Thomas Telford's indelible mark on Shropshire is unmistakable. The Shropshire Union canal, masterfully crafted by Telford, meanders just a stone's throw away from the centre of Market Drayton. It offers boaters a chance to moor, explore the town, and replenish supplies. For landlubbers, an unforgettable towpath walk awaits, including the awe-inspiring 40-step aqueduct. Truly breathtaking! If you're a "gongoozler" (a canal enthusiast), the town centre provides a splendid vantage point for observing the canal's activity. Market Drayton, known as the spiritual home of gingerbread, has safeguarded its traditional recipe for over two centuries. Rumored to be an ingredient, locals even indulge in dipping it in port before savoring each bite. The town's abundance of damson trees gives rise to delectable treats like damson jam, damson cheese (a savory relish), lamb and damson pie, and, of course, damson gin. Market Drayton is also synonymous with cows, as the bustling population of 15,000 bovines tirelessly contribute to the production of yogurts and quiches for Muller Dairy and Palethorpes. The town's renowned native, Robert Clive (Clive of India), even bestowed the French with a culinary revelation. His "little pies," precursors to mince pies, were crowned the Guinness Best Pub Food Award. The people of Pezenas, France, devour a staggering 150,000 of these delicacies each year. As a young boy, Clive exhibited his entrepreneurial spirit by running a protection racket among local shops and scaling the church tower. These early endeavors seemingly prepared him for his historic defeat of the French and the conquest of a significant portion of India, which brought him immense wealth and secured the British Empire's spice routes. It is through this intriguing connection that ginger became an accessible commodity in Britain. Amidst this tapestry of culinary delights, Market Drayton showcases splendid architecture, with its town centre adorned by half-timbered and red brick buildings. The stunning 14th-century church
, constructed from local sandstone, graces the skyline and serves as the resting place of Thomas and Elizabeth Bulkeley, distant relatives of three United States presidents: Calvin Coolidge, George Bush, and George W. Bush.