Shropshire is an unusual county – unlike most in the UK, it doesn’t contain a single city.

Perhaps that’s something that makes it unique?

The county town of Shrewsbury is ancient – it’s full of wobbly Tudor buildings and tiny dark passages.You certainly learn how to create your own entertainment when the nearest city is an hour away..

Shrewsbury’s library is a converted public school and its railway station sits in the shadow of a castle that dates back to around 1050.

If you’re after a modern experience, you can travel to nearby Telford, a new town of office blocks and shopping malls that sits alongside the Ironbridge Gorge, known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Shropshire is proud of having the world’s first skyscraper.

The Ditherington Flax Mill in Shrewsbury was the first iron-framed building in the entire world, giving it the title ‘the grandfather of all skyscrapers’.

Built in 1796, this Grade I listed building is known locally as The Maltings after its later and better known use.

We remember endless school trips to Blists Hill.

Everyone who went to school in Shropshire will have been taken to Blists Hill Victorian Town (home of the BBC’s ‘Victorian Pharmacy‘) at least once.

And then there was Acton Scott, home of the ‘Victorian Farm‘ TV programme.

Basically, if the BBC wants a Victorian background, they come to Shropshire.

History is everywhere and Darwin rules all.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that history only exists if it can be connected in some way to Charles Darwin, especially in Shrewsbury.

Born and brought up in the town, Darwin’s legacy permeates everything from the shopping centre that bears his name to Quantum Leap, the sculpture that commemorates the Shrewsbury’s most famous son.

Summer officially ends when the last firework falls at the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

As the crowds make their way out of the Quarry at the end of the last day of the Flower Show in August, the most common thing you’ll overhear is ‘soon be Christmas!’

If you’ve been brought up in Shropshire, you’ll have an opinion on how to pronounce Shrewsbury – and other people will keep telling you you’re wrong.

Is it ‘Shrews-brie’ or ‘Shrowz-bury’?

Just to be awkward, I was born (and still live) here, and have always called it ‘Shoes-brie’.

Shropshire is full of art and culture.

The standard of the local art scene might come as a surprise to some.

There are galleries everywhere  – check out Twenty Twenty in Much Wenlock and The Qube in Oswestry.

We have renowned tattooists and brilliant foodies as well.

But no one knows where it is!

My favourite one recently is, ‘Shropshire? Isn’t that just north of Reading?’

Well yes, technically it’s north of Reading, but then so is more than half of the UK.

We’re all used to saying ‘it’s between Birmingham and Wales, halfway up the Welsh border’ then giving up when faced with blank looks.

Childhood holidays were inevitably to Wales.

Days out were to Barmouth (because it’s at the end of the main road to the coast), or Borth if your family were the adventurous types.

And Black Rock Sands for a week in the summer holidays.

If your parents decided you needed a bit of culture you probably went to Harlech Castle.

Shropshire in Middle Earth.

The Wrekin is one of Shropshire’s most recognisable landmarks.

Alongside the countryside around it, the hill is widely believed to have been an influence on Tolkien’s fictional landscape.

And everyone goes ‘all around the Wrekin’ Shropshire from time to time.

Nothing to do with the hill itself – rather, it’s a colloquialism describing a complicated journey or a convoluted story.

‘Did Aunty Jane tell you what happened?’ ‘Aye, but she went all round the Wrekin to get there!’