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The local area guide to living in Church Stretton

A thriving spa town during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, Church Stretton earned the nick of ‘Little Switzerland’ for its fresh air and rugged mountainous landscapes. Nestled in the heart of scenic Shropshire, Church Stretton is now known for its outdoor recreation, antique shops, and friendly locals. This market town draws in a high number of hillwalkers visiting the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Modern Church Stretton boasts twee tea rooms, cosy pubs, and attractive half-timbered architecture dating back to Tudor times.

Situated between the larger towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow, Church Stretton offers numerous amenities. There’s a church, schools, community centre, and retail shops. Silvester Home Institute is one notable community space, hosting exhibitions and public meetings. The historic market hall was torn down in the 1960s, but the site is now used as a town square with regular markets.

Information about the local residents

Tourism is a major industry in Church Stretton, with many visitors drawn to the Shropshire Hills and surrounding countryside for walking, cycling, and golf. The picturesque location lends itself well to independent businesses, and many Church Stretton residents work or operate retail outlets, bed and breakfasts, or cafes to serve the tourist trade. Many shops choose to sell fair trade products, as Church Stretton became a ‘Fairtrade Town’ in 2011.

With a reputation as a spa town and a number of community amenities, Church Stretton is also a popular retirement destination. The population is a bit older on average than the rest of England. Out of 6332 residents over the age of 15, 3591 are over the age of 55. There are 3108 households in total, with a blend of retirees, families, and professionals.

Nearby schools

Families in Church Stretton and the surrounding villages are served by two schools in the town. At the primary level, there’s St Lawrence Church of England Primary, which offers education for children between the ages of 4 and 11. As of this past academic year, there were 9 mixed-year classes. The school plans to open a tenth class by September of 2016.

For secondary school students, Church Stretton School provides a high quality of education. Both of the town’s schools have been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, and Church Stretton School is part of the South Shropshire Academy Trust.

Getting around

Whether you’re travelling by car, rail, or bus, there are extensive links in and around Church Stretton. The rail station offers trains running on the hour to Shrewsbury, which is just a 15 minute journey. Situated on the Manchester to Cardiff main line operated by Arriva Trains Wales, the station provides access to Chester, Birmingham, and North Wales via Shrewsbury. For bus services, there’s a 435 line between Ludlow and Shrewsbury. It stops on the hour in Church Stretton’s centre. There are also additional long distance buses, which call at Shrewsbury and Hereford.

When driving, motorists can access Church Stretton from the A49 trunk road. The town is 15 miles away from Ludlow, 13 miles away from Shrewsbury, or just over an hour’s drive into Birmingham. For air transfers, residents can access the Liverpool, Birmingham, or Manchester Airports. All three are within a two hour’s drive from Church Stretton.

Local shops

Visitors travel from far and wide to browse through the famous treasures of Church Stretton’s numerous antiques shops and markets. This includes the multi-storied Antiques Market as well as independent shops such as Old Post Office Antiques. Boasting a community spirit that befits a traditional market town, Church Stretton also offers an array of independent fashion boutiques, fair trade gift shops, and artisan products. Entertaining Elephants offers ethical clothing and locally sourced produce in a converted 18th century barn.

Services in town include hair salons, takeaways, bank branches, and pharmacies. Residents can do their daily shopping at the Spar or Co-operative supermarkets, and there is a visitor information centre and post office on the high street.

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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