Ludlow Food Festival Ale Trail Winners

The Ale Trail was was held once again at the 2016 Ludlow Food Festival and the winners in the 2 categories were as follows:

Ale Trail Professional’s Choice

1st: Blonde 4%, Ludlow Brewery, served at Ludlow Brewery

2nd: Stairway 5%, Ludlow Brewery served at the Nelson Inn

3rd: Blonde 3.8%, Joules Brewery served at the Rose and Crown

Ale Trail People’s Choice

1st: Butty Bach, Wye Valley Brewery served at Ye Olde Bull Ring Travel

2nd: Blonde, Ludlow Brewery served at Ludlow Brewery

3rd: Boiling Well, Ludlow Brewery served at the Feathers Hotel

You can find more information on these local breweries at the following links:

Ludlow Brewing Company

Joule’s Brewery

Wye Valley Brewery

If you enjoy locally brewed Shropshire beers then you may want to visit the Clun Valley Beer Festival.

The Clun Valley Beer Festival

Map of the Clun Valley

Map of the Clun Valley

The famous Shropshire poet A. E Houseman said of the Clun Valley in his collection of poems “A Shropshire Lad”:

“Clunton and Clunbury, Clungunford and Clun are the quietest places under the sun”

but perhaps not always when the Clun Valley Beer Festival occurs.

The Clun Valley Beer Festival 2016 takes place on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October when all the pubs in the Clun Valley join in.

Transport is provided between the pubs.

The Clun Valley pubs that are participating include:

The Kangaroo Inn, Aston on Clun

The Crown Inn, Clunton

The Hundred House Inn, Purslow

The Sun Inn, Clun

White Horse Inn, Clun

The Crown Inn, Newcastle

Some pubs lay on food and entertainment for the festival.

There is a Web address for the beer festival:

but please note that this redirects to a Facebook page:

where you can find details about the 2016 festival bus timetable and lists of the beers for this year.

Map image of the Clun Valley taken from OpenStreetMap

Our Act of Sheer Folly

Here at Folly View Let we like to provide you with a Welcome Pack containing some local food and produce including some locally brewed beer.

Wood's Sheer Folly

Wood’s Sheer Folly

Earlier this year we included a very special beer produced by our nearest brewery – Wood’s Brewery – at Wistanstow, called Sheer Folly.

Our holiday let is called Folly View Let because of the view of Flounders’ Folly which is located 4 km away as the crow flies.

Wood’s Brewery in common with many other breweries produce special beers and one-off brews like Sheer Folly from time to time, and often in support of a good cause.

Another beer from them that we have included in our Welcome Pack is called Beautiful Shropshire Hills – reflecting the fact that we are surrounded by the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Some proceeds from the sales of Sheer Folly were donated by Wood’s Brewery to the Flounders’ Folly Trust.

The photograph below shows Wood’s Brewery Managing Director Mr Edward Wood presenting a cheque for £500 to Flounders’ Folly Trustee Mr Richard Cundall.

Edward Wood and Richard Cundall

Edward Wood and Richard Cundall

Mr Cundall said:

“It was very thoughtful of the brewery to choose us as for a donation 10 years after we completed the folly restoration. Wood’s are a tremendous local business and Sheer Folly itself was an excellent beer. Visitor donations remain vitally important to help us keep the folly in good condition, but this is a tremendous boost to the fund.”

Photograph and quote shown above are copyright ©Flounders’ Folly Trust and reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees – The Flounders’ Folly Trust.

Ludlow Sausage Trail Winners

At the 2016 Ludlow Food Festival the annual Sausage Trail was held once again and the Ludlow Sausage Trail Winners in the 2 categories were as follows:

Sausage Trail Professional’s Choice

1st: Reg May, ‘Paddington Bear’ traditional pork blended with homemade onion marmalade
2nd: Beamans of Bridgnorth, Purebred Gloucester Old Spot with shallot and handpicked wild sage
3rd: Ludlow Food Centre, Gloucester Old Spot Pulled Pork

Sausage Trail People’s Choice

1st: D H Wall & Son, Wild Boar with Pork, Honey and Mustard
2nd: A H Griffiths, Griffiths traditional pork
3rd: Reg May, ‘Paddington Bear’ pork with onion marmalade

You can find more information about these local food producers using the following links:

Ludlow Food Centre
A H Griffiths
Beamans of Bridgnorth

Kerry Ridgeway Walk and Cycle Route

The Kerry Ridgeway Walk and Cycle Route is a 15 mile walk from the Cider House south of Kerry, Newtown, Powys to Bishop’s Castle. It is great for walking or cycling and is considered one of the most dramatic Drovers Routes in the country with views that on a clear day can see up to seventy miles. The Ridgeway does not drop below a 1000 feet and takes you through heather moors, woodlands and bilberry rich heaths with stunning views of the Welsh mountains and Shropshire Hills.

