Ludlow is famous for being Shropshire’s gastronomic haven and the three day Ludlow Food Festival is the pinnacle in their calendar – running this year from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th September. To celebrate, our Day Trip Diaries series visits this bustling market town to sample their famed food highlights and take in its beautiful historical architecture…


Nestled in the Shropshire Hills, between Shrewsbury and Hereford, Ludlow is a small bustling market town, situated close to the Welsh border amid an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Ludlow’s skyline is dominated by the towers of Ludlow Castle and St Laurence’s Church. The medieval castle is situated in the centre, next to the town square, while St Laurence’s stands tall as the largest parish church in Shropshire. Each attracts visitors from all over the world, with the castle playing host to many festivals and fayres (including this month’s Food Festival), while St Laurence’s has an events calendar rich in music recitals.

Ludlow has an abundance of ornate, Jacobean buildings in the centre of the town, prominent examples being the 17th Century Feathers Hotel and Readers House – the latter of which is right next to St. Laurence’s.

A stroll down Broad Street, one of the three main streets in the town, is always worth the time. The mix of black and white Jacobean properties at the top of the street, leading to Georgian buildings as you descend the hill, adds a sense of time travel. You can pass through Broadgate, the last surviving medieval gate into the town, dating from around 1270.

While taking in the stunning architecture on display on Broad Street, you’ll find our boutique. Our customers are a mix of Ludlow residents and visitors from far and wide; some come specifically to visit Sahara and others find us by surprise.

Sahara, Ludlow manager Jenny says, “The main aim for us is that our customers all leave happy and feel that visiting us is more than just a shopping experience. Our favourite thing about Sahara is that each and every person is individual and never pigeonholed, a Sahara lady can be whoever they want to be.”

Continuing down the hill you arrive at Ludford Bridge which spans the river Teme, flowing along the southern side of the town. A popular attraction in late Autumn is the salmon jumping the weirs as they travel upstream. There is a lovely riverside walk from Ludford taking you up stream to Dinham Bridge and back past the castle into the town centre.


It would be remiss of us to write about Ludlow and not mention the veritable bounty of great food available. We’re often tempted by the glorious aromas coming the superb bistro just next door to the boutique, Ludlow Smokehouse Deli and Chicchetti Bar. It serves traditional Italian cuisine, sourced directly from Italy and the whole experience is based on the traditional bacari bars of Venice. A real treat.

A must-visit for seasoned gourmands is the award-winning Ludlow Food Centre. Launched in 2007 Ludlow Food Centre offers fresh, locally sourced seasonal and handmade food. A veritable treasure trove of foodie finds, it’s nearly impossible to walk away without some goodies from the local area.

Finally, on a foodie high, Ludlow Kitchen and The Clive Restaurant, both of which source much of their produce from the Ludlow Food Centre, are the perfect way to sample local cuisine. Whether you have a leisurely lunch at the Ludlow Kitchen or opt for a sumptuous seasonal dinner at The Clive, you’ll be sure to walk away with a taste of Shropshire.