Worcester; Friday, 28 April, 2006

Following a delicious and filling breakfast, I headed out from the B&B to Foregate street station to catch the train to Craven Arms on the English/Welsh borders, home to one of the best examples of the Marshes castles - Stokesay.

The castle is situated in a beautiful location surrounded on most sides by hills, but, thankfully, barely a mile from a railway station (though you do have to change trains in Hereford and wait 30 minutes!)

I spent nearly two hours looking around the castle and the neighbouring Norman chapel. With a filling lunch (and a slice English Heritage cake) inside me I wandered back to the station to catch the train one stop back down the line to Ludlow.

Ludlow is normally held up as the perfect example of a "quaint" English town with hundreds of medieval (looking at least) buildings, spoiled slightly by the travelling fairground which had set up in the town centre.

Ludlow church stands out for miles because of its sheer scale. Easily matching many smaller cathedrals in size and splendour, it is only one of the "Great Churches" of England (Division 1 to York Minster's Premier League!).

The main feature of the town is the ruins of the castle. Once the seat of power for much of the region and home to the courts it fell into ruin and is now a perfect example of what a ruined castle should look like!

With lots of random passageways and spiral staircases leading to different levels that you can get to and lots more staircases appearing a couple of floors up with no way of being reached the castle could easily provide hours of hide and seek fun! From the top of the tallest tower the views over the town are only beaten by those that must be visible from the tower of the church. The countryside that Ludlow nestles in is a spectacular landscape of rolling hills and river valleys with a different landscape whichever direction you look.

Having spent a long time exploring the castle I wandered back through the town taking in all the "Olde Worlde Charm" before making my way back to the station to spend 20 minutes waiting for the train in some beautifully warm early evening spring sunshine.


Sunny Sunny
Warm (10-20C, 50-68F)