Ludlow & the Black and White Village Trail

Ludlow & the Black and White Village Trail

5 day break staying at the Feathers Hotel in the centre of the picturesque market town of Ludlow


5 day break staying at the Feathers Hotel in the centre of the picturesque market town of Ludlow


Ludlow and its castle are perched on a cliff above the picturesque River Teme in south Shropshire, one of the most unspoiled parts of rural England. The town breathes history at every turn, but it's far from being a museum piece. The town centre's ordered elegance is evidence of the 900 year old Norman planned town.

Situated on the River Teme in the outstanding countryside of the Welsh Marches, Ludlow's medieval street pattern survives almost intact, along with many ancient properties including a magnificent ruined castle and one of the largest parish churches in England. Modern buildings are few and far between in the town centre, whose streets are lined with medieval and Georgian buildings. There are over 500 listed buildings in the town: Broad Street, which leads from the Buttercross down through the Broadgate, has been described as the most beautiful street in Britain. Particularly interesting buildings include the Feathers Hotel and the Reader's House, the Buttercross and the Broadgate


A cathedral city and county town of Herefordshire. It lies on the River Wye, approximately 16 miles east of the border with Wales, 24 miles southwest of Worcester, and 23 miles northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 55,800 people, it is the largest settlement in the county.

The name "Hereford" is said to come from the Anglo Saxon "here", an army or formation of soldiers, and the "ford", a place for crossing a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the Wye. The Welsh name for Hereford is Henffordd, meaning "old road", and probably refers to the Roman Road and Roman settlement at nearby Stretton Sugwas.

An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as "Hereford in Wales". Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as recently as October 2000. It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for a wider agricultural and rural area. Products from Hereford include: cider, beer, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry, chemicals and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed.


Mappa Mundi

The Hereford Mappa Mundi is unique in Britain's heritage; an outstanding treasure of the medieval world, it records how thirteenth-century scholars interpreted the world in spiritual as well as geographical terms. The map bears the name of its author 'Richard of Haldingham or Lafford' (Holdingham and Sleaford in Lincolnshire). Recent research suggests a date of about 1300 for the creation of the map.

Mappa Mundi is drawn on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin) measuring 64" by 52" (1.58 x 1.33 metres), tapering towards the top with a rounded apex. The geographical material of the map is contained within a circle measuring 52" in diameter and reflects the thinking of the medieval church with Jerusalem at the centre of the world. Superimposed on to the continents are drawings of the history of humankind and the marvels of the natural world. These 500 or so drawings include around 420 cities and towns, 15 Biblical events, 33 plants, animals, birds and strange creatures, 32 images of the peoples of the world and 8 pictures from classical mythology.

Day 1

We leave Cumbria in the morning and travel south to Bridgnorth, this interesting town is split between hilltop and ground, with a funicular connecting the two levels. Following lunch we have an included journey on the Severn Valley Railway. We re-join our coach in Kidderminster and continue on to Ludlow and the historic Feathers Hotel. Dinner in the hotel.


Day 2

Today we visit Hereford, travelling via Knighton, Presteigne and Pembridge - some of the beautiful black and white villages that north Herefordshire is renowned for. Time in Hereford to view the cathedral and the adjacent exhibition based around the Mappa Mundi. We return to Ludlow for dinner.

B, D

Day 3

Morning free in Ludlow, After a leisurely breakfast explore Ludlow, browse the interesting shops, narrow lanes and visit the historic market. In the afternoon we travel to the beautiful city of Worcester, time at leisure to visit the Cathedral, Greyfriars Merchant House or perhaps the Commandery, telling the story of the local area. We return to Ludlow for dinner.

B, D

Day 4

Today we travel north, through the lovely Shropshire Hills and on past Shrewsbury into Wales and the delightful Victorian town of Llangollen, here we experience the pleasure of a 2 hour trip on the motorised canal boat Thomas Telford through the beautiful Vale of Llangollen and across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford between 1795 and 1805. This length of canal is a World Heritage Site. The Thomas Telford is fully weather proof and is centrally heated with comfortable seats and excellent views from every table. We enjoy a Welsh cream tea and an informative live commentary on board. We rejoin our coach for the return journey to Ludlow and our final evening meal at the Feathers.

B, D

Day 5

We leave our hosts at the Feathers Hotel Ludlow and head the short distance to the Ludlow Food Centre, at this popular venue we are treated to a talk and tasting that showcases the best of local produce and the 'foody town' of Ludlow. Our journey is then homeward to Cumbria, arriving home early evening.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

The Feathers Hotel

The timber facaded hotel has motifs of ostrich feathers and hence the name "Feathers Hotel", which was designed initially as a private home by a local lawyer named Rees Jones. The feathers also represented the traditional insignia of the Prince of Wales who later became Charles I; it also highlighted the town's liking for the monarchy.

Once described as 'the most handsome Inn in the world', for its Jacobean archictecture and medieval heritage.

The Feathers Hotel has forty bedrooms, all recently refurbished, comprising four poster rooms, many double rooms, several twin rooms, single and family rooms.

Additionally, there are several individually designed luxury rooms, each equipped with sumptuous fabrics, spa baths and power showers. All rooms are en-suite with both bath and shower, and include flat-screen colour television, hospitality tray and direct dial telephone. Many of the rooms in the oldest part of the building feature original exposed beams, in keeping with the ambience of this renowned historic architectural treasure.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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08 Oct
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