Upon arriving in Telford, we found the big new mall and settled into the House of Fraser for some lunch and retail therapy. There is also a cinema in the complex. Another new place for us was Wellington – a few minutes’ walk from the hotel and a lovely little town. We parked in the free lot (up to three hours) at the Leisure Centre as we needed the car for our outings that day. We wandered around the town centre until it was time to head to Sunnycroft which opens at 10:30, a National Trust property (£6.50 each) just a few minutes away on Holyhead Road. From the carpark, we walked along the beautiful tree-lined Wellingtonia Avenue to the villa. Our visit commenced with a 10 minute talk about the previous owners then we were free to wander around and read the information and/or ask questions of the guides in each room. I particularly liked the staircase and the unique wall sconces. The last owner of the villa was Joan Lander and you can see some of her embroidery work on display. The Tea Room is next to the conservatory and rose garden and offers delicious soup and cakes. There were croquet and badminton utensils on the lawn and some families were partaking in the games as soon as the rain stopped. Sunnycroft is a lovely slice of Edwardian England in wellington and well worth a visit.
Our next stop was in Shrewsbury as it has much to offer and is only 10 miles from Wellington. We parked in the St Julien’s Long Stay lot and arrived around 3:00 so only had to pay £2.70 until 6:00, after which it was free. We walked through the old town where there are lots of little alleyways to explore with boutiques and cafes. We wandered over to the Welsh Bridge where we took a river trip on Sabrina (£6 each for a 45 minute trip) to the English Bridge and back. It is a nice way to get your bearings of what there is to see on land. By the Welsh Bridge there is an exhibit called Quantum Leap about Charles Darwin who hails from Shrewsbury. There is also a statue of him outside the library, across from the Castle and Regimental Museum.
The area around the BuckatreeHall Hotel is very good for walking. Right across the road is a public footpath (Ercall) which is part of the Shropshire Way. Just down the street is The Wrekin, a mountain of which we had a view from our room. One morning we climbed The Wrekin to check out the views. It took us an hour to climb to the Wreckin Hillfort at the top, primarily because I live in the Canadian prairies (flat lands) and the steep incline was very nauseating for me and I had to keep stopping. As we reached the summit, the clouds rolled in but it was still a lovely view. On a clear day you can see the Mountains in Wales. As you drive around the area, the Wrekin is a landmark continually in sight. If you’re interested, there is a walking festival in September. Visit Wellington Walkers Are Welcome for more information.
From the Wrekin we saw the Ironbridge Power Station – the red towers to your left as you approach the top. You can walk to Ironbridge on the Shropshire Way; however we walked back down the way we went up as we were on our way home that day. Though the bridge is smaller than I expected, you could easily spend a few days at Ironbridge as there are many museums to see as well as the walks. It was showery when we were walking around and we followed a couple from Cumbria into The Font Italia restaurant that was not open. However the owner invited us in out of the rain for coffee and before we left another dozen or so people had wandered in.
Our last stop on this trip was to Ludlow; a smaller version of Shrewsbury and a lovely little town. We had lunch at the Castle Tea Room then walked around the old town and lovely boutiques. It was a very enjoyable trip!