Horse Riding News

Does Your Family Have What it Takes to Survive?

Designed to inspire fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy offers a rare chance for a lucky few outdoor enthusiasts to learn Bear’s extreme survival techniques.

The 24 Hour Family Course will comprise of a combination of survival skills and adventure tasks designed to put the enrollees to the test. The course will run in Burwarton, Shropshire across varied woodland, heathland and water terrain. Undulating countryside surrounded by difficult ground with plenty of challenging water features to take on means this location, which is a stone's throw away from rugged open moorland and dense woodland, really lends itself to a totally wild adventure.

Techniques taught will include learning how to build and light a fire, how to navigate at night, best ways to use a knife for survival, foraging for grubs and rodents, building a shelter, extreme weather survival and river crossings. The Academy has been designed for parents and 10-17 year old children by Bear Grylls and will be run by his close team of highly trained experts. 

"As a father of three young boys I love sharing my survival techniques and going on family adventures together. It is not only exciting and fun but teaches them useful life and outdoor skills and what it really means to be able to look after yourself when the chips are down. So it is with great pride that we can now launch our 24 Hour Family Course in Shropshire as a great opportunity for parents to share these experiences with their children together." says Bear Grylls.

Bear Grylls has become known around the world as the most recognized face of survival and outdoor adventure, with experience gained during his seven seasons of Man vs. Wild/Born Survivor and the many skills learnt from his time with the British Reserve Special Forces.

About the courses:

• The Bear Grylls Survival Academy 24 Hour Family Course will run from midday –midday

• Course comprises an intensive survival skills course as outlined above with overnight stay in shelter

• On completion of the course enrollees will receive a Bear Grylls Survival Academy badge and certificate

• All meals, selected kit & accommodation included during course

• Limited to 12 places

• Course is only open to 10-17 year olds who must be accompanied by an adult/adults

• Cost is £429 for two places child & adult, children must be aged between 10-17 years and both parties must be physically active

For any questions or to book contact 01483 424 438, visit www.beargryllssurvivalacademy.com or email: enquiries@beargryllssurvivalacademy.com

 

Exhibitors sign up for Cosford Food Festival

Exhibitors sign up for Cosford Food Festival

Taking place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July, this food festival with a twist will take place outdoors with the giant Hercules aircraft acting as a backdrop for the bustling food market

Following on from the success of last year's event which saw over 6,500 people attend, local businesses, including many delicious award winning brands are already signed up to exhibit. Around 80 exhibitors from across Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands will be exhibiting a wide range of exquisite local, fresh and handmade produce not available from your average supermarket store. With everything from organic produce to handmade indulgences and thirst quenching beverages on offer, there is sure to be something to suit everyone’s taste buds.

Many popular exhibitors from last year’s event will be returning to this year’s festival, including; Moyden's Hand Made Cheese, who will be bringing along a selection of their award winning artisan cheeses made in Shropshire. Toot Sweets Confectionary's award winning Chocolatier Julia Wenlock from Shrewsbury will be showcasing some of her fabulous chocolate delights. The Friday Beer Company, based at the foot of the Malvern Hills will be supplying a great range of bottle conditioned premium ales. Plus, Shropshire based Jumokeh Limited will have an exciting range of jams on offer, all infused with chilli. Using fresh ingredients their jams are sure to give an enjoyable twist to many of your favourite dishes!

Brand new exhibitors to the 2014 Cosford Food Festival include; Bewdley’s Kimmy Loves Cake serving up freshly baked treats and beautiful bespoke cakes and cupcakes. PADIAN Far Eastern Cooking from Stafford who provides South East Asian cookery classes and demonstrations will be offering a wide range of exotic spices. Coventry based business I Love Crêpes will be freshly preparing mouth-watering crêpes for visitors with a vast array of sweet and savoury fillings.

Food Festival organisers have been thrilled with the support from the local community and businesses and in a first for 2014, they are offering two bursary spaces to businesses within 15 miles of the Museum. If you’re a foodie business who has set up in the last two years and would like to apply for a bursary place at the festival, please get in touch to find out more. There is still time for local businesses to get involved in this year’s event, but spaces are filling up fast. Any businesses interested in exhibiting at the Cosford Food Festival should contact the event organiser Abi Dakin by email: abigail@dakinevents.com.

In addition to the exhibitors on display, visitors to the popular West Midlands attraction will learn fascinating techniques and tips from the experts through live talks and cooking demonstrations courtesy of the Wot’s Cooking team. Plus, visitors can sit back and enjoy live music, sample some of the culinary delights available and take part in some of the children’s food and craft activities. With plenty of entertainment for the entire family taking place over the weekend, it is sure to be a great day out. Visitors to the food festival will also have access to the RAF Museum which is home to over 70 historic aircraft including the world’s oldest Spitfire and the mighty Vulcan bomber to name but a few.

The Cosford Food Festival will run from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission is just £5 per adult which includes a free Cosford Food Festival programme containing everything you need to know about what's going on over the weekend and where to find everyone using the exhibitor map. Family tickets for two adults and up to four children cost just £12 for a full day of entertainment. Senior citizens are £4 and children aged 5-16 are £2 with free entry to children under the age of 5. Save time and beat the queues by booking your tickets online via the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org or for more information, please call the Museum on 01902 376200. Keep up to date with the latest Cosford Food Festival event information by following us on Facebook – Cosford Food Festival.

 

Sylvia Anderson headlines at sci-fi weekend

Sylvia Anderson headlines at sci-fi weekend

Special guest talks - advance tickets only

This May, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be transporting its visitors back to the 60's and 70's with a weekend devoted to classic British sci-fi. This nostalgic event, located in the Museum's National Cold War Exhibition, will display puppets and memorabilia from iconic science fiction shows created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson; with visitors having the unique opportunity to view puppets of much loved characters including the Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Steve Zodiac, the heroic pilot of Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and his evil nemesis Captain Black, and the Terrahawks, to name but a few.

These characters inspired the dreams of a generation of children when the sci-fi series were broadcast into family homes during the 1960's and 70's.  Many of the well-known puppets on display are original studio puppets which will be shown exclusively for the very first time at this weekend event. Also on display are models, costumes, full sized vehicles and sets from the classic live action shows Space 1999 and UFO.  For anyone wishing to take home a piece of memorabilia, trade stands will also be present with associated merchandise from these legendary shows.

In addition to the free sci-fi exhibition, very special guest speakers will be holding talks and question & answer sessions for a limited number of visitors.  Star guest will be the renowned Sylvia Anderson, co-creator, producer and the voice of Lady Penelope.

Sylvia Anderson said:

"I am so looking forward to attending the event at the RAF Museum Cosford in May. I feel privileged to be able to share this with so many of our loyal supporters, alongside precious members of our team, who were all part of the magic at that special time, at the birth of our creations."


Taking place in the National Cold War Exhibition’s bunker style Lecture Theatre, visitors will be able to meet other guests including: Brian Johnson, Alan Shubrook, Tony Day, Mary Turner and Judith Shutt. Together these pioneering creators, model makers, producers, puppeteers and special effects designers bought to life many of the world’s most popular sci-fi shows. Guests will talk about their outstanding careers and give people an insight into what it was really like to make these iconic shows before answering questions from the audience.

Admission to the talks and Q&A sessions both days is strictly by advance ticket only and a limited number of spaces are available. One day Q&A session tickets cost £25.00, weekend tickets cost £40.00 and are now available to purchase from the Museum's website.  Ticket price includes entrance to the special guest talks and a free parking pass. (The talks are not suitable for children under 5 and timings are to be confirmed).  Viewing the sci-fi exhibition is free of charge and suitable for all ages.

The 'Cosford Flights of Fantasy' event will be open to the public on 17th and 18th May from 10:00am and admission is free of charge.  To purchase tickets to the special guest talks and Q&A sessions please visit: www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.  For further details about the ‘Cosford Flights of Fantasy’ exhibition please call 01902 376200. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and event information by following us on Facebook – The Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford or on Twitter @RAFMUSEUM.  The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is FREE of charge.

 

Vote Martin Wood Your Tourism Superstar

Vote Martin Wood Your Tourism Superstar

From 1st - 21st March, videos of each of the ten shortlisted nominees competing for the prestigious VisitEngland award will be available to view at www.mirror.co.uk/tourismsuperstar where you can vote for your favourite to win (Martin, of course!).

The tourism accolade was launched 2 years ago as part of English Tourism Week (this year running 29 March – 6 April).  The award recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience. 

Simon McCloy, Chief Executive of Shropshire Tourism, who nominated Martin for the award said "Martin is a larger than life character is absolutely true - standing at a mere 7ft2in he is the world’s tallest town crier.  He has represented Shrewsbury for over 27 years and provides a unique and personal guided tour service to visitors from all over the world.

