Norman conquest.  Its excellent ancient 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!  Cleobury golf course is only 4km (2.5ml) distant, a pleasant walk along forest paths.

Highley

The old mining town of Highley 6.5km (4ml) distant, offers a modern heated lido and sports centre with integrated library and cafe. the Severn Valley Railway Engine House visitor centre and conference venue, a mining museum, and Highley golf course.  Sustrans' Mercian Way and the Geopark Way both link the cottage directly to Highley.

Ludlow Castle guarded by the River Teme

Ludlow

Half an hour west of Manor Holding time stands still in the medieval border hill town and "Slow City" of Ludlow 22km (14ml), amost encircled by the beautiful River Teme in its steep narrow valley.  The hill top town centre's charming narrow streets are packed with high quality shops and the weekly market at the castle gate is full of bargains.  Ludlow is  famous around the world for the quality of its food stuffs and features strongly in the renowned Michelin world restaurant guide.  It was the first town in Britain to be recognised by the "Slow Food" movement for its quality of life, food, culture and unspoilt historic character.

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway Bridgnorth Castle Park

Bridgnorth

Founded in Saxon times as a strategic stronghold controlling the River Severn and declared to have the "Fairest view in all my kingdom" by King Charles I, Bridgnorth castle subsequently suffered the attentions of the parliamentry army during the English Civil War, and its remains now lean more than the Tower of Piza.  Little has changed in this delightful town in the last couple of centuries.  The hill top High Town shops and museums are full of interest.  A short ride down the cliff on the  funicular railway takes you to Low Town, where in hot weather the more liberated have been known to swim in the river (Beware strong currents).  Bridgnorth is 17km (10.6ml) distant.  If you cycle here from Manor Holding along the Mercian Way, you could catch the Severn Valley Railway steam trains back to Arley or Bewdley, to get your breath back.

World's First Iron Bridge

Ironbridge

Half an hour north of Manor Holding, the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge, 27km (17ml) distant, spans the beautiful wooded Severn Gorge, to include the neighbouring town of Broseley.  Both filled with amazing museums celebrating the history of this "Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution", including Blist's Hill Victorian Town.


Kiddderminster

Once a major centre for carpet manufacturing, Kidderminster, 10km (6.2ml) distant, contains in its compact centre most of the major supermarket and shopping chains and ample car parking.  The newly openned Carpet Museum is worth a visit.

Worcester

Half an hour south of Manor Holding, the historic county town of Worcester, 25km (16ml) distant, home of Royal Worcester porcelain, Worcester Sauce, and the Worcester Warriors rugby club.

Black Country

Half an hour east, the rich industrial heritage of the Black Country towns awaits.  Dudley, 25km (16ml) distant, whose castle is just visible from above the cottage, hosts the famous Black Country Museum, and the giant shopping mall complex of Merry Hill.

Town Hall Auditorium Birmingham

Birmingham

An hour to the east, England's "2nd city" Birmingham, 36km (22ml) distant, offers a shopping, sporting and cultural bonanza of international quality.

Guest Comment

We had such a nice time, your house is really enchanting, and in such a gorgeous location. we arrived home to pouring rain. We had much better weather with you, it had been raining all day here.- always such a bonus to cheat the weather. Thank you once again (By email)

Clare, Jem and James Nicholls + Nellie (Labrador),

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