Much Wenlock is an attractive little town about 15km south-east of Shrewsbury. It has timber-framed houses and ruins of a 13th-century priory, but it is only really famous for being the birthplace of modern Olympic Games. What did you say ? Athens 1896 ? Well, that is not quite true. In 1850, Dr William Penny Brookes, a local resident with some knowledge of Ancient Olympics, decided that it might be a good idea to try similar games in their small town of Much Wenlock. And so did the Much Wenlock Olympic Games get started.
In 1890, French Baron Pierre Coubertin heard about the Wenlock Olympics, went there to see for himself, met the then elderly Dr Penny Brooks and got his inspiration to launch the worldwide modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.
The Much Wenlock Olympics are still held each year in July. For more information, visit the website of the Wenlock Olympian Society.
How to get there
Much Wenlock is on the A458, halfway between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth. Bus 435 and 436 between Shrewsbury and Ludlow stop at Much Wenlock (about 2h from Shrewsbury).