Travel | Secret Shropshire: 7 places you should see in 2015

Shropshire might not be the biggest or the most famous county in Britain, but it certainly holds its own when it comes to fun things to do.

1. Wander amongst the aircraft at RAF Cosford

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Courtesy of Loose Grip Photography

Half way between Newport and Wolverhampton sits RAF Cosford, home to the Royal Air Force Museum dedicated to the history of aviation, with exhibits including RAF aircraft throughout time, the British Airways collection and the National Cold War exhibition.

With over 70 aircraft on display and hundreds of missiles, vehicles and memorabilia on display, including the worlds oldest Spitfire, the Lincoln Bomber and the three V Bombers, Vulcan, Victor and Valiant, Cosford is the perfect place to go if you enjoy aviation, but also if you enjoy checking out the wide-ranging displays and marveling at the impressive engineering feats that were put into building these aircraft.

but what makes Cosford a must is the fact that entrance is FREE, yeah that’s right free, though you do have to pay a small fee to park (£2 for up to 3 hours, or £3 for 3 hours plus).

2. Journey back in time at Blists Hill Victorian Town

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Courtesy of David Lewis

Located near to the Ironbridge Gorge. Bliss Hill Victorian Town is a complete working museum based in the Victorian times, complete with bank where you can exchange your money into shillings to be used in some of the many shops that cover the site, including a traditional fish and chip restaurant, sweet shop, candle makers and much more.

Bliss Hill is a great way to spend the day, surrounded by authentic buildings that have painstakingly been dismantled and moved  and rebuilt in this small corner of Shropshire, with each building manned by one or more actors, who demonstrate the techniques used in 19th century Britain, with over 52 acres of attractions to check out, from the Town, ironworks and countryside areas that each contain their own unique characteristics and gives you multiple areas to explore.

3. Climb the Long Mynd

Courtesy of Ray Jacobs
Courtesy of Ray Jacobs

Nestled between the Stiperstons, Stretton Hills and Wenlock Edge, the Long Mynd, stands right in the middle of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and close to the picturesque market town of Church Stretton.

This part of the world is a walker’s paradise, with a path running from the Carding Mill Valley to the highest point on Long Mynd, where you can experience fantastic views across Shropshire, the West Midlands and Wales, with hidden buildings scattered throughout  the landscape, it’s worth venturing off the beaten track and maybe you will come across one of the lost lead mining villages or one of the ancient churches that have long been forgotten.

4. Explore the Ironbridge Gorge

Courtesy of Doc Ward
Courtesy of Doc Ward

Ironbridge is full of its own separate attractions including the previously mentioned Bliss Hill, but what’s great about Ironbridge isn’t necessarily the attractions but just the village itself. this picturesque village is home to the first cast iron bridge ever built and one of few still around today, situated in one of the most picturesque parts of the county.

With multiple museums scattered throughout the valley, you are guaranteed to find somewhere in Ironbridge Gorge to wander around, be it a long forgotten industrial sites, or one of the many independent shops, there is something for everyone to explore.

5. Party at Shrewsbury Fields Forever Festival

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It wouldn’t be the British summertime without hitting at least one festival, where you can have fun soaking up the sunshine while dancing around in a field surrounded by complete strangers and wearing wellies, especially if you are treated to amazing bands and singers, along with various other activities to pass the time, this is certainly the case when it comes to the  Shrewsbury Fields Forever Festival.

SFF has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, attracting artists such as The Charlatans, Ms Dynamite, The Wombats, Maximo Park and Tinie Tempah to the Shropshire countryside, making it into the counties largest multi-area indie, alternative, electronic, dance and pop music festival and making it well worth spending a weekend in September enjoying music, comedy and partying on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.

6. Have a bite at the Ludlow Food Festival

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Foodies the world over flock to Ludlow every September for the annual Ludlow Food Festival, with over 180 independent food and drink producers the UK coming to this beautiful Shropshire market town, growing considerably since its first event back in 1995.

This three-day festival gives you the chance to taste a wide verity of different foods and drinks, while surrounded by the magnificent Ludlow castle and including festival loaf, sausage and ale trails that take you around the town, discovering wonderful culinary delicacies.

7. Ride in style on the Severn Valley Railway

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Running between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, the Severn Valley Railway is one of the most successful heritage lines in the UK, with Steam and Diesel trains taking passengers the 16 miles between the two market towns, closely following the route of the River Severn through the Shropshire/Worcestershire countryside, with stops at Bridgnorth, Bewdley and Kidderminster, there are plenty of places to get off and explore.

8. Cosplay at Midlands Comic Con

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Courtesy of Jim Monk

It’s not often that you get to dress up as your favorite character and meet some stars of the sci-fi and entertainment world, that is why the MCM Midlands Comic Con is something not to be missed, with dealer stalls, a comic village, cosplay events, live performances and panels to enjoy, Comic Con is one of the countries biggest pop culture events and with Telford Shopping Centre right on its doorstep, there are plenty of things to see, do and enjoy.

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