Two doggy loving inns set in rural Shropshire and Cheshire. Think stunning rooftop views and gins galore. Stay at one or stay at both. This pair provides perfect bases for exploring the surrounding area. Driving time between the inns is 1 hour 17 minutes.
Pairing notes: Rustic charm, Dog friendly, Walking, Great wines/gins, Heritage, Town centre
Quirky, informal and comfortable inn at the top of town with glorious gardens and views, simple, cosy rooms, tip-top local ales and hearty, modern pub food.
Built in 1719 on the site of the ancient castle ruins at the top of town, The Castle Hotel enjoys glorious views across roof-tops to wooded hills from its beautiful garden, the place to be on warm summer days. More informal inn than hotel, the Castle is a relaxing and comfortable base for exploring the Welsh Borders, the Long Mynd and Ludlow, attracting both the walking and cycling fraternities and dog-lovers.
Once an old schoolhouse, this atmospheric pub boasts an imaginative all-day menu, gins galore, and cosy-smart rooms.
The Cholmondeley Arms stands close to the entrance to Cholmondeley Castle in rural Cheshire. The inn retains its old school atmosphere with high-roofed halls, large windows and huge radiators - yet a recent restoration has brought it into the 21st century with gin tasting classes, a monthly pub quiz and its very own Car Club.
The interior is tastefully decorated with colourful rugs on plank floors, old dining tables topped with fresh flowers and candles and shelves groaning with gin bottles. It's no wonder that the place draws an appreciative crowd for its lively vibe, great staff, amazing drinks selection (over 400 gins) and modern British pub food.
Shropshire is a cracking county for walkers, with most heading for the remote, secret country of the Long Mynd, Wenlock Edge, Clee Hills and the Stiperstones - a fascinating, mysterious landscape steeped in folklore and legend.
Shopping is a real pleasure at 55 Mill Street in Ludlow - a collection of traders housed among the historic buildings in this wonderful old town. Expect a treasure-trove of decorative antiques, French brocante (bric-a-brac), vintage clothing and textiles, architectural antiques and garden furniture.
17th-century Powis Castle is a magnificent mansion that began life as a border fortress, built of red limestone and known as the Red Castle (pictured above). William, third Baron Powis, who died in 1696, added towers, turrets, battlements and created formal gardens with terraces, statues and clipped yew. Glorious surrounding landscape and views.
Visit unique Erdigg, an atmospheric country house which dates back to the 18th century and lets visitors explore 250 years of the life of a gentry family and their servants. There's a unique collection of servants' portraits, as well as fine furniture, textiles and wallpapers, plus a 485-hectare country park and formal walled garden.
You're also close to Beeston Castle and Woodland Park - perched on a high crag, the 'Castle of the Rock' is famous for its spectacular views (pictured above). On a clear day you can see across eighty counties, from the Pennines to the Welsh mountains. As well as the views, there's some lovely woodland spots to explore with wildlife trails, regular events, and a cafe which does unmissable bacon sandwiches!