What to do Out of Season in… Whitchurch (The Shropshire one)
This characterful little market town in North Shropshire certainly punches well above its weight when it comes to its appeal to visitors out of season. The town offers a host of artisan shops interspersed with some enticing cafes and bars. Whether you are seeking relaxing or lively weekend breaks in Shropshire outside the school holidays that involves a little walking, a little discovering, a boat trip or two blended with some fine dining and a good pub or two, then here are some suggestions for a 2-3-night break in Whitchurch. Also included are our recommended Whitchurch holiday cottages in which to stay.
1. Whitchurch Heritage Centre
12 St. Marys Street, Whitchurch SY13 1QY
A good place to visit at the start of your holiday and discover the town’s fascinating historic past through a series of displays and exhibits appealing to all ages.
2. Waterside Walks 1: Whitchurch Country Park & Llangollen Canal
Beginning at the Victoria Jubilee Park, discover miles of beautiful North Shropshire countryside by walking The Whitchurch Waterway Country Park which follows the Whitchurch arm of the Llangollen Canal, which, bit-by-bit is being brought back to life. Spot voles in babbling brooks, pass through the Greenfields Nature reserve and watch boats ascend or descend a flight of locks at the Grindley Brook Locks on the more sedately flowing Llangollen Canal which passes through this corner of North Shropshire. A superb Canal Boat Festival is held here, usually late August-early September in August.
Address: Meadowcroft, Whitchurch, SY14 1BD
3. Waterside Walks 2: Alderford Lake
A pleasant circular waterside walk (with or without dogs) complete with a pet-friendly café offering delicious cream teas. Allow 2-3 hours for your circuit of the lake. Walking aside, there’s plenty to do on the Lake itself from wild swimming to stand-up Paddleboarding and kayaking as well as an Aquapark for adrenaline junkies.
Address: Tilstock Road, Whitchurch SY13 3JQ
4. Doodle Alley
Spend a morning or afternoon in expert hands at Doodle Alley painting pottery to create a memorable holiday souvenir. Arrange a painting visit towards the start of your holiday to allow time for your work to be fired in time to take home with you.
Perfect for families (and their hot chocolate is highly recommended).
Address: Victoria Yard, Rear of 44 High Street, Whitchurch SY13 1BB.
5. St Alkmund’s Church
This Grade-1 listed building is the largest Georgian Church in Shropshire and is open daily throughout the year.
Tread carefully as you enter, the heart of the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury was buried under the porch floor in 1453. His bones lie under his efigy in The Lady Chapel.
There’s much more to see in its uplifting, peaceful interior which also reveals much about Whitchurch’s history and its peoples.
For the full church experience, Sunday services are held with communions at 8.00am and 10.00am and an evening service at 6.30pm.
Visitors are very welcome.
Address: Church Street, Whitchurch SY13 1LB
6. Whitchurch Marina.
Hire a boat for the day at Whitchurch Marina and meander along the scenic Llangollen Canal – or just use the Marina as a starting place for a gentle towpath stroll. You can enjoy a nice lock-free stretch of canal to the Whixhall Nature Reserve. Dayboats can accommodate up to ten guests. A memorable day out and highly recommended.
Address: Wrexham Road, Whitchurch, SY13 3AA
7. Two Very Different Pubs!
a. The Black Bear
A lovely 17th-century black and white timbered pub with a courtyard garden and a reputation locally for good food and drink. How does a starter of Confit duck leg hash cake, fried organic egg, gooseberry ketchup all washed down with a French claret appeal?
49 High Street, Whitchurch, SY13 1AZ
b. The Old Town Hall Vaults
Once a 19th-century merchant’s house it is now managed by Joules, a popular local Shropshire Brewery.
The pub (known as ‘The Backies’ to locals) has been carefully restored on traditional lines. Its wood-panelled walls and open fires create a satisfyingly traditional and convivial place in which to enjoy a night out. It also stages popular live music nights.
Enjoy a pint of Slumbering Monk to go with their delicious homemade & locally sourced sausage rolls.
It’s the only pub in Shropshire with an outdoor privy, so treasured that it is now a Grade II listed privy!
The Victorian composer, Sir Edward German, was born in the front room.
Address: 1 St. Marys Street, Whitchurch, SY13 1QU
8. Two Eats!
a. Benjamin’s Deli & Café
A good place in which to rest and revive after a good walk around the town. Traditional deli sandwiches include smoked salmon & coriander mayo - or how about blue Stilton and pear washed down with a slurpingly good ‘fully loaded’ hot chocolate. brownies and friendly staff make this a great place for lunch or a refreshment stop at any time of the day.
Address: 3 High Street, Whitchurch, SY13 1AW
b. Docket No 33
Opened in 2017 by a couple determined to create a space for people to enjoy fine food in a relaxing environment – and with a Michelin Star, they have certainly succeeded in achieving that!
The Chef trained with restauranteurs Gary Rhodes, Michael Caines and Gordon Ramsey.
Their tasting menu flows from one course to the next and focuses on locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
It will certainly appeal to large groups looking for somewhere special to dine together within easy reach of their holiday cottage in Whitchurch: The restaurant has a private dining room available for up to twelve guests seated around one large table.
It is popular, so book well in advance of your Whitchurch holiday.
Address: 33 High St, Whitchurch SY13 1AZ
9. Whitchurch Antiques Emporium
A wonderful way to spend your time milling amongst an incredible range of antiques, vintage, crafted and modern pieces. Run and managed by friendly local people, you will discover some real treasures here.
Address: Green End, Whitchurch, SY13 1AD
Five Recommended Whitchurch Holiday Cottages in Which to Stay
For large friends and large family groups
Buttercups Hay Barn
A large, 5-star rural holiday cottage with shared use of an indoor pool and sports courts. Sleeps 10.
A lovely 18th-century barn conversion in North Shropshire’s rolling hills just outside Whitchurch with use of an indoor pool. It may be a large holiday cottage- but it is warm and cosy too! Sleeps 10.
A 5-bedroom barn conversion sleeping 12. This large and child-friendly Shropshire holiday cottage features an open plan design with plenty of rustic oak beams, stout roof trusses and stone pillars to complement its nicely modern facilities.
Smaller Families and Couples
A beautifully furnished 2-bedroom luxury holiday cottage in the grounds of Combermere Abbey. A lovely rural retreat for a small family or two couples. Sleeps 4.
A charming and cosy country cottage in a small village just outside Whitchurch. Perfect for families with young children. Sleeps 5.