Everyone at Shropshire Tourism, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury Tourism Association are delighted that Martin has been shortlisted for Tourism Superstar 2014 and we would encourage everyone in the county to really get behind him and show their support."

Commenting on the awards, Martin joked, "Please vote for me because I’m taller than you! But in all seriousness I would love to win this award and I really appreciate all the fantastic support I’ve had so far and would like to thank everyone who votes."

Shrewsbury Town Council has even prepared posters and a banner to go up in the town centre to encourage people to vote.

The winner will be announced on March 29, the first day of English Tourism Week and will be invited to attend VisitEngland's Awards for Excellence held in May this year where their Award will be presented to them in person.

 

Does Your Family Have What it Takes to Survive?

First family course to take place in Shropshire from March 2014

The Bear Grylls Survival Academy is proud to launch a new site in Shropshire for its popular 24 Hour Family Course. Designed to inspire fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy offers a rare chance for a lucky few outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe to learn Bear’s extreme survival techniques.

The 24 Hour Family Course will comprise of a combination of survival skills and adventure tasks designed to put the enrollees to the test. The course will run in Burwarton, Shropshire – located in the heart of the Midlands - across varied woodland, heathland and water terrain. Undulating countryside surrounded by difficult ground with plenty of challenging water features to take on means this location, which is a stone’s throw away from rugged open moorland and dense woodland, really lends itself to a totally wild adventure.

Techniques taught will include learning how to build and light a fire, how to navigate at night, best ways to use a knife for survival, foraging for grubs and rodents, building a shelter, extreme weather survival and river crossings. The Academy has been designed for parents and 10-17 year old children by Bear Grylls and will be run by his close team of highly trained experts. It is the perfect opportunity to bring family members together to share a truly memorable and fun experience.

“As a father of three young boys I love sharing my survival techniques and going on family adventures together. It is not only exciting and fun but teaches them useful life and outdoor skills and what it really means to be able to look after yourself when the chips are down. So it is with great pride that we can now launch our 24 Hour Family Course in Shropshire as a great opportunity for parents to share these experiences with their children together.”  says Bear Grylls.

Bear Grylls has become known around the world as the most recognized face of survival and outdoor adventure, with experience gained during his seven seasons of Man vs. Wild/Born Survivor and the many skills learnt from his time with the British Reserve Special Forces.
To help deliver the course, Bear has teamed up with Worldwide Experience, experts in delivering high quality experience-lead conservation and volunteering courses around the world. Paul Gardiner, Managing Director of Worldwide Experience explained;

“Nature, conservation and education are really important to us and we are so excited about this opportunity to work with Bear and his team to inspire people to reconnect with the natural world. The course will give people a really raw but fulfilling experience hopefully leaving people feeling challenged but with big smiles on their faces! The new 24 Hour Family Course is a great addition to existing 5 Day Course based in Scotland which is designed for 18 year olds and up.”

About Bear:
Bear’s passion for the outdoors was forged during his childhood in the UK on the Isle of Wight where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Bear went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, serving with 21 SAS. It was here that he perfected many of the skills that his fans all over the world enjoy watching him pit against mother-nature. Despite a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, where he broke his back in three places, and after enduring months in military rehabilitation, Bear went on to become one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Today perhaps Bear is best known for his international TV series Man vs. Wild (known as Born Survivor in the UK) which has achieved a global audience of over 1.2 billion followers. Bear is also a huge philanthropist supporting many charities including Global Angels and the RNLI. He is also proud to serve as the youngest ever Chief Scout, a role which allows him to inspire many of the 28 million Scouts around the world to get out there, follow their dreams and build their own adventures.

About the courses:
• The Bear Grylls Survival Academy 24 Hour Family Course will run from midday –midday
• Course comprises an intensive survival skills course as outlined above with overnight stay in shelter
• On completion of the course enrollees will receive a Bear Grylls Survival Academy badge and certificate
• All meals, selected kit & accommodation included during course
• Limited to 12 places
• Course is only open to 10-17 year olds who must be accompanied by an adult/adults
• Cost is £429 for two places child & adult, children must be aged between 10-17 years and both parties must be physically active
• To book contact 01483 424 438 in the UK , toll-free  1-877-742-2925 in the USA, visit www.beargryllssurvivalacademy.com  or email: enquiries@beargryllssurvivalacademy.com
• Bear Grylls Survival Academy will be running courses in Scotland, USA and Africa in 2014

For media enquiries, please contact:
Lizzie Carr at Campbell-Bell Communications lizzie@campbell-bell.com or call 0207 731 1499


 

 


 

30% off the very best menus in the County

30% off the very best menus in the County

Looking for somewhere special to eat out? Want to treat yourself but still get a great deal? Shropshire County Hotels have teamed up with the Shropshire Star to offer readers a huge 30% off your meal during the next 3 weeks (18th Feb-10th March).

Take your pick from gourmet dishes to hearty pub food, lunch or dinner, North or South of the County. Try somewhere new, or re-visit an old favourite.

To validate the offer you must get your copy of the Shropshire Star today (18th Feb 2014), complete the voucher and take it with you on the day.

All of Shropshire County Hotels & Inns character restaurants and bars are open to non residents and each of the participating restaurants listed below are offering Shropshire Star readers 30% off their menus.

With the freshest produce to work with, in the hands of extremely talented chefs, this exclusive Shropshire Star reader offer is just the ticket to get a taste of the very best independent and individual restaurants in the county.

How to book

All reservations must be booked in advance by telephone quoting: Shropshire Star 30% off Reader Offer.

All dates are subject to availability and individual restaurant opening times (some indicated below). Please check with individual restaurants if in doubt. Voucher excludes drinks and may not cover all menus. 

Book early to avoid disappointment!

THE CASTLE
Market Square,
Bishop’s Castle, SY9 5BN
Tel: 01588 638403
www.thecastlehotelbishopscastle.co.uk
Shropshire Tourism **** Inn
Lunch & Dinner

THE CROWN COUNTRY INN
Munslow, near Craven Arms,
SY7 9ET
Tel: 01584 841205
www.crowncountryinn.co.uk
2 AA Rosettes
AA **** Inn
Lunch & Dinner Tues-Sat

FISHMORE HALL
Fishmore Road,
Ludlow, SY8 3DP
Tel: 01584 875148
www.fishmorehall.co.uk
AA *** Small Hotel
3 AA Rosettes
Lunch & Dinner

GOLDSTONE HALL
Market Drayton, TF9 2NA
Tel: 01630 661202
www.goldstonehall.com
AA *** Hotel
2 AA Rosettes
Lunch & Dinner Mon-Fri

HADLEY PARK HOUSE HOTEL
Hadley Park,
Telford, TF1 6QJ
Tel: 01952 677269
www.hadleypark.co.uk
AA *** Hotel
AA Rosette
Lunch & Dinner

THE HUNDRED HOUSE 
Bridgnorth Road
Norton, Nr Shifnal, TF11 9EE
Tel: 01952 580240
www.hundredhouse.co.uk
2 AA Rosettes
AA **** Inn
Lunch Mon-Sat & Evenings Mon-Thurs

THE RAVEN 
Barrow Street,
Much Wenlock, TF13 6EN
Tel: 01952 727251
www.ravenhotel.com
AA *** Hotel
2 AA Rosettes
Lunch & Dinner Mon-Fri

THE OLD RECTORY
Lowe Hill Road,
Wem, SY4 5UA
Tel: 01939 233233
www.oldrectorywem.co.uk
Visit Britain *** Hotel
Lunch & Dinner (Closed Monday)

PEN-Y-DYFFRYN 
Rhydycroesau
Nr. Oswestry, SY10 7JD
Tel: 01691 653700
www.peny.co.uk
AA *** Country House Hotel
2 AA Rosettes
Dinner only

 

Shrewsbury Town Crier Rings the Bell for Shrewsbury in London

Shrewsbury Town Crier Rings the Bell for Shrewsbury in London

VisitEngland has teamed up with national newspaper, The Daily Mirror to host an online public vote to crown the winner.  From 1 – 21 March, a short film of all nominees will be found on www.mirror.co.uk/tourismsuperstar where readers can vote for their favourite. 

Claire Owen from Shropshire Tourism, who accompanied Martin to London for filming, said, “Martin did a fantastic job and we can’t wait to see the finished video. We would encourage everyone to vote for him from 1st March.”

“Martin caused quite a stir in London, especially outside Buckingham Palace where tourists wanted their photograph taken with him. Naturally we took the opportunity to give them a Shrewsbury brochure and encourage them to visit Shropshire, as well as asking them to vote for Martin of course!”

The tourism accolade was launched 2 years ago as part of English Tourism Week (this year running 29 March – 6 April).  The award recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience. 

