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Ludlow "the most beautiful and distinguished country town in England"

Updated on January 16, 2013

Ludlow - Shropshire, England, UK

Ludlow is a thriving old market town and full of marvellous architecture. Ludlow is popular for the events and festivals throughout the year, including the famous Ludlow Food & Drink Festival and the annual Ludlow Festival, that includes Shakespeare plays being performed in the Ludlow Castle and Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre.

Ludlow and the old castle are sitting on a cliff above the picturesque River Teme. Ludlow is surrounded by the beautiful Mortimer Forest, the hills of South Shropshire and the Welsh border country, also known as the Welsh Marches. There is excellent walking and cycling opportunities just on the edge of the town.

In recent years, Ludlow and the surrounding area has acquired a superb reputation for the quality of its food and drinks. Some of the best restaurants in Britain can be found here, thriving in the abundance of the area's top-quality food and drink producers and suppliers. Every September, the showcase for this is the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival, when the town is filled with food lovers from all over the UK, and from around the world. Ludlow Food Festivals' Spring Festival; a weekend of music and good food celebrating great local beers, sausages, classic cars has also become a real favourite!

Ludlow town centre's elegance is evidence of the 900 year old Norman planned towns history. The town came to existence when Ludlow Castle was started in 1086 and the medieval town walls were built shortly after. Ludlow has over 450 listed buildings from over 650 in South Shropshire. Grade I listed buildings in Ludlow include Ludlow Castle, St. Laurences Church and The Feathers Hotel.

Today Ludlow is a busy market town with a population of just under 11,000. Retail, services, tourism and light industry are key sectors of the economy. Ludlow is twinned with La Ferté-Macé in Normandy, France, San Pietro in Cariano near Verona in Italy, and Narberth in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Ludlow Castle Gate
Ludlow Castle Gate

Ludlow Castle

The Ludlow Castle impressive ruins occupy the oldest part of Ludlow. Building of the castle started around 1085, with many later additions in the following two centuries and it is one of the most interesting castles in the Marches, in a dominant and imposing position high above the river Teme. It features examples of architecture from the Norman, Medieval and Tudor periods. The building of the castle led to the development of the town itself, at first grouped around the castle.

Edward IV founded the Council of the Marches of Wales in the late 15th century. The Council administered all of Wales and five adjacent English counties: its headquarters were in Ludlow Castle, and during this period many of England's princes and princesses stayed in Ludlow. The Council of the Marches ceased to exist in 1689, and after this the castle became derelict, although Ludlow itself was still on a wave of prosperity and was a fashionable centre for local gentry. As a result of the town's popularity, many of Ludlow's most notable buildings were built in the first part of the 18th century. The castle was bought by the present owners, the Earl of Powis in 1811.

As well as being open to the public throughout the year, the inner and outer baileys are used for several festivals and other events each year, notably Ludlow Festival for the open-air production of a Shakespeare plays for three weeks in June and July, Ludlow Marches Food and Drink Festival in September, Ludlow Craft Festival in late May,Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre in November and the Marches Festival of Transport in early May.

Audio-guide available. Closed on Christmas Day and January weekdays.

Open from 10am every day. Tel. 01584 873355 for details.

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle
Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Caste Photos

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St Laurence's Parish Church
St Laurence's Parish Church

St Laurence's Parish Church

St Laurence's ChurchThe parish church is one of the largest in the country. It was mostly re-built in the mid-15th century but some earlier features survive. There are fine misericords and stained glass. The poet A.E. Housman, author of 'A Shropshire Lad', is commemorated in the churchyard. Open all year. Stewards on duty in the spring, summer, and autumn 10 am-5 pm. Conducted tours can be arranged via the Rector at 4 College Street. Tel.: 01584 872073.

the St Laurence's web-site

Further information about the church and its activities can be found on

St Laurence's Parish Church Photo Gallery

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Inside in St Laurence's Parish Church Photo Gallery

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Organ In The St Laurence's  Church
Organ In The St Laurence's  Church
Organ In The St Laurence's Church

The tower of St. Laurence's contains one of the finest rings of 8 bells in the country

The tower of St. Laurence's contains one of the finest rings of 8 bells in the country. The bells have significant historical interest and feature in the early development of change ringing

The Feather Hotel
The Feather Hotel

Some of the Other Intresting Places and Building in Ludlow

The Feathers Hotel The oldest part of the Feathers, including the world famous timber facade, was built in 1619 (during the reign of King James I) by Rees Jones, a successful attorney in the town, who had frequently appeared before the Council of the Marches, which from 1536 until 1689 was situated in Ludlow making the town in effect the capital of Wales.

