A safe haven for Catholics escaping persecution and the site of a famous royal visit, Boscobel House & The Royal Oak is packed full of hidey-holes to discover and a ruined priory just a short walk through the charming field is the perfect spot for an autumn wandering. Step across the courtyard and a dedicated 1940’s tearoom greets you in quirky style for a sit down after your walk. Check out what we go up to in the next instalment of our English Heritage Challenge.
Entering in the courtyard you are greeted by your first sight of the house with the lovely tearoom to your right. Bear in mind that the main house is not accessible for solo wanderings whilst the organised tours are on but these can be joined for a full talk-through of the history of the house. If you have just missed the tour start, turn right and follow the house around for a lovely garden walk with an unusual hut perched on the mound.
Reach the rear of the house and you will be rewarded by an impressive view of the main building. Take a look at the tower and see if you can spot the face arranged within its exterior before turning to walk through the gate on your right.
Here starts your journey walking in the footsteps of monarch Charles II as he escaped from Cromwell’s men after defeat in the battle of Worcester in 1651. Previously packed full of oak trees that hid the way, an ancestor of the tree that hid the king from Cromwell’s patrols sits within the grounds surrounded by a protective fence. Venture further and the path takes you to an additional site where he sought refuge before fleeing to the house. White Ladies Priory sits ruined but still atmospheric and free to visit to any who walk its grounds. Reverse your journey and you will arrive back at the house, ready to take your tour.
The house itself is packed full of sights to discover with frequent reference to the monarch’s visit there, including the very priest’s hole (hidden nook) in which he spent a very uncomfortable night in hiding (one of two).
- Top Sights: Seek out the hidden nooks used to hide Catholic priests and followers of the faith and take a wander across the field to the White Ladies Priory.
- Famous Guests: Charles II hid here on his escape to France spending time in both a tree and the attic priest’s hole.
- Don’t Miss: The 1940’s tea room and the second-hand ‘trust’ book shop in the main house.
- The Walk: Around 15 minutes across farmland to the priory.
- Opening Times & Info Here
Looking for another adventure nearby? Take a wander to Croxdon Abbey, just a short drive away for a freebie trip. Check out out challenge so far with the run-down of every step on our English Heritage journey here. And be sure to check back soon for our latest wanderings.