Simon McCloy, Chief Executive of Shropshire Tourism, who nominated Martin for the award said "To say Martin is a larger than life character is absolutely true – standing at a mere 7ft2in he is the world's tallest town crier.  He has represented Shrewsbury for over 27 years and provides a unique and personal guided tour service to visitors from all over the world. Everyone at Shropshire Tourism is delighted that Martin has been shortlisted for Tourism Superstar 2014 and we would encourage everyone in the county to really get behind him and show their support."

Shrewsbury Town Council is busy preparing a 'Vote Martin' banner and posters to put up around Shrewsbury when voting opens on 1st March. Commenting on being shortlisted, Martin said, "To say I'm chuffed is a bit of an understatement! How can a seven footer be short listed?! Thank you to everyone for all their support so far."

The winner will be announced on March 29, the first day of English Tourism Week and will be invited to attend VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence held in May this year where their Award will be presented to them in person.

The shortlist includes nine other representatives from across England: Dickon Allen, Montacute House National Trust in Somerset; Buzby Allen, Potters Resort in Norfolk; Ade Andrews, The Robin Hood Town Tour in Nottingham; John Consterdine, Manchester Taxi Tour in Manchester; Rob Dean, Where the Wall in Bristol; Sandy Griffiths, VisitBlackpool Tourism Information Centre; Fraser Hicks, Captain of the Sea King, Isles of Scilly; John and Helen Hogg, Stratford Town Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon; and Walter Stewart-Brown, Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in The Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

Photo: Martin rings bell outside Big Ben in London

Unique Mustang model now on display

Unique Mustang model now on display

The model is the work of retired journalist and avid modeller David Glen and was built in tribute to the US pilots and crews who gave their lives in support of their European allies over two World Wars. At over 6ft in length with a wing span of over 7ft the model bears the markings of VF-B 413317, the aircraft flown by Captain Donald R. Emerson, 336 Squadron, 4th Fighter Group who was killed on Christmas Day 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge.

During the planning stages, scale measurements and other data were taken from a variety of sources, among them the Smithsonian archive in Washington DC. David's references include all the P-51D handbooks and manuals and the entire set of North American production drawings, from which all the detail parts were built. The model went through several processes during the building stage and was constructed from plywood profiles and sections, in-filled with solid balsa providing a rigid and stable wooden core, over which the litho skin was formed and glued. Every rivet was placed individually into holes drilled through the skin and all the visible screws, bolts and nuts were replicated using real brass or steel fastenings.

Building such an intricate model from scratch came with its own difficulties. Working with rivets of 1/6 inch in size using tweezers and a tiny dab of glue was a tricky and time consuming process. Manufacturing numerous resin parts including tiny instrument bezels, airscrew blades and wingtips each had their own individual challenges, but none as challenging as building the cockpit canopy. This complex model is an engineering marvel and the attention to detail even includes data plates, complete with all the original logos and lettering, many of the plates are smaller than a £1 coin.

This is the second model David Glen has donated to the RAF Museum. His first donation of a similarly scaled Spitfire Mk.1 is on display at the RAF Museum London, where the real North American P-51D Mustang can be seen on display.

David Glen, Modeller said:

"As far as I can make it, the model is complete and accurate in every visible detail, right down to the electrical wiring. It occupied my spare time for the better part of a decade, so I am especially proud to see it join my Spitfire on public display at the Royal Air Force Museum. I cannot conceive of a better home, and I hope that both models might stand as my own small tribute to the allied pilots and crews who gave their lives over two World Wars."

Anyone wishing to take a look at this unique model, the P-51D Mustang is now on permanent display, located in the Museums' Visitor Centre. The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free of charge. For more information on the 1:5 scale Mustang Model please visit David Glen’s website www.spitfireinmyworkshop.net

For more information on the Museum, visit www.rafmuseum.org or call 01902 376200. Keep up to date with the latest news and event information by following us on Facebook – Royal Air Force Museum Cosford or on Twitter @RAFMUSEUM.

(Photo Credit: David Glen)

 

Britain's Best Food Hall adds to Ludlow's delights

Britain's Best Food Hall adds to Ludlow's delights

Apart from staging hugely popular spring and autumn food festivals and having a range of award-winning restaurants, the town and surrounding area produce fantastic food and drink products.

To prove the point, Ludlow has won a prestigious national award. Ludlow Food Centre, located on the outskirts of town, has been named Britain’s Best Food Hall in The Farm Shop & Deli Awards, held for the first time this year.

The Food Centre is very popular with caravanners and motorhome owners who stay on five star Ludlow Touring Park, which is located nearby. The Food Centre actually runs exclusive discount offers for caravanners staying on the park, the latest of which is being devised for the 2014 tourist season.

Adding the 2014 award to the Farm Retail Association’s Farm Shop of The Year in 2013, the Food Centre opened seven years ago and brought an entirely new concept to the world of farm shops and food halls.

Surrounding its 4,000 square foot food hall are eight production kitchens, which employ local people to hand-make everything from cheese to bread and jam to pies. The kitchens boast Britain’s Best Blue Cheese called Remembered Hills, which is made by dairy team Dudley Martin and Paul Bedford using milk from the centre’s own cows. 

Butchery Manager, John Brereton, has won national awards for his butchery skills with lamb and pork and also with products such as Beetroot Bacon, a favourite of celebrity chef Simon Rimmer on Channel 4s Sunday Brunch.

Located on the Earl of Plymouth Estate, the Food Centre employs more than 100 local people and is one of a group of businesses that include the Clive Hotel, cafe/restaurant Ludlow Kitchen and The Plant Centre.

With demand for pitches on Ludlow Touring Park always high for the town’s main festivals, the winter and early spring is a great time of the year to explore the town and surrounding Welsh Marches.

The 135-pitch park, a prestigious affiliated site of The Caravan Club, is located on a 20-acre site alongside the River Teme and A49 near Richards Castle. http://www.morris-leisure.co.uk/caravan-parks/ludlow/overview.htm

The main foodie events on Ludlow’s calendar are Ludlow Spring Food Festival, with beer, bangers and bread as its theme, from May 9-11, September 12-14 and Ludlow Food Festival from September 12-14. Other events to watch out for are Ludlow Shakespeare Festival from June 14-22, Ludlow Arts Festival from June 28-July 6 and Ludlow Mediaeval Christmas Fair from November 29-30.

Picture caption: Staff at Ludlow Food Centre celebrate their latest award.

Take Part in the Outdoor Recreation Survey 2014

For your opportunity to have your say on countryside matters in Shropshire please click here to take part in the survey.

As a result of last year's survey, several major route improvements have taken place, including creating new paths, establishing safe routes, opening up new areas for access, surfacing the Shropshire Way in Bishop's Castle, creating 12 new walks in North Shropshire, creating new bridleways and increasing the number of dog waste bins.

For more information please contact the Outdoor Recreation team at Shropshire Council: outdoor.recreation@shropshire.gov.uk; 0345 678 9000.

Shropshire County Hotels Competition Winner Praises Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow

Shropshire County Hotels Competition Winner Praises Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow

Mr & Mrs Lloyd said, "Our weekend was just perfect and started with Rosanne the Receptionist telling us they had upgraded our room from a standard to a superior. We had room 21 which had wonderful views looking out onto fields and hills & was very comfortable.  Tea/Coffee making facilities with homemade biscuits, mini bar, TV and a walk-in shower & bath with lots of Molten Brown toiletries.

Everyone at Fishmore made us welcome and nothing was too much trouble. There is a beautiful conservatory area where you can eat your breakfast or evening meal. The food is superb and melts in the mouth - we enjoyed eggs Benedict and a traditional full English breakfast as well a meal in the bar area after cocktails one night.

All the staff are very efficient and obviously work very hard to maintain a high standard of customer service.  Little touches such as the 'turn-down' service with the next day’s weather forecast & little jar of sweets were appreciated & just made us feel special.

At the end of our visit we felt very spoilt and relaxed & will definitely recommend Fishmore Hall to our friends and family. Thank you so much for the opportunity to stay in such a lovely hotel."

For more information about Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow visit www.fishmorehall.co.uk

Shropshire County Hotels is a select group of nine independent and individual quality hotels and inns in Shropshire. As well as Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow, the Shropshire County Hotels and Inns collection is proud to include The Castle Hotel in Bishop's Castle, The Hundred House Hotel in Norton near Ironbridge, The Crown Country Inn in Craven Arms, Goldstone Hall Hotel in Market Drayton, Hadley Park House Hotel in Telford, The Old Rectory Hotel in Wem, Pen-y-Dyffryn Country Hotel near Oswestry, and The Raven Hotel in Much Wenlock.

For your opportunity to find out more about Shropshire County Hotels and enter future competitions, please visit www.visitshropshirehotels.com and sign up to their e-newsletter.

Get Into Gear For Bike4Life 2014!

