Make the most of Shropshire

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The Independent Travel

What is special about Shropshire?

What is special about Shropshire?
The largest inland county in England, Shropshire is one of the least crowded and most peaceful regions in Britain. Bordering Wales, it is a country-lover's paradise, ideal for most outdoor activities. Market towns, some which date back to the seventh century, and medieval abbeys also make it a county with great historical interest.

What can I do there?
From the gardens and meres (lakes) of the north to the hills in the south,the entire county is ideal for rambling, hiking and riding. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy over 30 courses, while those looking for a little more excitement should make for The Parachute Centre at Tilstock Airfield, three miles south of Whitchurch, and try a 10,000ft jump. The Midland Gliding Club, on the Long Mynd near Ludlow, offer flights all year round at one of the UK's premier sites. Quad trekking – bouncing around on four-wheel buggy/bikes in the mud on hills and over obstacle courses – costs £30 for two hours per adult, but is also enjoyed by families (children get a discount). Fishing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing are all popular on the meres, and there are a number of organised holidays which cater for water-sports enthusiasts.

Anything else?
Visit Shrewsbury Abbey, now famous for Ellis Peters' tales of the fictional 12th century monk-detective Brother Cadfael. Enjoy the black-and-white half-timbered houses and little lanes. Ludlow has 500 listed buildings, mainly Georgian and half-timbered. Ironbridge Gorge, a World Heritage Site, is regarded as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution; the world's first cast-iron bridge can still be seen here.

How do I get there?
Birmingham and Manchester airports are about one hour's drive away, and the M54 provides easy access by car. Visit www.thetrainline.com for the cheapest rail fares; for bus and train information, phone West Midlands Traveline on 0870 608 2608.

Where can I find out more?
Shropshire Tourism, 01743 462 462, www.virtual-shropshire.co.uk; www.theparachutecentre.com; for gliding, www.longmynd.com; Border Quad Trekking, 01743 884 843; for organised activity holidays, www.pengwernsportstours.com

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