The beautiful and historic village of Upper Arley
Upper Arley was designated a conservation area in 1991 and is based upon a rural hamlet set on the sides of the valley of the River Severn. A settlement dating back over 1,000 years. Upper Arley was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 and King James granted a charter in 1606 to the inhabitants of the village.
Today forming part of The Arley Estate, Upper Arley was formerly owned in the early 19th century by the Earls of Mountnorris and the heirs the Viscounts Valentia. In the late 20th century, its ownership then passed to the philanthropist and iron and steel businessman Roger Turner, who bought the estate after selling his family’s tube making business the Wellington Steel Tube Co. Ltd.
In the past Upper Arley has had a reputation for cider making and has been noted for lampreys, fish, oats, wine and agriculture; which today continues to form an important part of rural life with 4 farms on the estate.
A peaceful local community, Upper Arley has a vibrant local school, community centre, village shop and post office with tea room serving locally made ice cream, village church (St Peter’s) and village pub (The Harbour Inn).
The church of St Peter’s in Upper Arley
St Peter’s, Upper Arley is grade 2 listed and seats around 180 -200 people. Part of the church dates to the 1100s, with a Victorian extended chancel, vestry and porch. Built of local stone with many attractive features; the church and surrounding graveyard is open every day.
The old river ferry and current footbridge
Originally the old river ferry was the most northerly of the Severn ferries in Worcestershire and the last in the county to operate on the River Severn. The earliest references to the ferry are in the Close Rolls of 1323 and, in 1331, when it was referred to as ‘the Ferry within the bounds of the Chase of Edmund de Mortimer, Earl of Wyre’. In 1602 there is a reference to ‘a passage called the Ferry boate’ in the possession of the Lyttletons, who were Lords of the Manor of Arley at that time.
The ferry ran across the river until 1964 when it was replaced by the current footbridge. Take the footbridge to Upper Arley’s village pub The Harbour Inn or Arley Station.
Things to do at The Arley Estate
Fishing on the River Severn
Members of The Birmingham Anglers Association Ltd are permitted to fish on both banks here for about two miles, between the boundary markers. Barbel, Pike, Chub, Roach, Dace and a few other species are native to the area.
Parking is available in The Designated Riverside Carpark (fees apply). The carpark closes early evening and night fishing is not permitted.
Water sports on the River Severn
One of the most beautiful parts of the county to enjoy river sports. Kayaks and canoes can be hired from a number of local companies including canoes from River Severn Canoes with a choice of routes to follow between Bridgnorth and Upper Arley (4 hour paddle) or Hampton Lode and Upper Arley (2 hour paddle).
The shallow banks and slip way allow for easy access to the river at Upper Arley.
There are many walks around Arley at four miles in length; The Upper Arley Circular Walk really is a local favourite.
This waymarked circular trail starts in the picturesque Worcestershire village of Upper Arley, nestling on the bank of the River Severn.
From the start point at the site of the old ferry crossing you are guided downstream along the river bank, through ancient woodland and sites of special scientific interest onto Trimpley reservoirs and eventually back to Upper Arley via permissive paths. On route you will pass through a millennium orchard and a hidden Dell, in addition to the outer-lying grounds of Arley Arboretum and Arley House & Gardens.
Arley Station on The Severn Valley Railway
The historic Severn Valley Railway runs along the west bank of the River Severn. Board the majestic steam trains and travel in style to Bridgnorth or Kidderminster, stopping off at picturesque stations on route. Spot the stations that have appeared in a number of film and television productions.
West Midlands Safari & Leisure Park: With safari drive through, adventure theme park, land of the living dinosaurs, adventure, Ice Age and African Village, there is plenty to do for all the family.
Bridgnorth: Effectively two towns, High Town and the Low Town, connected by the steepest inland funicular railway in Britain. The Low Town was once a thriving port along the banks of the River Severn, while the High Town featured a castle (now ruins), the churches, and many fine 16th and 17th century mansion houses. Local markets operate in the High Town Friday to Sunday.
Ludlow: The historic town of Ludlow and the 11th century Ludlow Castle are situated on a cliff above the River Teme and are surrounded by the beautiful countryside of south Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.
Ludlow has a reputation for the quality of its food and drink with many excellent restaurants and cafes encouraged by the areas abundance of quality food & drink producers. This is showcased every September when the town is filled with food lovers from all over the UK, and beyond for the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival.
Holiday in Upper Arley
Why not make a holiday of it and stay in the beautiful village of Upper Arley. Choose From:
The Grange at Arley (opens 1 September 2020)
The Grange at Arley is a beautiful Grade II listed Georgian House which has been lovingly converted into 14 luxury bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms.
Each room has been uniquely designed in Farrow & Ball paint colours, with inspiration for the decor scheme taken from the beautiful purple wisteria flower that grows up around the facade of the building.
With 3 four poster rooms to choose from (two of which are dog friendly), a fully accessible room (also dog friendly) as well as garden rooms with private patios and feature suites, there is something for everyone.
The Boathouse at Arley (from October 2020)
With ground floor entry flowing seamlessly into a bright and airy open plan kitchen-diner and living room, with floor to ceiling views of The River Severn, this picture-perfect holiday let is decorated in soft blue and green tones inspired by its waterside setting.
2 peaceful bedrooms offer a twin room (with full sized single beds) and master double with a feature four poster bed. The luxury bathroom comprises heritage suite with rainfall and separate riser shower.
The Old Gaol at Arley (from October 2020)
With upper level entry The Old Gaol (old English for jail) was formerly the building where criminals were held in detention in Upper Arley! Now lovingly restored with open beams, separate kitchen-diner, living room with river views and luxury bathroom with roll top bath and handheld shower.
Decorated in warm neutrals with black accents to represent the old cell bars, this sumptuous home-from-home is totally unique.
2 character bedrooms offer a twin room (with full sized single beds) and master with feature kingsize four poster bed and chandelier.
The booking line for all of these properties will open soon from Arley House & Gardens website . Click here to visit their designated accommodation page.
Times & Prices
Seasonal opening times and prices for visiting Arley Arboretum.
How to Find Us
If you are planning a visit but are unsure how to find us click here for details.
Garden Tea Room
Enjoy freshly prepared food and a well deserved drink in our Garden Tearoom.
Purchase an Annual Passs and enjoy the stunning seasonal beauty of Arley Arboretum all year round.