Get Into Gear For Bike4Life 2014!

Now in its fourth year, the Bike4Life Ride Out is the biking event to kick start the motorcycle season. In 2013, over 1,500 bikers took part in the 23 mile Ride Out from Meole Brace in Shrewsbury and headed to the Bike4Life Festival at RAF Museum Cosford. Thanks to the confirmed support from radio station, Planet Rock, the organisers expect 2014's event to be the best year yet.

Jason Levy, fundraising and marketing director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and chair of the organising committee, states: "Our new website really reflects the Bike4Life event, and I’d encourage bikers of all standards to log on and find out more about the Ride Out and the Festival, which is set to be a fantastic day out whether you’re a fan of two wheels or not." 

In addition to the Ride Out, the Festival attracts bikers, the local community and families alike and in 2014 will include arena displays, stalls, exhibitions, live music courtesy of Planet Rock, tutorials promoting biker safety, refreshments and more.

Entrance to the fun-filled Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival is free, but as the event also aims to raise money for the vital life saving work of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and the upkeep of the exhibits at the RAF Museum Cosford, general donations on the day will be greatly received.

Interested parties can find out more via the brand new website www.bike4lifefest.com or call the Bike4Life Festival team on 01902 376 252. Find us on Facebook by searching for Bike4Life Fest and follow us on Twitter via @Bike4LifeFest.

Bikers can find out more information on the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity by visiting www.midlandsairambulance.com or for more information on the RAF Museum Cosford visit www.rafmuseum.org. Further details about the Safer Roads Partnership can be found at www.srpwestmercia.org.uk

Shropshire in 'Off The Beaten Track' on ITV, 6th December 8pm - make sure you tune in!

Shropshire in 'Off The Beaten Track' on ITV, 6th December 8pm  - make sure you tune in!

For more information about the programme and where she will be visiting in Shropshire click here

 

Winners at Shropshire Star Tourism & Leisure Awards

Winners at Shropshire Star Tourism & Leisure Awards

More than 10,000 readers cast their votes in the Shropshire Star’s inaugural Tourism & Leisure Awards – and on Tuesday 18th November their favourites were revealed as the competition reached its climax at a prize-giving celebration.

James Berresford, chief executive of the national tourism body VisitEngland, was guest of honour at the awards lunch, held at Enginuity in the Ironbridge Gorge.

The Shropshire Star launched the awards earlier this year as a platform to showcase best practise across the tourism and leisure sectors.

The first six awards handed out were based on votes cast by Shropshire Star readers.

Best Day Out went to Carding Mill Valley and Long Mynd, near Church Stretton, beating fellow finalists the Burwarton Show, Severn Valley Railway, and Stokesay Castle.

The award for Best Night Out went to The Buttermarket in Shrewsbury which took the prize ahead of two other Shrewsbury venues – The Hive and the Old Market Hall – plus Oakengates Theatre in Telford.

Readers chose Arthur’s at Fordhall Farm as the Best Cafe or Tearoom, whilst The Best Posh Nosh award, for restaurants and top-end bistro pubs, was won by The Hundred House at Norton, near Shifnal, which topped the readers’ poll ahead of the Michelin-starred Mr Underhill’s in Ludlow, and Sebastians of Oswestry.

Winner of Best Pub Grub was The Huntsman at Little Wenlock who beat other finalists from the outskirts of Newport, The Aston and The Fox.

In the final readers’ choice category, The Mytton Arms at Habberley was named Pub of the Year ahead of The Old Fighting Cocks in Oakengates and The George And Dragon in Much Wenlock.

Nine further awards were decided by a panel of judges from the tourism sector. The first was Small Hotel of the Year, which went to The Castle in Bishop’s Castle, run by Henry Hunter and his family for the past three years. Runner-up was The Lion & Pheasant in Shrewsbury, a boutique hotel with 22 rooms, with The Lion of Leintwardine in third place.

In the Large Hotel of the Year section, the new Premier Inn in Shrewsbury town centre was the winner. The runner-up was Park Inn by Radisson in Telford, with the Ramada Telford Ironbridge – formerly Gray’s Hotel – in third place.

The award for Best Bed and Breakfast accommodation was won by The Limes in Wellington. Grove Farm House in Condover was runner-up, with Hopton House at Hopton Heath in third.

Coalport Station Holidays won Best Self Catering ahead of other finalists in this category; The Shooting Folly near Cheswardine, Plaish Park Farm near Church Stretton, and Ashford Farm Cottages near Ludlow.

In the Business Tourism category, the judges said there was one clear winner – the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford.

The winner of the Taste of Shropshire section, for businesses which produce or prepare quality food with a local flavour, was Hobson’s Brewery near Cleobury Mortimer. Runner-up was Ludlow Food Centre, with Fordhall Organic Farm near Market Drayton in third.

There were also two awards for popular visitor attractions – one for smaller events with fewer than 50,000 visitors a year, and one for larger sites. The prize for the Small Visitor Attraction went to Hawkstone Park Follies, near Wem. The Land of Lost Content Museum in Craven Arms was runner-up.

In the Large Visitor Attraction category, top prize went to Attingham Park, the National Trust stately home near Shrewsbury. Ironbridge Gorge Museums were named runner-up, with Park Hall Countryside Experience in Oswestry in third.

The final tourism award of the afternoon was for Tourism Event of the Year, and it was won by the RAF Cosford Air Show.

Winners in full:

  • Pub of the Year: The Mytton Arms, Habberley
  • Pub Grub: The Huntsman, Little Wenlock
  • Posh Nosh: The Hundred House Hotel, Norton
  • Best Day Out: The Long Mynd/Carding Mill Valley
  • Best Night Out: The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury
  • Cafe/tearoom: Arthurs At Fordhall, Market Drayton
  • Large Hotel: Premier Inn, Shrewsbury Town Centre
  • Small Hotel: The Castle, Bishop’s Castle
  • Bed & Breakfast: The Limes, Wellington
  • Self Catering: Coalport Station Holidays
  • Business Tourism: RAF Museum, Cosford
  • Taste of Shropshire: Hobsons Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer
  • Small Visitor Attraction: Hawkstone Park Follies
  • Large Visitor Attraction: Attingham Park
  • Tourism Event: RAF Cosford Air Show
  • Outstanding Contribution: Katie Foster

 

Experimental Aircraft Programme now on display at Cosford

Experimental Aircraft Programme now on display at Cosford

The EAP, built by BAE Systems predecessor company British Aerospace (BAe), was the most advanced fighter design ever built solely by a UK manufacturer; its purpose being to bring together technologies applicable to future advanced agile aircraft.  This twin engine, single seat aircraft of canard delta configuration was designed for close air combat/air superiority and battlefield close air support.  EAP incorporated a fly-by-wire control system and featured good supersonic manoeuvrability and a short take-off performance, making it an aircraft way ahead of its time.

During the 1970’s BAe and its predecessors had started studies into a combat aircraft that could replace a number of existing RAF aircraft including the Harrier and the Jaguar.  The new aircraft was to be used in a ground attack role but with self defence capability.  Originally planned as a partnership between Britain and neighbouring European countries including Germany and Italy, a lack of funding caused them to withdraw from the project and it became entirely funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and the British aviation industry.

EAP was rolled-out at BAe Warton in April 1986 and made its maiden flight in August the same year flown by Test Pilot David (Dave) Eagles, BAe’s Executive Director of Flight Operations. During this initial sortie EAP reached Mach 1.1, faster than the speed of sound. After months of testing the aircraft had attained a maximum speed of Mach 2.0 and investigated or proved some 36 technological developments before going on to perform for crowds at airshows.  Four more years of trialling the latest technologies followed before the aircraft conducted its last flight in May 1991, having flown 259 sorties totalling 195.21 flying hours. EAP was capable of attaining speeds in excess of Mach 2 and could fly at angles of attack of over 35 degrees in controlled flight, exceptional even by today’s standards. 

The aircraft then spent almost 16 years on display at Loughborough University in the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, being used for undergraduate student design appreciation exercises.

After being transported by road to the RAF Museum Cosford in March 2012, EAP remained in storage until late Summer 2013 when it was moved in the Museum’s award winning Michael Beetham Conservation Centre.  Following a small amount of conservation work the aircraft has now been placed on display for Museum visitors to enjoy.

Nick Sturgess, Alex Henshaw Curator at RAF Museum Cosford said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have the EAP joining our Research and Development Aircraft Collection.  Only one EAP was ever built and its importance in aviation cannot be understated. During its flying career as a proof of concept demonstrator (circa 1986-1991) it contributed much to computer controls, advanced aerodynamics and new methods of construction. Many of the concepts that were pioneered and proved by EAP are now in frontline use in the form of the Eurofighter Typhoon, an aircraft that bares more than a passing resemblance to EAP.”

