Spring always turns that winter frown upside down. While out on a walk recently, Lucy slowed me down to hear the distinctive birdsong of the chiffchaff, whose arrival marks spring and more smiles! Enjoying the great birdsongs and the beautiful colour in gardens and, of course, those bluebells. Our local cafés and restaurants are bustling as we choose to hang out and chat more because spring makes us feel good and so much more positive. While we have the momentum and fired up energy, think of doing something different.
1. Book dinner and a movie at Ludlow Assembly Rooms
Going to dinner and a movie doesn’t have to mean driving to bigger cities and towns. The newly refurbished Ludlow Assembly Rooms have films and cultural events to satisfy the most ardent cinephile, drama lover and culture enthusiast. The only snag is that events are gone in a flash. Guides to What’s On are available online, or you can pick up printed editions at the venue or in stores around town. So it’s best to plan and, at the same time, book a table at Bill’s Cafe next door or at the Blue Boar. CSONS has late Friday nights as well. Films scheduled for May include Belfast with Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds on 4 May and the Souvenir II with Tilda Swinton and daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne. Go here for the complete list of movies at the Assembly Rooms in May.
2. Find garden inspiration
Numerous green-fingered events are taking place to help you bring zest to your garden. Walking around someone else’s gardens can inspire; there’s the Spring Plant Fair at Broxwood Court near Pembridge on Wednesday, 27 April. Beginning 1 May, the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust Gardens will begin its summer run of private gardens with the Leasowes 10-acre garden in Shrewsbury. You’ll have 10 acres to roam and revel in full spring colour with Rhododendrons and Azaleas in bloom, beautifully planted borders and an arboretum with unusual trees set in a valley connected to a series of five small lakes. Dogs on leads are welcome. A bit closer to home is Stokesay Court, which will have its 20 acres open on the afternoon of 29 May for visitors to stroll around its lake, fountain, grotto, pools and cascades. Check out this small trust’s complete programme.
Date for your diary: 19 June – the Secret Gardens of Ludlow annual fundraising event where owners of 11 private gardens – within walking distance of the Buttercross – open their gates to the public for a £10 fee is always a popular event. There are three new gardens on the roster for regular attendees and a few that have not been accessed for five years. Visitors can expect a “diversity in size, style and aspect; they range from a small riverside garden specialising in cut flowers to spacious formal gardens with lawns to die for, and everything in between.” There will be tea and homemade cakes, ice creams, a Prosecco bar and plants from Mellington Nurseries on sale in various gardens, and light jazz on the lawn.
3. Make art a part of your spiritual life
As big fans of arts and crafts, we are glad to see Westhope College is back, offering its full spectrum of crafty loveliness. Just a 20-minute drive from Ludlow town centre, its courses genuinely feed the soul from floristry, glass, jewellery, papercraft, photography, and soft furnishings to pampering and straw work. It’s in an idyllic location too. If you don’t want to make art but are happy to just look at it for spiritual fulfilment, we suggest several exhibitions now in town. The Ludlow Arts Society exhibition at St Laurence’s Church features 200 artists and more than 40 artists, and Twenty Twenty Gallery April has its ‘Collage’ Exhibition through mid-May. You may also be interested in owning a piece of art and you may well be surprised that it is more affordable and accessible now as galleries like Twenty Twenty offer interest-free financing options through the ‘Own Art Scheme‘.
4. Spring clean and fix it
Whether you do your spring cleaning with military precision in one day or take it in small chunks over weeks, you may need to decide whether to bin something or replace it. There is another option, however, and that is to repair it! Our friendly Ludlow Repair Cafe runs four times a year, where you can drop off one item from 9:30-12:30, and they’ll see if they can fix it. The next date is Saturday 30th April at Ludlow Elim Church on Lower Galdeford. It’s free, but donations are welcome and will go to the DEC Ukraine Appeal. Contact them by email at email@example.com. In the meantime, if you want to revitalize things after your spring clean, there are two new stores in town for you to explore: Velvet Fern, located in the market square and Ludlow Vintage at 3 Corve St.
6. Hit the water, rowing
Our rivers and tributaries require attention, as the latest news tells us. At this time of year, when we turn our attention to the outdoors, spending time on the river comes into focus. Hopefully, the more people who visit, use and enjoy our rivers, the more voices can be raised to make our government and water companies take action and clean up our rivers. If keeping our rivers clean is something you care about, learn more here. In the meantime, consider joining an activity group like Cycling, Canoeing, Walking and Cake group ran by our very own Point2 Guides’ author, Andy Stevenson. It’s a friendly group which does what it says on the tin but you need to apply to be a member. They do fun stuff and best of all, activities are offset by cake! Should you become a member, you can sign up for their Cakey Canoes 2022 event, which takes place on the bank holiday weekend of 27 August on Hay-on-Wye. Andy describes “camping, campfires, foodiness, drinkies, canoeing and rambling chats as we while away the nights by the fire just up above the River Wye.” Take a look on Facebook.
Our events page is a great place to advertise all your upcoming events. it’s a simple form to sign up. Let our readers know what’s on!