A food and drink festival is held in Ludlow twice a year. In spring and autumn. In addition a regular outdoor market is held every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; a local produce market twice a month on a Thursday and sometimes there is a craft market on a Sunday. I have posted some of the window displays for the festivals, now let’s take a look at some of the stalls:
I quite like a “Mojito” cocktail. Preferably in a glass.
Sausages, Sausage Rolls and Pies
Even those delightful heart-shaped boards can be bought from the market.
Plenty of eggs to go around.
Jams and Preserves
and with so many jams and chutneys you are spoiled for choice.
…so many other delights
So drink up…
and ❤ your local market!
Lisa of the blog NorthWest Frame of Mind has decided to run a different project over the next 24 weeks. To try to show what is happening in different parts of the world (if you all join in) at a particular time of day. If you would like to participate you have until next Saturday midnight to post a photo or write about what is happening in your part of the world. This week is between 09:00 – 10:00. I hope you’ll join in! See links for more details.
I have written several posts about Ludlow Castle, but now that we are in the middle of the night perhaps it is time for a slightly darker tale?
The castle is reputed to be haunted by the twelfth century Marion de la Bruyere. Legend suggests that the fair damsel Marion, who lived within the castle walls, was besotted by a knight called Arnold de Lisle who was an enemy of the castle’s lord, Josse de Dinant. Although he had been captured together with Walter de Lacy during a previous attack on the castle, de Lisle persuaded Marion into giving him a piece of knotted linen which the men used to escape from their prison.
One fateful night some time later when de Dinant was absent, Marion sent Arnold a secret message saying that the castle was almost empty and that she would leave a rope dangling for him to climb in. De Lisle, who was more intent on capturing the castle than romance, gained access to the castle and left the rope for a hundred of de Lacy soldiers to climb in and capture the castle, murdering the sleeping garrison in their beds. Marion, whilst in the arms of her lover, was woken by the screams of the dying men and realised that she had been betrayed. She snatched her lover’s sword from the table beside her and ran it through him, then filled with grief and shame she threw herself from the Pendover or Hanging Tower.
Stories vary somewhat regarding the ghost itself. Some say if you visit the tower at dusk on quiet evenings her ghost can be seen, but if you go on the anniversary of her death you can hear her scream as she falls to the rocks below.
(Sorry Lisa, I struggled with this time period – but things can only get better…)
Lisa of the blog NorthWest Frame of Mind has decided to run a different project over the next 24 weeks. To try to show what is happening in different parts of the world (if you all join in) at a particular time of day. If you would like to participate you have until next Saturday midnight to post a photo or write about what is happening in your part of the world. This week is between 03:00 – 04:00. I hope you’ll join in! See links for more details.
“May comes sweet and complete in every detail.
Along every lane and hedgerow bank
spring a thousand small and seldom
considered things – Nature’s embroidery,
to finish off her festal robe to perfection…
Such hedgerows in May are everybody’s garden…”
~ Flora Thompson in A Country Calendar
On Sunday when the sun was shining I thought I’d grab the camera and go for a walk along the Bread Walk, which is a walk alongside the River Teme, here in Ludlow. After the pavements of London it made a nice change to have the earth beneath my feet again, well not literally of course, though I do like bare-foot walking on grass or sand.
I have mentioned the Bread Walk before in my first ‘Guide to Ludlow‘ and basically it was an early form of the dole, where unemployed men were paid in bread and blankets to re-build the pathway, destroyed by flood, so they wouldn’t drink away all their wages in the inns on their way home.
We’ll start by walking through the Broadgate, the only surviving gate in the town (there were seven) and have a nosy at the container flowers grown outside the cottages in Lower Broadgate – they are kind of rivals in the Ludlow in Bloom competition held each year. I have to say they are looking good. But judging isn’t until June so these beauties will be long gone by then.
Now across the Ludford bridge, past the Charlton Arms, no stopping for a pint just yet, and round the corner, up the steps to Whitcliffe Common. The steps are very dry, which is unusual because I thought there had been rain whilst I was away. Anyway, dry is good as they can be slippery when wet with all the mud and leaves.
Onto flat ground and time for a breather as we admire, yet again, the view over the town. I don’t think I shall ever tire of this view. And today there is something different about it as the May Fair is in town and you can just about make out something on the horizon called the ‘Explosion’ which swings people around like a giant mixer.
From here you can continue on the flat and across to Whitcliffe Common, and through the woodland, but we have done part of that walk before. Today I’m going down more uneven steps onto the path beside the Teme.
There’s always something different to see along this walk, wild flowers, birds, ducks, dogs swimming, sheep across the river in the paddock now with their lambs, reflections in the still water and the sound of birds trilling in the trees trying to make themselves heard above the rush of the mill weir.
The Mill Weir
Today there is some debris caught at the top of the weir, and two Labradors enjoying a swim. Looking up to the top of the cliff everything is a vivid new green – ferns and trees unfurling their spring shoots.
If you look ahead you can just glimpse the castle and Dinham bridge where the walk ends. It is a very short walk. Dandelions line the path here, but further on we’ll find some different wild flowers.
Above us is another path leading up to the common through the broadleaf woodland. The foliage is so lush at the moment it is difficult to see anyone. But look carefully.
The path curves around past clumps of forget-me-nots and alkanet (both members of the Boraginacae tribe) and patches of wild garlic amongst nettles and dock leaves and blackberry brambles.
As we reach the end of the walk there are two pathways leading up to Whitcliffe common. Packhorse Path known locally as the Donkey Steps, climbs steeply ahead of you through the woods. So called from the long-established folk tradition that it was used by packhorses to carry ore from the Clee Hills to the ironworks at Burrington.
The Mortimer Trail which is signed through the woods to your right is a long-distance footpath established in 1996. It runs for 30 miles from Ludlow castle to the centre of Kington in Herefordshire.
The River Teme powered several mills in the past controlled by a series of weirs. It remains a clean river, clear well-aerated waters support a healthy population of fish and aquatic insects. These are fed upon in turn by birds such as kingfisher, dipper, grey wagtail and heron which will sometimes be seen from the Bread Walk.
We are now at the end (or beginning) of the Bread Walk and to return to the centre of town you need to cross the Dinham Bridge.
Where you will get the classic Ludlow view of the castle and the Dinham Weir, which is the only place where I have seen a heron.
And if it is open, the Green Café on the Millennium Green serves a good lunch, but sadly not today.
Now head up Dinham where the Dinham Gate (demolished in 1786), a medieval postern gate with a chamber over an arched entrance through the town wall, faced towards Wigmore and Wales. Look out for a hedgerow of lovely fragrant lilac and then follow the old town wall back to the castle square.
A Living Wall
The Walk:Source of information from the Ludlow Civic Society blue plaque (Dinham Gate) and the information board commissioned by the Trustees of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common (Whitcliffe Common)
I’m combining Cee’s Which Way Challenge with Jo’s Monday Walk again this week as they complement each other.
” 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)
Start in the castle gardens
Choose a pathway
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.
Red cars seem popular
Always look up
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.
Through the arch
Towards the other arch
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.
Follow the track
And find the seat
And admire the views and the river below
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.
Looking back at the castle and arch
On the lower path
This way leads down to the river and Dinham Bridge
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.
Carry on up the hill
The imposing castle ruins
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.
The end is near
Maybe another rest?
And a quick peek through the gates.
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.