 

Chris Boardman, Managing Director at BAE Systems said:

“I am delighted that BAE Systems has been able to donate the Experimental Aircraft Programme aircraft to the RAF Museum at Cosford. The EAP was fundamental in developing many of the ground breaking design characteristics and capabilities that we now see in today’s Eurofighter Typhoon. It is only fitting that it should now reside alongside other historic aircraft including Tornado P.02, the Jaguar ACT Demonstrator and TSR2 that have all helped keep Britain at the forefront of military aviation.”

The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free of charge.  For more information on the Museum, visit www.rafmuseum.org or call 01902 376200. Keep up to date with the latest news and event information by following us on Facebook – Royal Air Force Museum Cosford or on Twitter @RAFMUSEUM. 

 

Shropshire Tourism members win at the Shropshire Star Tourism & Leisure Awards

Shropshire Tourism member businesses won in the following categories:

Best Day Out - Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd

Best Cafe or Tearoom - Arthur's at Fordhall Organic Farm, near Market Drayton

The Best Posh Nosh - The Hundred House Hotel, near Shifnal

Best Pub Grub - The Huntsman at Little Wenlock

Small Hotel of the Year - The Castle Hotel, Bishop's Castle

Large Hotel of the Year - Premier Inn, Shrewsbury

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation - The Limes, Wellington

Best Self Catering Provider - Coalport Station Holidays

Business Tourism - RAF Museum Cosford

Taste of Shropshire - Hobson's Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer

Small Visitor Attraction - Hawkstone Park & Follies

Other winners on the day included The Buttermarket in Shrewsbury, The Mytton Arms at Habberley, Attingham Park, the RAF Cosford Air Show and an outstanding contribution award to Katie Foster.

Exclusive Dining Offer at Shropshire County Hotels in Today's Edition of the Shropshire Star

Exclusive Dining Offer at Shropshire County Hotels in Today's Edition of the Shropshire Star

 

With the freshest produce to work with, in the hands of extremely talented chefs, this exclusive Shropshire Star reader offer is just the ticket to get a taste of the very best independent and individual hotels and inns in the county.

You can redeem your voucher at each of the participating restaurants listed below:

The Crown Country Inn – Closed Monday
Munslow,
Craven Arms, SY7 9ET
Tel: 01584 841205
www.crowncountryinn.co.uk
2 AA Rosettes
AA 4 Star Inn

The Castle Hotel
Market Square,
Bishop’s Castle, SY9 5BN
Tel: 01588 638403
www.thecastlehotelbishopscastle.co.uk
Shropshire Tourism 4 Star Inn

Fishmore Hall – Lunch Only
Fishmore Road,
Ludlow, SY8 3DP
Tel: 01584 875148
www.fishmorehall.co.uk
3 AA Rosettes
AA 3 Star Small Hotel

Hadley Park House Hotel
Hadley Park,
Telford, TF1 6QJ
Tel: 01952 677269
www.hadleypark.co.uk
AA Rosette
AA 3 Star Hotel

The Hundred House Hotel
Bridgnorth Road
Norton, Nr Shifnal, TF11 9EE
Tel: 01952 580240
www.hundredhouse.co.uk
2 AA Rosettes
AA 4 Star Inn

The Old Rectory - Closed Monday
Lowe Hill Road,
Wem, SY4 5UA
Tel: 01939 233233
www.oldrectorywem.co.uk

Visit Britain 3 Star Hotel

The Raven Hotel – Sunday Lunch Only
Barrow Street,
Much Wenlock, TF13 6EN
Tel: 01952 727251
www.ravenhotel.com
2 AA Rosettes
AA 3 Star Hotel

The offer is valid until November 26th, 2013.

How to book

Get your voucher from the Shropshire Star newspaper today (5th November 2013) and reserve your table in advance by telephone quoting: Shropshire Star lunch or dinner for £13.95.

All dates are subject to availability. Please note this offer excludes Saturdays and may only be available for lunch or Sunday lunch. Some hotels are closed on Mondays; this is indicated above. To validate the offer you must complete the Shropshire Star voucher and take it with you on the day. Voucher cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

To find out more about Shropshire County Hotels visit: www.visitshropshirehotels.com

 

 

Get Crafty this Halloween at RAF Cosford

These spookily creative workshops will run from 28th October to 1st November between 11.00am and 3.00pm with all materials provided by the Museum. 

28th October to 1st November 2013

11.00am-3.00pm

£2.00 per person

With two frightfully fiendish activities available, your little devils can decide which scarily good experience they would like to master:

Spooky Treat Pots and Magnets – Perfect for trick or treating, our treat pots are a hideously fun way to collect your Halloween sweets and candies. Available in a gross Frankenstein or frightening pumpkin design, these screamingly good pots are made from pre-cut foam pieces, pipe cleaners and come complete with instructions on how to assemble it.  Once done your little monsters may also create a scary personalised fridge magnet by simply scratching a design onto the specially coated surface using a scratch tool to reveal the lurid colours hidden underneath.  With six diabolical designs to choose from including a bat, witch, haunted house, ghost, pumpkin and spider, mini-monsters will have everything that they need to make a creepy decoration for All Hallows Eve.

Scary Bean Bags and Bookmarks - Learn to sew like Dr Frankenstein and create your own spooky spiders using two design kits that include pre-cut felt shapes with pre-punched holes, self-adhesive felt pieces, yarn, safe plastic needle, bean bag and instructions.  Once you have completed your spider bean bag, why not try your hand at making one of our funky foam Halloween bookmarks.  There are four repulsively simple designs available including a ghastly pumpkin, maniacal witch, black cat and a spider, each kit contains a foam template, self-adhesive foam decorations, wiggle-eyes and instructions.

To participate in the events taking place this October Half Term, please purchase your ticket from the Admissions Desk on arrival. Participation is just £2.00 per person and for each of the activities, participants will get to take their creations home as a memento of the day.  For further information about the Museum, please visit the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org or call 01902 376200.  The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Shrewsbury Brochure Competition Winner Praises the Town

Shrewsbury Brochure Competition Winner Praises the Town

Mr Fance from Cheshire said, “I am absolutely delighted to win the competition. My family love to visit Shropshire. Shrewsbury is a modern, vibrant town but has not lost its olde worlde charm.”

Claire Owen, Senior Marketing Officer at Shropshire Tourism said, “The competition was run by Shropshire Tourism on behalf of Shrewsbury Tourism Association as part of the 2013 Visit Shrewsbury brochure; also produced by Shropshire Tourism on behalf of Shrewsbury Tourism Association. The brochure was the first issue to feature the new distinctive black and white ‘Original One-Off’ branding.

To complement this, entrants to the competition answered questions about some of Shrewsbury’s original one-offs, from the name of the house Charles Darwin was born (Mount House) to the height of our original ‘one-off’ town crier Martin Wood (7ft 2in - in case you’re wondering!).”

Jim Littler, manager of The Lion & Pheasant said, “We were delighted to offer the prize and be part of the Shrewsbury brochure.”

Michael Connor, Chairman of Shrewsbury Tourism Association thanked The Lion & Pheasant for their support and said, “The official brochure is a key element of our visitor promotion, with compelling editorial, excellent images and effective, targeted distribution to reach our main visitor markets and showcase the best of what Shrewsbury has to offer. The new branding transforms the look of these guides and puts the spotlight on Shrewsbury as a town of original ‘one-offs’.”

To find out more about The Lion & Pheasant Hotel visit www.lionandpheasant.co.uk. To find out more about places to stay and things to do in Shrewsbury visit the official website www.visitshrewsbury.com.

Businesses wishing to be part of the 2014 Visit Shrewsbury brochure should contact Claire Owen at Shropshire Tourism on 01743 261919 as soon as possible. 

Exclusive Dining Offer at Shropshire County Hotels in Today's Edition of the Shropshire Star

Exclusive Dining Offer at Shropshire County Hotels in Today's Edition of the Shropshire Star

With the freshest produce to work with, in the hands of extremely talented chefs, this exclusive Shropshire Star reader offer is just the ticket to get a taste of the very best independent and individual hotels and inns in the county.

