Visit Wem: Places to stay, things to do

Abigail Whyte tells us why we are definitely missing a treat if we overlook the wonders of Wem in Shropshire.

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Why go there?
 
This Saxon market town was almost flattened in a battle during the War of the Roses in the Civil War, but survived to tell the tale. It proudly boasts ownership of the sweet pea, after Henry Eckford – a local nursery worker – introduced the pretty plant to the UK in 1882.
 
Wem and its surroundings have so much to offer for the nature enthusiast, history buff and shopaholic. The Mythstories Museum of Myth and Fable is a curious little place to spend a rainy afternoon and ponder its many paintings, books and eerie puppet exhibits. For some hands-on Victorian farming experience, pop down to
Park Hall Farm where you can milk cows, groom horses and feed the lambs. You can even try some quad biking! But remember, you can’t visit Wem without swinging by Hawkstone Park and Follies in nearby Weston-under-Redcastle. This fantasia of grottos, secret tunnels and strange monuments will satisfy anyone’s taste for something a bit different.  
 
Where to eat?
 
The Tilley Raven is happily situated in the black-and-white hamlet of Tilley on the outskirts of Wem, and is the hub of many of the locals and visitors. With its bustling, friendly atmosphere, stunning interior and array of local ales, this pub takes some beating. Their steak, port and Stilton pie is the talk of the town. 
 
Where to stay?
 
Just five miles from Wem is Newton Meadows; a cluster of award-winning holiday cottages set deep in the Shropshire countryside. Each cottage has acres of gardens to get lost in, and a natural fishing pond that’s stocked to the gills with carp and roach.
 
Tell us a local secret
 
The ghost of Wem has become something of a modern myth – in 1995, a picture was taken of the burning town hall, and in its doorway you can clearly see a little girl peering from the flames. Spooky!
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