Lying in the heart of the Shropshire Hills, Church Stretton is renowned for its outdoor pursuits of rambling or hiking, biking and even wild swimming. It is less well known for its rich cultural life. However, there are a year-round range of performances appealing to residents and visitors alike.
Arts Alive supply a rich variety of films to be shown in Flicks in the Sticks venues in Church Stretton and four surrounding villages. In January, for example, there is a choice of no less than seven films, including Downton Abbey (PG), The Railway Children Return (PG), and Phantom of the Opera (12). These film showings are listed in the monthly community magazine, Stretton Focus.
From Autumn through to Spring, there are monthly live musical performances at the Silvester Horne Institute. In February, for example, there is a visit from one of the most popular bands in the Marches, Little Rumba accompanied this time by Jess Hall, a Welsh singer and songwriter. By contrast, in April, the Budapest Café Orchestra are performing. There is also an active local amateur dramatic society, which performs at this venue. Full details can be found on www.silvesterhorneevents.co.uk
The cultural highlight of the year is the long-running Church Stretton Arts Festival at the end of July and the beginning of August. This two-week event attracts both national and international musical performers and speakers, run in conjunction with an Art & Craft Exhibition, featuring over a hundred local artists and craftsmen. See www.strettonfestival.org.uk for details of the programme.
The Mayfair Community Centre has an exciting programme of live Theatre and Music Screenings from the National Theatre and elsewhere, starting this month with a showing of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Full details are available on the Mayfair website www.mayfaircentre.org.uk
So, for visitors exploring the town and surrounding area, there are a variety of entertainments on offer, perhaps preceded by a meal at one of the well-regarded pubs or restaurants in the town and surrounding villages. www.churchstretton.co.uk