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Ideas for Shropshire Please

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We have a week to get from the Manchester area to Porthleven in Cornwall and thought we would spend most of it in Shropshire since we've never lingered there before. Any suggestions for lovely vistas, great pubs, hidden detours, etc. would be greatly appreciated. We will be there from Sept. 20-27, 2014. We are a middle aged couple who have travelled throughout England but never explored this area. Thought Shrewsbury might be worth a day or two (I've enjoyed the Cadfael myteries). Seen great pictures of buildings in Ludlow. Have enjoyed Housman's poetry, would like to drive through scenery that inspired him. Could take a detour to Hay on Wye, I'm a book person, but would like to hear the opinion of someone who has been. We don't need to see the top ten tourist spots - whatever they are - unless others have been and found them worthwhile. We've benefitted from fodorite opinions in the past, so trust your wisdom. We are deliberately travelling in a diffferent way this time, without twenty five pages of itinerary, but definitely want to explore some well-found gems. Thanks for any help you can give.

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