The name of the hotel springs from the motifs of ostrich feathers forming part of the timber framed facade. They can still be seen by the discerning eye on the collars of the three street gables, although now weathered by the centuries. Ostrich feathers (traditionally the badge of the Prince of Wales) were still very much in vogue in the town at the time that the timber facade was being constructed following celebrations in 1616 for the investiture of Charles (the future King Charles I) as Prince of Wales.

Ludlow was a town with Royalist sympathies and remained loyal throughout the English Civil War, during which it is thought that Royalist soldiers were billeted at the Feathers. Indeed Rees Jones' son Thomas Jones fought as a Captain in the King's Army and well after the Civil War he converted the Feathers to an inn, around 1670.

The Feathers remained an inn for the next 200 years during which time, as well as providing sleeping accommodation, food and much beer, the inn was occasionally used as a venue for cock-fighting and prize-fighting. It was also at the centre of politics in the town when candidates for parliamentary elections would make speeches from the hotel balcony then invite voters inside for a drink to help secure their votes.

From 1863 the Feathers became known as a hotel and since then has gradually evolved and expanded through the acquisition of properties on either side of the original house to become established as Ludlow's leading hotel with a fine international reputation. A new programme of expansion and refurbishment is currently underway which will help the hotel to enhance its reputation still further and meet the increasing demands of the 21st century

Various Photo from Ludlow

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Click thumbnail to view full-size

Ludlow Surroundings Photo Gallery

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Music and Audio about Ludlow on Amazon

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    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      What a charming town! The architecture is simply stunning!

    • SaintFrantic profile image
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      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @PennyHowe: That's great.What is the name of the book.

    • PennyHowe profile image

      PennyHowe 5 years ago

      Great photos and info. Thanks. I am currently reading a book that takes place in the 1700's in England, so this lens really caught my eye.

    • Lauriej1 profile image

      Lauriej1 5 years ago

      Wow! I love the pictures! Great lens!!

    • GeoffSteen profile image

      GeoffSteen 5 years ago

      Looks like a really nice town - looking forward to visiting some day.

    • profile image

      celeBritys4africA 5 years ago

      I would love to visit it someday.

    • BlueStarling profile image

      BlueStarling 5 years ago

      Ludlow looks to be a very beautiful, interesting place. Loves the castle and the countryside photos. I think England is fascinating and I enjoy its history. The bells video was fun!

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      I've never had the pleasure of visiting overseas. I hope to one day. I love the history; the way you can traverse the countryside and see places that were built hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Amazing. We've got buildings falling down here after just a few decades. LOL

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Looks like an awesome place to visit - great lens!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Beautiful tribute lens to what appears to be a great place. Nicely done. Full marks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      looks like such a beautiful place

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Ludlow sure looks like a place, well worth visiting! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm sure I've been to Ludlow, but don't remember it that well. I would love to try playing that organ!

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I've been living in Ludlow for the past 3 years.Great Place wish It could have more job opportunities.But you can't have everything I suppose.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 5 years ago from Gloucester

      It looks lovely! Great photos! I might have to take a trip some time... :)

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 5 years ago

      Ludlow is a lovely town to visit, always a delight!

    • lychic profile image

      lychic 5 years ago

      GREAT TOURIST INFO!

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 5 years ago

      Very good lens about this quaint town. Beautiful photos showing the charm of the area. I was very impressed by the photos of the church. (St Laurence's Parish) Very well done! See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is one of my favorites. Lots of good information here. Squid-liked it.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Have not heard of Ludlow but I like old market towns as I've read lots about them.

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

      Beautiful place, so picturesque

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      What gorgeous photos! Another beautiful place I would love to visit. Blessed!

    • CofCJenny LM profile image

      CofCJenny LM 5 years ago

      Fingers crossed I'll be going to England next year with a friend, I'm going to have to look into this town and make it a point to visit. Thanks for sharing!

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      Wonderful architecture and beautiful country side, what a gem of a city.....blessed

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 5 years ago from France

      I have never been to Ludlow which is a shame from what I can see of your lens. Now that I live in France I probably won't get there, but you never know. Now that I have seen how interesting it is, if I get near I will want to take a look for sure. Nice Lens

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @BrianRS: Thank you.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
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      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @huvalbd: It is great region I love it.I love the nature and the old small villages and towns. Atmosphere is captivating.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Ludlow looks like a great place. Nice photos!

    • profile image

      huvalbd 5 years ago

      I've only stopped in Ludlow once to meet a business associate. It does look like a nice place. As of about a year and a half ago I live in another section of the Welsh-English border and find the blend of the two cultures fascinating. Thanks for calling attention to this often-overlooked part of the country.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I've never been to Ludlow but it sure looks and sounds beautiful. Maybe one day I will get there. Hope so.