You can redeem your voucher at each of the participating restaurants listed below:

The Crown Country Inn – Closed Monday
Munslow,
Craven Arms, SY7 9ET
Tel: 01584 841205
www.crowncountryinn.co.uk
2 AA Rosettes
AA 4 Star Inn

The Castle Hotel
Market Square,
Bishop’s Castle, SY9 5BN
Tel: 01588 638403
www.thecastlehotelbishopscastle.co.uk
Shropshire Tourism 4 Star Inn

Fishmore Hall – Lunch Only
Fishmore Road,
Ludlow, SY8 3DP
Tel: 01584 875148
www.fishmorehall.co.uk
3 AA Rosettes
AA 3 Star Small Hotel

Hadley Park House Hotel
Hadley Park,
Telford, TF1 6QJ
Tel: 01952 677269
www.hadleypark.co.uk
AA Rosette
AA 3 Star Hotel

The Hundred House Hotel
Bridgnorth Road
Norton, Nr Shifnal, TF11 9EE
Tel: 01952 580240
www.hundredhouse.co.uk
2 AA Rosettes
AA 4 Star Inn

The Old Rectory - Closed Monday
Lowe Hill Road,
Wem, SY4 5UA
Tel: 01939 233233
www.oldrectorywem.co.uk
Visit Britain 3 Star Hotel

The Raven Hotel – Sunday Lunch Only
Barrow Street,
Much Wenlock, TF13 6EN
Tel: 01952 727251
www.ravenhotel.com
2 AA Rosettes
AA 3 Star Hotel

The offer is valid until November 26th, 2013.

How to book

Get your voucher from the Shropshire Star newspaper today (15th October 2013) and reserve your table in advance by telephone quoting: Shropshire Star lunch or dinner for £13.95.

All dates are subject to availability. Please note this offer excludes Saturdays and may only be available for lunch or Sunday lunch. Some hotels are closed on Mondays; this is indicated above. To validate the offer you must complete the Shropshire Star voucher and take it with you on the day. Voucher cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

To find out more about Shropshire County Hotels visit: www.visitshropshirehotels.com

Behind-the-scenes access for aviation fans

Behind-the-scenes access for aviation fans

As it is a working environment, the Sir Michael Beetham Conservation Centre is not normally open to the public.  For one week only, visitors will have the rare opportunity to speak with the skilled Technicians and Apprentices about the conservation work they carry out on the hundreds of aircraft within the Museum’s collection.

The Conservation Centre will be open from 10:15am to 1:00pm from Sunday 10th November until Saturday 16th. Visitors will be able to view the Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington and other aircraft and artefacts in various stages of restoration during the annual Open Week.  A main highlight for aviation fans will be the chance to see developments being made on the world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 recently salvaged from the bottom of the English Channel in June of this year.

This ground breaking project has sparked interest from across the globe and amongst visitors of all ages who have been fascinated and intrigued to know how the project will progress. Since its arrival on 15th June 2013 treatment on some of the aircraft’s smaller components has progressed swiftly. Several of these artefacts are now on display at the Museum, in remarkable condition.  Members of the public will be able to see the Dornier’s fuselage and wings in their purpose built hydration tunnels, whilst the Museum’s Apprentices and Volunteers will be working on components from the Dornier Do 17, including an engine valve with carbon deposits and a cog where the bearings still rotate, giving visitors first hand access to the intricate work taking place to conserve this aircraft.

Darren Priday, RAF Museum Deputy Conservation Centre Manager says:

“The MBCC Open-Week is a very popular event in the Museum calendar attracting around 4,000 visitors; many of the visitors return year after year to witness progress on the various projects.  If you have visited the Museum before but not the Conservation Centre come along and see the work we are carrying out, I believe you will be impressed.  To allow for people who work Monday to Friday we are also open on a Saturday and Sunday.”

Other projects on display include the on-going refurbishments of the Museum’s Hawker Siddeley Kestrel and Range Safety Launch.  Thanks to the support of WarGaming.net the Museum’s brand new Dornier 17 Interpretation Zone opening on 16th October will also add to the visitor’s experience.

Admission to the Conservation Centre Open Week is FREE and from 10.15am to 1.00pm each day.  Cosford’s main Museum will open daily from 10am.  For further information, please contact the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit www.rafmuseum.org.

 

MereFest13 - Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership Scheme

On Saturday 21st September, the Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership Scheme is inviting the public to a festival to celebrate the heritage and natural wonders of the Meres and Mosses of South Cheshire and North Shropshire.

Taking place at Cholmondeley Castle, the event will host a range of attractions for all the family, including: minibeast hunts, live music, guided nature walks, pond dipping, carousels, trampolining, canoeing, craft demonstrations and stalls with  scrumptious local produce.

Entrance is FREE and no booking is required, so why not come along? The festival is taking place from 11am-4pm beside the beautiful Deer Park Mere.

Download the MereFest13 leaflet for more information or visit www.themeresandmosses.co.uk

Join us on Twitter at @MeresandMosses and help us promote the event with #merefest13

Gold Award Winning Shropshire

Gold Award Winning Shropshire

The Awards are not easy to achieve, with just under 10,000 entries this year and around 33% attaining an Award. Great Taste is the ultimate consumer test, with 405 judges tasting food over 50 separate days. The process is rigorous and the results are highly valued by producers and consumers. There is a level of expectation when a product carries the gold star three, two or one star logo - it helps consumers to decide what to place in their shopping basket. The description of a food or drink winning three gold stars in the Great Taste Awards is Exquisite. Wow!  Taste That, the two stars are given to products that are Outstanding and the one star indicates a Virtually Faultless Food.

A pick of the best
Shropshire winners include Maynard's Farm, Marou chocolate, Ludlow Food Centre, Battlefield1403, Great Ness Oil, Brock Hall Farm, The Jammy Cow, Smoke and Pickle, Belton Cheese, Appleby's and more... Brock Hall Farm from Chelmarsh, near Bridgnorth was the only Shropshire business to win a coveted three star gold for their Dutch Mistress rind-washed goats cheese, made with milk from their own goats. Only 125 gold three stars were awarded out of the nearly 10,000 entries. Two stars were awarded to Brock Hall Farm again for another of their cheeses, Ludlow Food Centre for marmalade and also Gloucester Old Spot Pork and Apple Casserole. Other two star winners were Marou chocolate for two different bars, The Jammy Cow for Evil Chilli Chutney and Curetons Fine Food for a Luxury Game Pie.

Clare Downes from Monkhouse Food and Drink commented; "I was fortunate to be asked to judge at the Great Taste Awards this year and so have seen for myself just how detailed the process is. It really is not easy to win an award - the products have to be outstanding and in the case of three stars completely 'out of this world'. After the success of Shrewsbury Food Festival, the county seems to keep putting itself on the map for its excellent food and drink. We encourage food and drink businesses that we work with regarding their PR and Marketing to enter the Great Taste Awards. We feel that the awards are now a symbol quite simply of 'great taste' and this helps consumers to choose what to buy and retailers and chefs to also select the best products to use. So many successes from our county of Shropshire is fabulous - well done!"

Vote for Church Stretton & Stokesay Castle in 2013 Countryfile Magazine Awards

Vote for Church Stretton & Stokesay Castle in 2013 Countryfile Magazine Awards

Church Stretton has been nominated in the ‘Britain’s Favourite Market Town’ category by the travel writer Brigid Benson and is up against competition from nine other nominees including Totnes in Devon, St Ives in Cornwall and Narberth in Pembrokeshire, so every vote will count. 

The second Shropshire nominee is English Heritage's Stokesay Castle, near Craven Arms, which has been shortlisted in ‘Britain’s Favourite Heritage Site’ category. Selected by Countryfile presenter John Craven, Stokesay has been described as “One of England’s first and finest medieval fortified manor houses.”

Julie Hall, Site Manager at Stokesay Castle for over 20 years, said "It's very exciting for us, we are very proud to be nominated as we're a small site compared to some of the other nominees such as Blenheim Palace, the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Hadrian’s Wall. It’s brilliant that our castle in Shropshire is amongst the great and the good. I was at Stokesay when John Craven visited with his wife on a private holiday earlier this year and he was obviously very taken with it; he especially mentioned how much he loved the teashop."

Commenting on both nominations Claire Owen, Senior Marketing Officer at Shropshire Tourism, said “It’s fantastic news for Shropshire to have not one but two nominations in the 2013 Countryfile Magazine Awards and we would encourage everyone to vote. Last year Ludlow took second place in the ‘Britain’s Favourite Market Town’ category so it would be wonderful if Church Stretton or Stokesay Castle could do as well, or even go one better this year!”

To cast your vote for Church Stretton and Stokesay Castle and be in with a chance of winning a two-night break in Devon, visit the Countryfile Magazine website at www.countryfile.com/awardsvote, email awards@countryfile.com or fill in the form on page 38 of the August issue of Countryfile magazine. Voting for the third annual Countryfile Magazine Awards closes on 30th September 2013.

Busy End of Summer in Store for Bridgnorth Caravan Park

Busy End of Summer in Store for Bridgnorth Caravan Park

Stanmore Hall Touring Park - http://www.morris-leisure.co.uk/ - which is owned by Shrewsbury-based Morris Leisure, is encouraging caravanners and motorhome owners to book early to avoid disappointment as pitches are filling up fast for both months.

