” And so they came to Ludlow, which some say is the fairest country town in England. In the twelfth century its walls were pierced with seven gates of which only one now remains, but everything else about it today is overshadowed by its magnificent castle, a memorial to the days when its courtyards echoed to the ring of steel and armoured knights rode over the drawbridge to fight the marauding Welsh.” Malcolm Saville, 1958
(click on an image to enlarge)
Last Monday the weather was so good that I popped out for a stroll around Ludlow Castle. This is a ruin, but quite an interesting one, and it dominates the skyline from the river side of the town. It has a combination of architecture from Norman, Medieval and Tudor times. Parts date from the 11th century when built by Walter de Lacy.
It was enlarged by Roger Mortimer in the 14th century and has been in the hands of the Earls of Powis since 1811. The castle was a seat of government for Wales for a time and it was involved in the Wars of the Roses. Often events are held in the castle such as the Christmas Medieval Fayre (late November) and the Ludlow Festival held in the summer which features an open-air production of Shakespeare.
Starting in the castle gardens at the end of Castle Square (where the open market is held at least three times a week) , this walk takes you down Dinham, past a few Georgian houses and this timber-framed example which must have been a public house once as there is a Welsh Harp hanging outside. Then exit right through the outer castle wall.
After leaving the path next to the outer wall you find yourself above the River Teme and Dinham Bridge. With the castle behind you, turn right along a dirt track which leads around the base of the castle. This leads to a lovely bench where you can rest and admire the beautiful views.
Unless you have the feet of a goat, and I don’t, you need to turn round here and head back to the archway, then make your way down hill and around the castle on a lower level path.
The path splits and you can head even further down to the river and the Dinham bridge and a lovely café where you can have lunch, or tea and cake or simply an ice-cream. But we are going to carry on up the hill and make our way around the castle back to the square.
This is a very short walk, but it can take a while, if like me, you stop to look at the views, take photos and sit and enjoy the sun. At then end of the walk, near the square you’ll find another bench to rest your feet, before completing the loop.
Have a final glimpse of the castle through the gates. If you want to enter it will cost £5 per adult or more for special events like Knight Jousting or the Food Festival. There’s lots to explore inside the grounds and you can climb the towers for spectacular views over the town and countryside. Maybe another time 🙂
I’m combining Cee’s Which Way Challenge with Jo’s Monday Walk this week as they seem to complement each other.