Thursday, 1 June 2017

If I could make it to the border...

As I mentioned previously, we are just back from a relaxing but busy week based in a little village on the border of England and Wales, just north of Shropshire

It was probably one of our shortest drives to a holiday destination, just under two hours door to door, but we made a day of it and went up via Ludlow. Travelling through Shropshire is always relaxing as there is never much traffic it is so sparsely populated, and the scenery is lovely.

We finally arrived at our cottage around 4.30 with a slashed tyre, after being forced backwards down a very narrow and winding lane by an impatient tractor driver, the steep banking of the lane had hidden rocks and we thought much more damage had been done than just the tyre, which was making a cartoony hissing noise as it rapidly deflated!

Even more annoyingly, after we finally got around the tractor, we discovered he had just passed a wide gateway, it was literally 40 feet behind him.

Thankfully, the cottage had full wifi, so we managed to get details for a couple of local companies, one of whom said he would stay open for us, after we explained what had happened. Half an hour later, we were back at the cottage with four fully functioning tyres, and ready for tea, bed and the thought of what to do on our first full day.   

 Day 1 and we decided on a trip to Chirk Castle, a grade 1 listed 13th century property managed by the National Trust

Chirk was built around 1295 for Roger Mortimer de Chirk, and was part of a collection of castles built around North Wales for King Edward I.

Roger Mortimer served Edward I, then Edward II, who made him Justiciar of all Wales. Unfortunately, ambition got the better of him and he took up arms with his nephew against the king and was thrown into the Tower of London where he died.

Chirk castle appears to be rather cursed for thereafter it was gifted to favoured subjects, and then taken back by the crown when those subjects disgraced themselves. At one point the owner was Richard III, and we all know that didn't end well!  

  Impressive weaponry in the hall

Fab painted ceilings

Gorgeous long gallery, with wooden floor

This suit of armour freaked me a little, I didn't want to take a photo right next to it, so I took this while it wan't looking at me!

Well stocked library

The best place was the tower and dungeons, I loved the bare stone walls and the fact all the rooms were still intact, it really had a feel of how life would have been all those centuries ago

However, on my way down to the dungeons, which are around 30 feet below ground level, I felt a bit cold, I arrived at this dungeon, as you can see there's a window shaft which leads to the main castle yard. I couldn't go any further down the staircase, it was a bit spooky and I do believe I came up those well worn dungeon steps in a world record time!

I've since found out the place is haunted, and I'm so pleased I didn't go down to the bottom of the staircase!

Back to the safety of the great outdoors, and we meandered around the grounds, admiring the English bluebells

The topiary and manicured lawns

and the statues 

We sat and admired the gardens and view of nearby Chirk for a while, then made our way back to the cottage to prepare for day 2.

Castle haha and steam from the nearby Mondelez (Cadbury's to British readers) factory.


  1. Chirk Castle looks fascinating, that ceiling is stunning! No wonder you didn't want to hang around in the dungeons after seeing that photo you took in Somerset.(?)

  2. Shropshire is lovely, isn't it, and Ludlow is one of my favourite places! Never been to Chirk Castle but it looks really interesting, although I wouldn't have gone down in that dungeon either. The very thought gives me the heebie-jeebies! Looking forward to seeing more of your holiday adventures! xxx

  3. Driving from Walsall to Chester via Shropshire is one of our nicest journeys to vintage fairs!
    Chirk Castle looks great, almost like a film set in it's castle-y perfection! xxx

  4. It's a fabulous part of the world... We had an amazing holiday a few years ago in a cottage near Welshpool. Lovely scenery and fantastic walking! Jx


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