Major local events include V Festival - http://www.vfestival.com/  - at Weston Park with a stellar line up, including Beyonce and Kings of Leon, on August 17 and 18, the same weekend as Bridgnorth Country Fair -http://www.bridgnorthpromotions.co.uk/country-fair/. Bridgnorth Food Fair is being held on August 25 followed by Bridgnorth Beer Festival from September 5-7.

The Midland Game and Country Fair - http://www.countrymanfairs.co.uk/midland-game-fair - at Weston Park and Battle of Britain Wartime Weekend at the Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford - http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/ - are both being held on the same weekend, September 14 and 15 and Severn Valley Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala - http://www.svr.co.uk  - takes place from September 20-22.

Stanmore Hall has also arranged a great deal with the famous Ironbridge Gorge Museums - http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/ - which gives caravanners staying at the park a 25 per cent discount on annual passport tickets. The voucher is redeemed at Blists Hill Victorian Town, where visitors can see Victorians in their shops, cottages and workplaces.

Other easily accessible tourist attractions include Cadbury's World and the West Midland Safari Park.

The park, which has 131 touring pitches and is a prestigious affiliated site of The Caravan Club, is set within 12.5 acres of wooded parkland on the edge of Bridgnorth, where caravanners enjoy attractive lake views.

For more information about Stanmore Hall Touring Park visit www.morris-leisure.co.uk or contact the park on Tel: 01746 761761.

Ironbridge in Top 100 nominations for VirtualTourist's 8th Wonder of the World

Ironbridge in Top 100 nominations for VirtualTourist's 8th Wonder of the World

Shropshire Tourism announced last month that it had nominated Ironbridge for the "8th Wonder of the World", run by VirtualTourist.com, a leading travel research website and community that is part of TripAdvisor Media Group.

With numerous Tourism Boards, Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus sending in a nomination, the public is asked to vote for their favorite out of the almost 300 submissions from around the World.  Voters can visit www.virtualtourist.com to vote for Ironbridge and have until September 30 to do so. 

You can visit the website every 24 hours and vote again and again!

There is also a link to the voting page from Shropshire Tourism's website, www.shropshiretourism.co.uk. The wonder with the most votes will be crowned the winner.  The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.

"It's wonderful to have a nomination from every corner of the world so we are thrilled to receive Ironbridge as a nomination from Shropshire Tourism," said Giampiero Ambrosi, General Manager of VirtualTourist.com.  "As one of the best travel guide resources on the web, members and visitors to our site have been to almost every country in the world.  We are eager to see which landmark they will choose to be crowned the 8th Wonder of the World."  To vote for Ironbridge for 8th Wonder of the World, just visit www.virtualtourist.com/8thwonder.

Shropshire Tourism Nominates Ironbridge for VirtualTourist's 8th Wonder of the World

Shropshire Tourism Nominates Ironbridge for VirtualTourist's 8th Wonder of the World

(June 10, 2013) - Shropshire Tourism announced today that it has entered Ironbridge into VirtualTourist.com's quest to crown the "8th Wonder of the World". Public voting is now open at VirtualTourist.com, a leading travel research website and community that is part of TripAdvisor Media Group.

Claire Owen from Shropshire Tourism said, "As a World Heritage Site and birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, we feel that Ironbridge is certainly a worthy nomination and would like to encourage everyone to vote."

With numerous Tourism Boards, Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus sending in a nomination, the public is asked to vote for their favorite out of the almost 300 submissions from around the World.  Voters can visit www.virtualtourist.com to vote for Ironbridge and have until September 30 to do so.  There is also a link to the voting page from Shropshire Tourism's website, www.shropshiretourism.co.uk. The wonder with the most votes will be crowned the winner.  The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.

"It's wonderful to have a nomination from every corner of the world so we are thrilled to receive Ironbridge as a nomination from Shropshire Tourism," said Giampiero Ambrosi, General Manager of VirtualTourist.com.  "As one of the best travel guide resources on the web, members and visitors to our site have been to almost every country in the world.  We are eager to see which landmark they will choose to be crowned the 8th Wonder of the World."  To vote for Ironbridge for 8th Wonder of the World, just visit www.virtualtourist.com/8thwonder.

For more information, visit www.virtualtourist.com/8thwonder

Shropshire County Hotels Unveil New Website

Shropshire County Hotels Unveil New Website

Rob Hill, spokesperson for the group said, "Member hotels reflect the quality and diversity of Shropshire itself: Delightfully different Country House Hotels, Country Inns and Restaurants with Rooms, each unique and each remarkable in their own way. All take pride in offering outstanding hospitality and superb food which provides a showcase for the abundance of fantastic ingredients produced in Shropshire.

Coming together to promote ourselves more effectively as a group we hope to raise awareness about the quality services we have to offer and encourage both local people and those from further afield to pay us a visit, whether it's dining out in one of our restaurants or coming to stay with us."

The new website www.visitshropshirehotels.com been designed and developed by the in-house IT team at Shropshire Tourism, the county's leading tourism marketing organisation.

Kay Corbett, Senior Web Development Officer at Shropshire Tourism said, "It was a pleasure to work with Shropshire County Hotels on their new website. In addition to a new modern design, additional features have been added including an interactive map, news and event feeds."

UK Debut for White Salvia at Welshampton Fair

The Salvia 'Wollerton White' plant - a seedling off Salvia microphylla 'Cerro Potosi' - has been donated to Welshampton Fair, to be held in Welshampton Parish Hall from noon to 3pm, by Mr and Mrs John Jenkins from Wollerton Old Hall Garden, Wollerton, Market Drayton.

"It's the first white form of Salvia microphylla and its arrival has caused quite a stir in the plant world," explained event co-ordinator Gillian Eleftheriou. "Head gardener Andrew Humphris put in a batch of the normal pink salvia and out of it came these two white seedlings.

"This is going to be no ordinary plant sale. The special plants auction at 1.30pm will be really special because plantsmen have been so helpful and generous."

Also included in the auction is Hosta 'Unduly Graced', named because of its origins - the garden of Elvis' Presley's Graceland mansion, where its parent resided beside his swimming pool - which has been donated by Tim Saville, who lives at Penycae, near Wrexham.

Proceeds from the event will be divided between Shropshire Macmillan Cancer Support and St Michael and All Angels Church in Welshampton.

Fine art auctioneer Andrew Beeston from Halls, Shrewsbury will conduct the 1.30pm special plants auction of 30 lots, which have been donated by private national collection holders, specialist nurseries and leading plant specialists across North Shropshire and the Welsh and Cheshire borders.

Visitors to the fair will also have a rare chance to pick up tips from Shropshire's gardening guru Margaret Thrower, who will be joining award winning garden designer Richard Lucas to answer visitors' questions on this year's 'Ask the Experts' panel.

Quiz prizes on offer include tickets to Shrewsbury Flower Show, family passes to great venues and every visitor will also be able to enter a draw to win B&B in a top Lake District hotel.

"The fair provides a unique opportunity to buy specimen plants, from personal national collections and private gardens, that are not generally available to the public," explained Mrs Eleftheriou.

"The fair tends to attract local people, visitors and plantaholics because it offers such an unusual selection of plants. In the grand plant sale alone, we will have well in excess of 1,000 plants on offer, all grown by a dedicated team of six people. We are planning even more space in the grand marquee for plants and people this year."

The event, which has donated more than £25,000 to charities over the past seven years, will also feature quality cake, preserves and craft stalls. Entry and car parking are free.

 

Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership Scheme Launch New Interactive Website

Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership Scheme Launch New Interactive Website

The new website, www.themeresandmosses.co.uk is part of an ambitious programme of activity funded by The Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund to raise awareness about the Meres and Mosses which are home to some of the rarest wildlife in the UK.

 

Nearly £2m is available over the next 5 years to engage communities, raise awareness, conserve and restore habitat and work with landowners to improve the area through the Nature Improvement Area and Meres and Mosses Landscape Partnership Scheme.

Programme Manager Peter Moss said, "This ambitious programme is vitally important for the future of the Meres and Mosses area.  Everyone living and working here has their part to play in its protection and enhancement so please spread the word and do something to help today."

To find out all about this and get involved please visit www.themeresandmosses.co.uk. Here you will find up to date information on specific projects, events, details on farm and community grants as well as an interactive map and a resource library where the public can submit their favourite images of the area.

The website, which went live on 23rd April 2013, was designed and developed by the in-house IT team at Shropshire Tourism. Melanie Smith, Meres and Mosses Administrator said, "It has been great working with Shropshire Tourism.  They are extremely approachable, helpful and creative.  We are delighted with our new website."

TRIPADVISOR REVEALS UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES MOST RECOMMENDED BY TRAVELLERS

TRIPADVISOR REVEALS UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES MOST RECOMMENDED BY TRAVELLERS

TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site, today reveals the most highly recommended UNESCO World Heritage Sites according to the TripAdvisor traveller community. Of the top 10 in the world, Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, known throughout the world as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, comes in at second place. The famous site also takes the number one spot in the UK.

