The Clun Valley and South Shropshire
It's quiet and restful here in Clun but that does not mean that there is little for visitors to do. We boast two pubs and two cafes, as well as a range of shops and a curiosity of a town museum. The Sun Inn, dating to the seventeenth century, if not before, is one of many historic buildings in the town. Clunnites joke that ruin of Clun Castle, begun in the 13th century, is still being built.
Clun Bridge is nearly as old, harking back to the 14th century and is the annual scene of the battle between the Green Man and the Frost Queen during the Clun Green Man Festival, held over the May Day bank holiday. This three-day fiesta is a unique pageant of tradition and music. During the Clun Valley Beer Festival, several pubs, the Sun Inn included, join together in a celebration of real ales and cider along the length of the Clun Valley. Please book early if you would like accommodation during the Festivals.
Clun is at the heart of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our gentle hills are wooded or grazed by Clun Forest Sheep. There is great walking all around, as well as country drives, cycle routes and challenging forest terrain for mountain bikes. Offa's Dyke, a defensive eighth century earthwork and National Trail, cuts through the remnants of the Clun Forest just a few miles west of Clun. The Dyke visitors centre is at Knighton, a short drive over the hills. Ludlow is just 16 miles away along pleasant country roads. Famed for its food and markets, Ludlow has a fine castle, museum and several unspoilt historic streets. Ludlow Food Centre stands between Clun and Ludlow.
South Shropshire offers excellent bird watching. Buzzards abound in the sky and are the symbol of the Shropshire Way, which passes through Clun. For horse riders, Clun also lies on the Jack Mytton Way. The Bury Ditches hill fort is a short walk or drive away, as is the treasured nature reserve at Clunton Coppice. There is plenty to find of interest in the surrounding hills for geologists as well as nature lovers.
A few miles to the north, the lead mining site at Snailbeach is a reminder of the industrial past of this most rural of landscapes. It is a steep walk from here to the Stiperstones, a wild hill with eerie jagged tors, or take the short drive to the base of the stones. The Long Mynd and Stretton Hills lie to the east, snuggling the picturesque town of Church Stretton, with the beautiful Carding Mill Valley. To the east, the Clee Hills are populated by picturesque villages and boast the highest summits south of the Pennines. A pleasant one hour drive northwards takes you to the world heritage site of Ironbridge, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
The towns of South Shropshire have many hidden delights. Much Wenlock is a short drive along the Wenlock Edge. It is the birthplace of the modern Olympics and you can follow the Olympic Trail, dip into the teashops, pubs and bookshops or visit the abbey. Ludlow has a deserved reputation as a gastronomic centre, serving real local food amid antiques shops and antique buildings. The charming town of Bishops Castle is also nearby, with its historic buildings, antiques, arts and crafts and famous breweries. The ancient abbey town of Shrewsbury is within easy reach for a day trip.
South Shropshire has many literary connections. Mary Webb based her books on the area and the playwright, John Osborne (1929-1994) made his home at The Hurst on the outskirts of Clun. A.E. Housman's vision of Shropshire as a land of tranquillity and beauty was so strong that he cast himself as a Shropshire Lad and penned his much remembered lines about "blue remembered hills" of South Shropshire:
Clunton and Clunbury,
Clungunford and Clun,
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.
In valleys of springs of rivers,
By Ony and Teme and Clun,
The country for easy livers,
The quietest under the sun.
It is still the quietest place here. It remains a country of easy living sheltered from the battles of modern life. Quiet, but never dull, that's Clun. Come and join us, relax, and explore. Enjoy our bed and breakfast and good dining. Put your feet up in front of our cosy real fire and let us pour you a pint of real ale or whatever you fancy. You will be very welcome.
Clun Green Man Festival
The Clun Valley