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Enjoy Shropshire with our great days out

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Ben Bentley launches a month-long campaign to highlight the county's many family-friendly attractions.

Ben Bentley launches a month-long campaign to highlight the county's many family-friendly attractions:

There is no Alton Towers. No Pepsi Max. No Nemesis. But sshh . . . don't tell everyone . . . Shropshire is a quiet, rural county full of quiet thrills.

And therein lies its strength and character in attracting visitors for some great days out.

  • See more of our great days out

It may not have theme park thrills, but a day out in Shropshire does have the potential to quite literally take your breath away. Whether it's a lung full of free fresh air atop the rolling hills of the Long Mynd, trying to blow down the Three Pigs' house at Wonderland in Telford, or stepping back in time for a ride on the Severn Valley Railway, Shropshire has so many great things to do for all the family.

With school well and truly out, and parents, groups and individuals looking to spend some quality time in the great outdoors, the Shropshire Star today launches its '31 Great Days Out In Shropshire' series.

Every day, we will be highlighting a different county attraction – many of them as cheap as chips, next to nothing or, indeed, free.

Being a largely agricultural county, there are lots of quality working farm attractions, developed as diversification programmes and which retain the charm and authenticity of a farm rather than having been turned into a commercialised sideshow.

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Simon McCloy, chief executive at Shropshire Tourism, says: "Shropshire has a fantastic mix of indoor and outdoor attractions so whatever the weather there's always something to do.

"As a relatively quiet, rural county there are few queues in Shropshire and even our paid-for attractions are very modestly priced, so you can have a great day out without the crowds and, importantly, without over-spending."

Which is rather good news if the purse strings are rather tight. A recent parental report told how many mums and dads dread the school summer holidays because of the extra costs incurred in keeping the kids amused.

But as Simon points out: "In tough economic climes, entertaining the kids during the school holidays in Shropshire doesn't have to cost a lot of money." Flying a kite and having a picnic on top of the Stiperstones, Long Mynd or The Wrekin costs next to nothing, and reacquainting oneself with the simpler pleasures in life can be eye-opening.

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You'll feel exhilarated by the walk up landmarks such as The Wrekin and amazed by the views from the top of these landmarks.

And a trip to the RAF Cosford Museum, for example, is free. If you're feeling Victorian, head to Blists Hill, one of the fabulous Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

"One of Shropshire's main strengths is also the diversity of our attractions," adds Simon. "Many cater for a wide age range – not just the young but the young at heart.

"Our attractions go the extra mile to bring experiences to life so you can get hands-on and interactive, whether it's Romans re-visiting Wroxeter or Victorians at Blists Hill.

"How about getting up close up personal with an alpaca at Ray's Farm in Bridgnorth?

"It's all here in Shropshire and there are special events taking place throughout August at many of our attractions.

"Organisations such as Shropshire Wildlife Trust also organise open days and kids activities to get them out in the great outdoors and keep them entertained and amused."

One of the great things about visitor attractions in Shropshire, says Simon, is the enthusiasm of the people who run them. They can make a difference between an ordinary day and a memorable one.

He adds: "Shropshire is lucky to have people working at our attractions that love the county and care about their visitors having a great time; they are rightly proud of what they have to offer." As part of tempting us to enjoy great days out in the county and Mid Wales, Shropshire

Tourism is encouraging county residents to take advantage of exclusive special offers for local attractions, as part of their 'Shropshire Days Out' promotion.

Claire Owen, senior marketing officer at Shropshire Tourism, adds: "For 2012 Shropshire Tourism has taken a fresh new look at promoting attractions and 'days out' to visitors and locals alike.

"We have launched a new guide called 'Shropshire Days Out' and a new website www.shropshiredaysout.co.uk which are proving to be very popular.

"The leaflet and website include special offer vouchers for participating local attractions including 'two for one entry' at Hawkstone Historic Park & Follies and 'Kids go free' at Wroxeter Roman City.

"There are nearly 20 special offers on the website for a variety of local attractions and we would encourage people in Shropshire to explore what's on their doorstep and take advantage."

Visit www.shropshiredaysout.co.uk to download vouchers and request a copy of the new visitor guide, which includes a handy map and interactive QR codes that link directly to the attractions own websites.

Simon McCloy adds: "There is no need to travel out of Shropshire when we have fantastic places to visit and things to do right here.

"Many of our attractions are family owned and run, and they have been for generations, which also adds to their character and appeal; they'll always be pleased to see you."

What are your favourite Shropshire destinations for a day-out? Let us know in the comments section below:

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