Travel into the Shropshire hills and a surprising sight will greet you. Perched on top of an impressive stone base is a colourful yellow timber building, a cheery contrast to the quaint churchyard that accompanies it and an unusual sight to say the least. Our English Heritage Challenge took us to the fantastic Stokesay Castle this week, read on for everything we got up to along the way and be sure to check up on our challenge here.
Wander through the churchyard to a gate, opening up to lovely greenery and the magnificent sight of the castle entrance before you. Taller guests might need to duck as they pass through the beautifully small wooden door after crossing over the former moat. What you find within is nothing short of magical. A fairytale courtyard framed with impressive stone and timber buildings and adorned with tumbling foliage for an atmospheric effect.
Follow the riddle challenge for a lyrical view of the castle with a few surprising sights or, simply explore its lovely interiors yourself. It’s not hard to see what an incredible sight this place must have been in its time having gone through so many different uses with the window frames still intact and a rickety staircase to the upper floors still in place to access the additional chambers and give you a glimpse out at the grand hall, still carrying the enchanting remnants of its past.
Those in search of a beautiful tea room will not be disappointed here. Lying just off the car park is a newly adapted cottage structure serving as the castle’s eatery. Head here for the perfect teas in charming surrounds and a range of lovely foods to enjoy.
Without a doubt, Stokesay Castle was one of the most colourful castles I have visited and well worth the visit. With a few hours of sunlight left, we decided to check out what other English Heritage properties there were nearby. So, we hopped in to the car to discover what else we could find…
Sat on the hillside overlooking the greenery, Clun Castle offers a lovely (if steep) walk up to it, but sits as a dramatic ruin or arches and tower walls suggesting former grandeur and a single walkway into the centre to take it all in.
Just a few minutes down the road, Acton Burnell Castle, a fortified manor house occupies a secluded spot just outside of the village of Acton Burnell. The castle is an enchanting 13th century marvel and the perfect place to take a picnic amid the magic of it all. Both Acton Burnell Castle and Clun Castle are free to explore for anyone in the area so the perfect place for an afternoon trip.