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A beautiful hotel in a great location, lovely rooms and award-winning food.

Nestled in the rolling green Shropshire hills, Old Downton Lodge has been here so long it almost feels part of the landscape. It's a mixture of timbered medieval and Georgian houses, barns and outbuildings that have been ingeniously converted into one of the most comfortable rural boltholes imaginable – and with a restaurant that was recently voted one of the best 100 places to eat in the UK.

There are only has nine guest rooms, grouped around a herb- and flower-filled courtyard which provides an appealing sense of seclusion; there is a deliciously comfy sitting room fashioned out of the old stable, with a wood-burner and a bar squeezed into a corner, and a mighty timbered roof that echoes the look and feel of the guest rooms themselves. These are as different from each other as you might expect, from spaces that were once stables and barns, and as well as the high-timbered ceilings many have stone walls and wonderful stone floors covered with Turkish rugs. Some have en-suite showers, others have en-suite baths; but all have comfortable beds, including a couple of four-posters, and well-chosen bits and pieces of furniture – as well as Freeview TVs, CD and DVD players, tea and coffee-making facilities and all the stuff you would expect in a place of this standard. 

As for the location, it couldn't be better, with glorious walks and countryside right outside the door, and the medieval (and renowned foodie) town of Ludlow just a few minutes' away. However, Old Downton Lodge also has its own Michelin-listed, three-AA-rosette restaurant, atmospherically housed in the lodge's grand Norman hall, where chef Karl Martin prepares different tasting 5- and 7-course menus every night from Tuesday to Saturday – inventive seasonal affairs using local produce that are excellent value at £40–£50 a head.


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