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Living in Ludlow: The Local Area Guide

Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England close to the Welsh border. Well known for its historic beauty, it had a key part to play in medieval relations between the neighbouring countries and was also a major centre for certain trades. Today, it is among the larger towns in county with a population of 11,000 and attracts many tourists every year, drawn to its architecture and atmosphere. The poet Sir John Betjemen described it as 'probably the loveliest town in England.'

Ludlow has a memorable medieval walled section, which was originally constructed soon after the Norman conquest. It overlooks the town on a hill, atop which is the beautiful Ludlow Castle. Throughout the town there are an astonishing 500 listed buildings from various eras including medieval, Tudor and Victorian times.

During much of its history Ludlow was an important market town, and particularly involved in the wool and cloth trades. These industries began to quieten by the 17th century, but the town coped as travelers and rich families escaping urban areas began to visit and settle. This has continued today, with the town a very popular tourist attraction.

Particularly attractive are the ample walking and cycle opportunities - stretching around the town are miles of peaceful countryside to explore, including the pretty Clee Hills, Mortimer Forest and the Welsh Marches.


Ludlow's population of 11,000 are, on average, slightly older than elsewhere in England with a mean age of 42.6 (compared with 39.6). Half of the population are over 45, while 28% are under the age of 25.

The town has a fairly wealthy social grade split. More than half of households belong to social grades ABC1, which means the main earner works as in a professional or managerial role. Education rates are also fairly high - just 23% of residents have no qualifications, while nearly 30% have reached Level 4 education.

A large number of people are homeowners. 38.6 of households are owned outright, and 30.6% are owned with a mortgage. Only a small fraction, 13.1%, are rented privately and there are not many properties earmarked as social housing at all. This is likely related to the relatively high rate of employment - just 2.2% of people in Ludlow claim Jobseekers Allowance.


Ludlow is a popular place to live for families with young children, and this is not just related to the beauty of the town and the array of fantastic outdoor activities available. There are three very good primary schools within the town - an infant school, a junior school and a full primary school, which takes children up to the age of 11.

Ludlow Church of England School is the town's main secondary school, and it takes children up to the age of 16. It educates both girls and boys and is run very successfully according to Ofsted, by the Shropshire Council and the Church of England Diocese of Hereford. For the over 16s there is also Ludlow College, which was first established in the 1200s.


Ludlow has some very good transport links for a small town. The railway station, present since the mid Industrial Revolution, offers services run by Arriva Trains Wales. There are two trains running hourly from Monday to Saturday in both directions, and slightly fewer on Sundays. It offers direct services to Cardiff, Newport, Shrewsbury and up to Manchester Piccadilly.

For motorists, the A49 is the best linking road and is close by, having been diverted around the town in the late 1970s. Cyclists will find themselves well served too, with the National Cycle Network route 44 within easy reach.

Amenities and shopping

Ludlow has a fantastic selection of shops, boutiques, cafes, pubs, restaurants and bars. It has several excellent independent stores offering locally produced wares and much more. There are some particularly good antique shops, book stores and gift shops.

As a market town Ludlow does not disappoint either. There is a traditional market three times every week, as well as a Wednesday market from April to September and monthly farmers markets.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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