The results are based on more than 1.1 million traveller feedback forms, collected in partnership with UNESCO, making this the largest study of its kind ever conducted.

The Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa in China is recognised as the most highly recommended site in the world, according to TripAdvisor travellers.

Simon McCloy Chief Executive at Shropshire Tourism said, "We are really delighted with this news - we have long promoted Ironbridge as a brilliant place to visit in Shropshire, and it is really encouraging to hear that the TripAdvisor traveller community agrees. To be revealed as the most highly recommended UNESCO World Heritage Site in the UK is a huge coup for Shropshire, but to be rated second in the World exceeds even our expectations. It is true testament to the hard work that everyone at The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust do to make Ironbridge such a first rate visitor experience."

World's Most Recommended Sites

  1. 1. Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa  - China
  2. 2. Ironbridge Gorge - UK
  3. 3. Palace and Park of Fontainebleau - France
  4. 4. Historic Centre of Guimaraes - Portugal
  5. 5. Masada - Israel
  6. 6. Byblos - Lebanon
  7. 7. Persepolis - Iran
  8. 8. Hwaseong Fortress - Republic of Korea
  9. 9. Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula - Italy
  10. 10. Meidan Emam, Esfahan - Iran

 

UK's Most Recommended Sites

These UK World Heritage sites are those most recommended, according to TripAdvisor travellers:

  1. 1. Ironbridge Gorge - Shropshire
  2. 2. Heart of Neolithic Orkney - Orkney Islands, Scotland
  3. 3. Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey - North Yorkshire
  4. 4. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd - Gwynedd, Wales
  5. 5. City of Bath - Bath
  6. 6. Durham Castle and Cathedral - Durham
  7. 7. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland
  8. 8. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church - Canterbury
  9. 9. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal - North East Wales
  10. 10. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and St Martin’s Church - London

 

"Every one of the 962 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites is of enormous cultural or natural significance," commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. "These lists identify the sites that are valued most highly by the millions of TripAdvisor travellers who visit them and therefore, Ironbridge Gorge should be incredibly proud of its position at second place in the world and number one in the UK."

The partnership between TripAdvisor and UNESCO's World Heritage Centre launched in October 2009 to raise awareness of and gain travellers' support to preserve natural and cultural sites inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. 

Within the partnership, TripAdvisor is also providing support to the World Heritage Centre to help monitor the conservation of the world’s most important cultural and natural heritage sites. TripAdvisor shares the feedback to the World Heritage Centre so that it may better support UNESCO member states in protection and presentation of the properties.   

 

Shropshire Holiday Cottages feature in new ITV1 show

Wyndham & Bronwen Williams of Tugford Farm Holiday Cottages & Livery (www.tugford.com) have been filmed for ITV1’s brand new show, Holiday Home Sweet Home, presented by Lisa Faulkner. The programme also featuyres their self catering cottage Churchwarden Cottage in Ludlow (www.churchwardencottage.com)
 
Tugford Farm Holiday Cottages & Livery offer self-catering, B&B and equine B&B for guests who wish to bring their horse on holiday with them on their working farm in unspoilt rural South Shropshire. Churchwarden Cottage offers guests the alternative option of staying self-catering in the centre of the historic market town of Ludlow. We have been providing holidays and equine B&B for 7 years having successfully diversified into tourism turning redundant farm buildings into quality barn conversions and now have a strong clientele of returning guests.
 
In this new daytime series, Lisa Faulkner presents her guide to holiday homes around the UK. The series looks at a broad range of homes from aspirational beach front villas to idyllic rural cottages. Along the way, Lisa also visits some more quirky properties from historic forts to gypsy caravans and glamorous camping to stately manor houses. Whatever your budget or taste, Lisa finds a holiday home to suit everyone.
 
It’s not just the properties but the people who are at the heart of this show. The 20 x 60’ series will introduce people who run, and own these holiday homes, uncovering a unique insight into the work that goes into running a holiday let; and of course the holidaymakers, as they enjoy their summer break. Lisa’s journey will also take in some of beautiful Britain and will offer top tips on what to see and do in different areas of the country.
 
Tune into Holiday Home Sweet Home on Saturday, 27th October at 1.15pm on ITV1 to discover what goes into the perfect British holiday package.

Ironbridge Park and Ride - FREE Service Extended to 27th October 2012

Ironbridge Park and Ride - FREE Service Extended to 27th October 2012

Ironbridge Park & Ride: Fast, frequent and hassle free

If you are  planning your visit to Ironbridge Gorge there is now a fast, convenient and hassle free way in which to get there. The new 250 space Ironbridge Park and Ride, operating weekends, bank holidays and local school holidays offers buses every 12 minutes and with excellent links to the national road network is really easy to reach. Once in Ironbridge connections to all of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums including; Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalport China Museum and Jackfield Title Museum can be made via the Gorge Connect bus service

Key information

  • Free to park
  • Buses every 12 minutes
  • 250 parking spaces
  • Direct service into Ironbridge
  • Easy access: From M54 Junction 6 follow A5223 south to Jiggers roundabout. Sign posted from the A road network
  • SAT NAV postcode TF4 3QE 
  • Operating weekends, bank holidays and local school holidays
  • The first bus leaves the Park and Ride site at 9am 
  • The last bus returns to the Park and Ride site at 5.48pm 
  • April – October

For more information including timetables and connecting services click here or call Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre on 01952 433424.

The service will return in April 2013.

Ludlow takes second place in prestigious Countryfile Magazine Awards

Ludlow takes second place in prestigious Countryfile Magazine Awards

Now in its second year, the Countryfile Magazine Awards are a celebration of the countryside and its people. The 2012 awards were launched in the April issue of Countryfile Magazine, and featured 12 categories, from conservation projects and best heritage attraction to country writers and our finest nature reserves.  

In each of the 12 categories, a panel of experts drew up a shortlist of candidates. The awards were then voted for by readers of the magazine and members of the public via post, email and on the Countryfile Magazine website, www.countryfile.com.  

Louth in Lincolnshire took first place, while Richmond in Yorkshire was voted into third place in the favourite market town category.

Claire Owen from Shropshire Tourism said, “This is fantastic news for Ludlow and for Shropshire. Shropshire Tourism has been encouraging people to vote since April when it was announced that Ludlow had been nominated and we are delighted with the announcement today [24th August 2012] from Countryfile Magazine. Thank you to everyone who voted.”

Ludlow was nominated in the ‘Britain’s Favourite Market Town’ category by the countryside writer, Nicholas Crane, who last year championed the town’s listed buildings, Norman castle and weekly food market in his BBC2 series ‘Town’.  

Fergus Collins, Editor of Countryfile Magazine, commented: “The Countryfile Magazine Awards are a great way for the magazine and its readers to celebrate the best of the British countryside. Essentially, we're saying a heartfelt thanks to all those who work so hard to protect our landscapes, heritage and wildlife – and having a bit of fun along the way."

Shropshire on Countryfile

Shropshire on Countryfile

Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury journey to Shropshire to find out how the landscape has inspired people for generations to get out into the countryside to live a healthier life.

Matt is in Much Wenlock to learn more about William Penny Brookes, a far-sighted Victorian who thought more people should get out and about to get fit. It was an idea that was to give rise to the biggest show on Earth - the Olympics. A century or more later, Matt meets a local girl aiming for gold in archery at the Olympics in 2020.

Julia learns you do not have to be an athlete to get something out of this landscape; children's author Malcolm Saville also saw the merit in exploring rural Shropshire. His books encouraged children to seek adventure in its wild places. Julia meets Saville's daughter, who spent her formative years as an evacuee in the county. It was whilst here that she received the chapters that were to form her father's celebrated Lone Pine series about a bunch of children going wild in Shropshire.

Also on the programme: Down on the farm, Adam's Highland bull Eric has a much-needed pedicure, and Adam visits a Lancashire farm where the dairy cows milk themselves.

New look for the Shropshire Tourism Brochure

New look for the Shropshire Tourism Brochure

Commenting on the new brochure, Claire Owen from Shropshire Tourism said, “We felt it was important to ensure the brochure for 2011 had a fresh, modern re-design. As the official tourist guide promoting the whole of Shropshire, the magazine style brochure continues to include places to stay, things to see and do, as well as showing the very best of what Shropshire has to offer potential visitors.”

“We have received over 350 requests for the brochure within the first day of it being released, and with our targeted distribution and advertising campaign going live in January, we are very hopeful that 2011 will be another bumper year for tourism as the ‘staycation’ trend continues.”

To request a local guide of things to see and do in the county call Shropshire Tourism on 01743 261919 or visit www.shropshiretourism.co.uk