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 5 years ago

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      Lovely photos :-) ludow sounds cool

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wow its a nice place to visit and all the castles

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 5 years ago from Michigan

      Excellent, very-constructed lens. Wow! It must be exciting to stand within those castle walls knowing they were built a mere 19 years after the Norman Invasion!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      It's my dream to visit England someday, I really hope I get to see Ludlow if I ever make it there.

    • oxfordian profile image

      oxfordian 5 years ago

      Such a beautiful town -- and what a stunning stained glass widow in the cathedral!! I wish I'd known about Ludlow when I was in GB last year. The next time I go, though, I'm going to spend some time here. I love England so much. Thanks for such a beautiful lens.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 5 years ago

      Found my way to Ludlow on my own years ago while on a trip to England - very much worth the effort. Fascinating place. I would have liked to have the information you presented before I went!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Looks like a lovely town! Would love to visit there someday.

    • profile image

      Oosquid 5 years ago

      Fabulous lens. Ludlow looks a beautiful town, a place that really is England (unlike a lot of the country.) Very much enjoyed reading your lens and listening to those bells.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lovely lens and great pictures! Sounds like an awesome place.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: I know that feeling I think is because is not fully loaded.Thank for visiting.I wish you nice day too.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for a very inspiring lens on such beautiful country. Enjoyed your photos. Thanks for sharing, I do not know what is happening here but as I am trying to comment this lens is jumping all over the place I cannot even see what I am writing. Maybe its those photo galleries that doing it.

      Have a nice day.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Beautiful. From the community to the surroundings to the castle. Dig the bells.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      It certainly looks like a town with a spirit of its own. Well done presentation (just a hint - another lens about night life in Ludlow?), thumbs up!

    • Noelle and Dan profile image

      Noelle and Dan 5 years ago

      Nice, interesting lens. What a lovely, quaint town.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      Everybody is welcome If you need someone to show you around I'm here.

    • catherinelovestv profile image

      catherinelovestv 5 years ago

      I'm from Wales too! will have to go there some time!

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 5 years ago

      Ludlow is really a fascinating place to travel. Definitely, it's included in my dream travel destination someday. Terrific lens. ~Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 5 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      Thanks for that guided tour of Ludlow. Ludlow Castle looks stunning. Hope I can visit it one day.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Ludlow looks stunning. I hope to see it in person some day.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @termit_bronx: Thanks for visiting

    • profile image

      termit_bronx 5 years ago

      I've never heard for Ludlow before, but it really looks nice. I will sure visit it once :) Great lens!

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @sherioz: And sound nice.Thanks for visiting

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      What an amazing place this looks like. Those bells are beautiful.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for visiting my Lens.Ludlow is really amazing place.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      looks like an amazing place, earned a 'thumbs up' from me.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @lollyj lm: Maybe one day you will come and see, taste the local food.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 5 years ago from Washington KS

      Wow!! Loved this lens and the stunning pictures!!

      Wish I could visit this town.

    • profile image

      lc_online 5 years ago

      Castles and churches from the past have such interesting architecture. I also find the bells, bell tower, and pipe organ most interesting. Great lens with wonderful pictures.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Would love to visit. So beautiful.

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, England is amazing.I'm coming from really old town in Bulgaria and I can appreciate the beauty of old building and history they carry as outside as in inside.England small towns take me to the times of knights and battles

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Being an "old town" girl myself, I certainly do appreciate the "oldness" of Ludlow as depicted on this page - I habve never been there myself, but aren't we just so lucky to have towns like this in England?

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I will make a lens about but when I don't know really.

    • mivvy profile image

      mivvy 5 years ago

      what an intereresting lens. I was in Ludlow many years ago, so nice to see it again

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice lens, very informative and with lovely pictures. I must go for a food festival.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I would love to visit Ludlow one day, it is as you say very beautiful and distinguishable. Squidoo must like it too, my security word is "standout".

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 5 years ago

      Great lens. I learned a lot about Ludlow from your information

    • profile image

      mistersquidoo_here 5 years ago

      nice lens...thanks for sharing

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      What a beautiful place ... I would definitely like to visit Ludlow.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 5 years ago

      Lovely, would love to visit

    • mellex lm profile image

      mellex lm 5 years ago from Australia

      Excellent lens!

    • profile image

      Mosoma 5 years ago

      Very informative lens. Thank you.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      excellent

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      I will make special Lens about the food, restaurants and great food festival, which is visited by around 20,000 people each year in September.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Thank you for introducing me to Ludlow. I would love to visit!

    • SaintFrantic profile image
      Author

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      Thanks.It is great place with a lot of history and great food

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      What a lovely old town, just the kind I like to wander around. I really must plan another trip to England.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 5 years ago from Idaho

      What a beautiful place, would love to see it someday. Thanks for sharing the beauty of it with all of us. Blessed!