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A day exploring the canal, brewing and heritage town of Market Drayton rounded off with a visit to England’s first community owned farm By Beryl & Kate from Market Drayton Community Partnership
About 1 ½ miles each way.
Frogmore Road Car Park, Market Drayton TF9 3AR
Park your car on Frogmore Road car park in the centre of Market Drayton, then head towards the Shropshire Union Canal built by Thomas Telford in 1863. There are beautiful walks in both directions, but a great local favourite is the 30 minute stroll towards Tyrley Locks. Walk through beautiful woods, fields and sandstone cliffs; watch the boats ascending and descending the locks and perhaps catch a glimpse of a kingfisher!
On your return enjoy a coffee at one of the cafes in town or call in at The Red Lion, (Great Hales Street, TF9 1JP) home of Joules’ Brewery and then walk the Town Trail which is available free from the Library or the Visitor Information Office both on Cheshire Street. The trail, which will take about an hour, leads you around the fine buildings of Market Drayton with tales of the town’s rich history and notable people with local connections such as Clive of India.
Now you’ll be ready for lunch! You might like to try Festival Drayton. Owned and run by the community, the Centre is widely regarded as one of Market Drayton’s finest assets. It has a licensed coffee shop serving locally made cakes.
Afterwards enjoy one of the art exhibitions that are frequently on display there. Look out for the excellent murals by local artist Nick Parry decorating the café courtyard.
After lunch, why not wander around the shops – there’s a fine market held every Wednesday, which shouldn’t be missed! – then get into your car for the short journey to Fordhall Farm Take the road towards Shrewsbury (A53). Fordhall Farm is signposted on your left just after leaving the town.
Fordhall Farm has a fascinating history. It has been organic for over 65 years, rearing grass -fed cows, sheep and Gloucester Old Spot pigs. It was saved from development through a national campaign and is now England’s first community-owned farm, offering a warm
welcome to all. Fordhall Farm has excellent way-marked trails with a choice of fascinating walks around the beautiful countryside. Buy some goodies at the Farm Shop or just relax at the Café with a well-earned cup of tea.
By now you should have a had a good taste of life in and around Market Drayton, but if you still have time to spare, why not try out one of Market Drayton’s more unusual features, the Outdoor Swimming Pool (summer only) located just at the bottom of Phoenix Bank.
Outdoor Pool open every day 21st July – 31st August, 11:00 – 16:00 (weather permitting – check with Centre for confirmation)