Tucked away in a corner of Shropshire a few miles from the county boundary with Worcestershire and Herefordshire, is an area of rolling green hills and lush valleys with small villages, ancient churches and scattered farms and cottages. Here on a verdant hillside overlooking the beautiful valley of the River Teme stands Acorn Lodge where Clive and Dorothy Shakespeare have, with careful planning, meticulous attention to detail and a great deal of hard work, created a holiday retreat for their guests which is quite unique.
The lodge has a number of features which make it suitable for elderly, infirm and disabled visitors ensuring that they can have an enjoyable and comfortable holiday. For those who are reasonably fit, the surrounding hills are covered by a network of footpaths which can be accessed from Acorn Lodge so that both car and driver can also have a holiday.
The views from the Lodge are stunning with the Malvern Hills, Forest of Dean and Black Mountains on the horizon. It is a very peaceful area with only the sounds of nature for company. Buzzards soar overhead while sheep and cattle graze placidly on the hillsides. There are several badger setts in the area and Clive will gladly take you on a nocturnal walk to see these shy and elusive creatures. It is a memorable experience to be in a wood high in the hills at dusk waiting very quietly for the badgers to appear (which may not always happen) and walking home with the twinkling lights of cottages in the surrounding countryside as well as those of Tenbury Wells in the valley below.
There are three attractive small towns less than ten miles away, pre-eminent among them is Ludlow which must surely rank as one of the best towns in England with it’s castle standing impressively above the River Teme, a broad market place, and numerous Tudor and elegant Georgian houses.
Ludlow is a delightful town to spend a day exploring not to mention a little retail therapy in the many shops.
Tenbury Wells, just over the border in Worcestershire is another delightful town which once had ambitions to become a spa and where the Pump Rooms, now restored, can be seen.
Finally, Cleobury Mortimer set on a hill with it’s church having a twisted spire is also worth spending time in.
All three towns have another tremendous asset, in that they have retained their individual shops and family-owned business and have not become identical with every other high street in the country. Of course it is possible to journey further afield to other parts of Shropshire and the surrounding counties and even into Wales, but I will leave that to the guidebooks. To sum up, for those people who, like me love the English countryside, this is an area that would be hard to beat.
With thanks to Steve for telling us why he enjoys our corner of Shropshire and for sending us his beautiful photos