This is a very different kind of day out!
The Magnalonga is a walk of about seven miles where you stop to eat and drink along the way. It starts and finishes by Ludlow's Dinham Bridge: a journey where you combine a walk through forest and unspoilt countryside with some of the best food and drink from the Marches. With 4 stops where you receive local food served with local ale, perry or cider.
The walk is organised annually by the Slow Food Group, an international organisation. Since the 1980s, Slow Food has attracted members who care about retaining our diverse heritage of regional food and drink, and protecting it from globalisation.
Time: 10.00 Venue: at Dinham Bridge, Ludlow, £19.50 per person. Look on website for next date.
There is also a Mini Magnalonga- where everyone explores Ludlow with stops for delicious local seasonal food. This family friendly event that includes a quiz to really get you looking around the area.
Not so much 'off the beaten path' as 'next to a beaten path and up two flights of stairs'.
Ludlow artist Libby Lord has an art gallery and studio above the "Period House Shop" on Corve Street. Up several flights of wooden stairs to the second floor of this old building. Half of the top floor is a studio, with paints, canvases and cupboards. The other half has some of Libby's marvellous paintings on display.
Libby says her work is inspired by her location in Ludlow and the way the passage of time is marked on old buildings. Some of her paintings remind me of an old stone wall covered in yellow lichen.
The "Period House Shop" looks fantastic too - if, like me, you normally would not need to visit a shop like this, then this is your excuse. Lots of door-knobs, latches, ironmongery, wood carvings and old telephones on sale!
A little east of Ludlow, south of Clee Hill, is a small cider producer called Mahorall Farm Cider. This is a small family farm that switched from dairy to making cider from local apples. This is not a big operation, but one where you can meet the owner, maker and marketer all in one person. We stopped by on a weekday afternoon and had a pleasant visit, complete with tasting and a look at the cider making operation. Very friendly. We bought a few bottles to take with us and continued on our route through the countryside.
You have to know where you are going to get here. It is off the B4214 between Clee Hill and Nash, on a road toward Hope Bagot. You turn left on a small dirt road, go through a gate (keep it closed so the sheep don't wander off) and continue to the farm.
Ludlow's network of hidden lanes run from the main roads, but they sometimes look like private footpaths, or backyards. I recently read a well known book called Pattern Language (Christopher Alexander) which recommends that the perfect town should have hidden lanes and alleys!! Maybe he had visited Ludlow.
Try and find some of these footpaths. It is typical of Ludlow to see passageways running between the medieval houses. Maybe the map from the Tourist Information Centre will help you.
Very occasionally these alleyways will come to a dead end. There is a lovely (unnamed) alley next to the (ex) Angel Hotel on Broad Street which stops at a gate.
My favorite 'secret alley' is Attorney's Walk, running from the Bull Ring (near Boots) to the carpark behind the Library. It starts as a tiny dark passageway between the shops.
There is also a quiet route through the yard of the Bull Hotel, on the Bull Ring, which leads to a flight of stone steps. These take you up, through a small passageway, to Ludlow's old churchyard, and the 14th century Reader's House.
Parkway leads from Corve Street to the Library. Valentine's Walk is a gated path that runs next to De Grey's Tea Rooms on Broad Street, to the delightfully named Peper Lane, and Fish Street.