Explore Around Chapel Lawn

There’s so much to see and do in the Shropshire Hills: walks, bike rides, castles, forts and historic houses, festivals, foodie places, breweries…the list goes on. Here are just a few suggestions, but feel free to call and ask for more information, or we have lots of maps and leaflets for you to browse through when you visit us. We also have a boot room with plenty of space for drying and a sink for rinsing out muddy clothes and boots.

Walking

The School House B&B is ideally situated between the two ‘Walkers Are Welcome’ towns of Knighton and Clun, we’re in the Shropshire Hills AONB and only a stone’s throw from Offa’s Dyke Path so there is plenty of choice for all levels of ability. We’re keen walkers so have several recommendations of our own, but here are some links to other route websites:

Shropshire's Great Outdoors has interactive maps here

Shropshire Tourism has a Walking page here

In our map room on the first floor there are walk routes that you can borrow - each one is graded by distance, duration and difficulty. We have OS maps and GPX files for some of these and also some spare bits & bobs of walking gear if you forget to bring anything. Occasionally we may offer guided walks - please ask about these when you get here.

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Cycling

Whether you’re a road cyclist or prefer to go off-road then there is something for everyone in the Shropshire Hills. We are on the Shropshire Cycleway (west section) and also close to Hopton Woods – dubbed the home of mountain biking in Shropshire. We have facilities for secure bike storage as well as somewhere to hose down your dirty bike. If you want to hire a bike when you get here we can point you in the right direction. Muddy Cwtch are a small local company that organise MTB rides in the south Shropshire Hills (www.muddycwtch.com) .

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Castles, Hill Forts & Historic Houses

There are numerous historical places to visit in the area – Clun Castle (English Heritage) is just a few miles away, as is Hopton Castle, once visited by Tony Robinson and Channel 4’s Time Team. Stokesay Castle (English Heritage) is a short drive away and further afield are Attingham Park (National Trust) and Powis Castle (National Trust). There is also a treat for fans of the film 'Atonement' which starred Keira Knightley and James McAvoy - the setting for the film, Stokesay Court, is just a short drive from here and there are tours around the house and grounds on selected dates. Finally, being in border country there are several iron age hill forts which can be accessed on foot – we have our very own Caer Caradoc here in Chapel Lawn and the more famous one at Church Stretton is about 35 minutes by car; Bury Ditches is just a short walk out of Clunton in the Clun Valley.

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Food and Drink

We are very lucky to be surrounded by some fabulous places to eat within a few minutes’ drive of Chapel Lawn. For evening meals our closest pub is the Baron at Bucknell (6 mins).

In Leintwardine (15 mins) there is The Lion pub and also the wonderful Jolly Frog restaurant, which specialises in French food. You can also order fish and chips from the Fiddler’s Elbow chippy in Leintwardine to eat in The Sun Inn next door.

Clun (10 mins) has two pubs, both serving food – the White Horse and The Sun.

Just across the Welsh border, Knighton (10 mins) has the Horse & Jockey and the Red Lion, which is more a restaurant than a pub and does excellent food. Knighton also has Saffron, an Indian Restaurant, and several takeaways.

Slightly further afield, but well worth the 25-minute journey, is the Riverside at Aymestry - again more a restaurant than a pub and very dog-friendly too.

If you are planning to eat out, please phone ahead to check opening times and availability to avoid disappointment - contact details can be found on their websites and also in our guest information folder.

For food events, as well as its unmissable Food Festival, Ludlow also has the Spring Festival which has a greater emphasis on beer than food. Other beer festivals of note are the Bishop’s Castle Real Ale Trail in July and the Clun Valley Beer Festival in October. If you can’t wait for those then there are breweries in Ludlow and Cleobury Mortimer (home to the excellent Hobsons brewery), both of which do tours.

If cider is more your tipple then we are only a short hop from the Herefordshire border and there are cider farms aplenty within an hour's drive of here. Finally, the Chase Distillery (for Chase vodka and Williams gin) is about 45 minutes away, or if you are heading towards the Brecon Beacons during your stay then a trip to the Penderyn Distillery is guaranteed to convert any die-hard malt drinker from Scotch to Welsh!

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Out & About

Without doubt one of the biggest draws to this area is the beautiful market town of Ludlow. A well-known foodie destination, it has plenty of fine eateries as well as the castle, museum and some lovely walks both in and around the town. Just a few miles north along the A49 at Bromfield you’ll find the award-winning Ludlow Food Centre – deli heaven on an indulgent scale! From here you can also take a walk around the Oakly Park Estate, belonging to the Earl of Plymouth.

Other places worth a visit in the area are Clun – described as “one of the quietest places under the sun” by A. E. Housman in ‘A Shropshire Lad’ – the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre at Craven Arms, and Church Stretton, once described as Little Switzerland due to the abundance of hills.

If you want to see some of the outstanding beauty that the Shropshire Hills & Welsh Marches area has to offer from the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus, then TriCounty Tours is just what you need. They offer fantastic chauffeur-driven tours around the counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Powys and their pick-up point is in Knighton, just 15 minutes' drive from The School House.

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Learn a New Skill...or brush up on old ones

If you fancy learning a new skill with the beautiful South Shropshire countryside on your doorstep, there are several courses on offer in the area:

Textile Courses at Moor Hall Studio

Textile artist Bobby Britnell offers various talks, courses and creative workshops at her studio just outside Newcastle-on-Clun, about 20 minutes from The School House B&B. Housed in a modern purpose-built studio attached to a four hundred-year-old hunting lodge in the Shropshire Hills AONB, this lovely setting is bound to inspire your creativity. Find out more at www.bobbybritnell.co.uk/courses.

B&B Academy

Learn all about setting up, running and marketing a successful Bed & Breakfast with Karen Thorne at the B&B Academy at Hopton House, just 15 minutes from The School House B&B. Whether it is just a pipe dream or you're on the verge of taking the plunge, we can personally recommend this course having attended it ourselves in October 2014. Find out more at www.bedandbreakfastacademy.co.uk/.

Bread Baking

Nothing beats the smell of freshly-baked bread and you can learn how to make your own delicious loaves with a one or two-day course at Bread2Bake in Ludlow. Courses are run by Robert Swift of Swifts Bakery and feature specialist bread-making techniques such as sour dough, and French and Italian breads. Find out more at www.swifts-bakery.co.uk/page/Courses.

Knitting Workshops

Also at Hopton House and hosted by Karen Thorne, Anna Wilde runs knitting workshops with themes ranging from socks to shawls. Find out more at http://www.wildthornknitting.co.uk/.

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