Drover’s roads were used to get livestock to markets and they date back to Neolithic stone axe traders. The earliest routes are found on natural ridges which had clear views and connect one area of lowland with another. The Kerry Ridgeway is one of those that has been in use since 4000 B.C. It is older than the Iron Age and Bronze Age Earthworks along its length.

The Six Bells Pub lies at the end of Kerry Lane in Bishop’s Castle, a place to enjoy a well earned pint. Originally a farm house built in 1670 it became a hostelry in the 1750 offering the increasing numbers of drovers arriving in Bishop’s Castle paddocks for their livestock and accommodation over night.

There is parking just north of Cider House Farm and plenty of parking if you are starting from Bishop’s Castle.

You can find a link to a PDF with a more detailed description of the route here.

The route of the Kerry Ridgeway is illustrated in the map shown below.

Map of the Kerry Ridgeway

Map of the Kerry Ridgeway

Blists Hill Victorian Town

The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge Gorge

The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge Gorge


Shropshire offers a vast array of wonderful places to visit and things to see and do. One of the most popular visitor locations in Shropshire is Ironbridge Gorge where the River Severn has cut a deep gorge. Originally called the Severn Gorge, the gorge now takes its name from the famous Iron Bridge – the first of its kind and an arch bridge made of cast iron. The bridge itself along with the small town of Ironbridge and the Ironbridge Gorge together form the UNESCO Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.

Iron bridge is also home to the 10 museums spread along the Severn valley that make up the collection of The Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

One of these award-winning museums is the recreated Victorian town of Blists Hill Victorian Museum which enables you to experience life as it was over 100 years ago. The 52 acre museum comprises:

  • Blast Furnaces
  • a Bank where you exchange your money for pounds, shillings and pence to buy traditional fish and chips or use to visit the Victorian pub
  • a Victorian Pharmacy
  • an Iron Foundry
  • a Victorian cottage
  • an original Victorian Drapers
McClures Drapers at Blists Hill

McClures Drapers at Blists Hill

You can find more information about Blists Hill Victorian Town at their Web site here.

You can download the Blists Hill Victorian Town Map PDF here.

Iron bridge is 23 miles from Folly View Let and takes about 45 minutes by road.

Flounders Folly – Opening Dates Autumn 2016

We named our holiday let “Folly View” because you can see Flounders Folly from your self-catering accommodation.

Flounder’s Folly is a well-known a local monument (or folly) in South Shropshire which can be seen for miles in this area – especially from the A49 between Craven Arms and Church Stretton. The folly is a stone tower some 16 feet square and 80 feet high and stands on Callow Hill just north of Craven Arms.

The folly is open to visitors only on certain days of the year and whilst there is no fixed entrance fee you are requested to make a small donation to The Flounders’ Folly Trust to support the maintenance of this landmark.

The remaining opening dates for 2016 are:

Saturday 10th September 13:30 – 16:00

Sunday 11th September 13:30 – 16:00

Sunday 25th September 11:00 – 15:00

Tuesday 25th October 11:00 – 15:00

Sunday 27th November 11:00 – 15:00

When the Folly is open a St George’s Flag is flown from the top of the Folly. You can then climb the 78 stone steps to the viewing platform at the top. On a clear day you can expect wonderful views of the Malvern Hills, the Black Mountains, and Cader Idris. A series of illustrations  that run round the viewing platform help you to identify the landmarks you can see in the 306 degree panorama.

You can learn more about Flounders Folly in an earlier blog post.

You can walk from Folly View Let to Flounders Folly (approximately 2 miles) and there are clearly marked trails and footpaths from the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. You should allow 45 minutes to an hour to reach the Folly and be aware that the climb up Callow Hill is quite steep.

The best place to park for a visit to Flounders’ Folly is at the foot of Callow Hill on the road from Lower Dinchope to Westhope, SO 457854, where you will see a small interpretation board.

The Ludlow Food Festival 2016

Ludlow Food Festival 2016

Ludlow Food Festival 2016

The Ludlow Food Festival is now in its 21st year and has become the highlight of the many food events held in Shropshire, and is praised as one of the best Food Festivals in the UK.

This year the Ludlow Food Festival runs from Friday 9th September through Sunday 11th September at the main venue of Ludlow Castle.

The Festival objective is to celebrate the quality and diversity of the superb independent food and drink producers and suppliers across Shropshire, Ludlow and the Marches. This year the Festival hosts more than 180 local food and drink producers who are displaying their wares and offering samples – you can try local sausages and meats, a wide range of locally brewed real ales and even puddings.

There are also many food-related events including:

You can find more information about these trails at the Ludlow Food Festival Web site here.

The Festival also features a series of hands-on Masterclasses where you can try your hand at:

  • making your own sushi
  • preparing a Thai Green Curry
  • Pork Pie making

Ludlow was described by Sir John Betjeman as “probably the loveliest town in England” and more recently has been called the gastronomic capital of Shropshire. Ludlow is 9 miles and 20 minutes by road from Folly View Let.