In the words of John Lennon, “another year over, and a new one just begun”. 2018 was a whirlwind of a year, I visited an island I had barely even heard of the year before, joined the English Heritage, and the National Trust, and finally got to visit my friend at home in Warsaw after a year of promising. With all of that ticked off my list I’m up and rearing to go for the year ahead but it is only proper that I should do a round up of my very favourite things I got up to in the last year. Read on for my top adventures of 2018.
Another weekend, another day trip. This weekend took us in and out of the Welsh border with a quick hop over for an hour or so later on in the day. Completely hidden from view from the road, we were beginning to doubt whether there really was a castle here at all. Where was the imposing fortress the guide book has promised us? Showing our cards we wandered up the bank and as we turned the corner, we suddenly realised what all of the fuss was about.
Working the weekend before Christmas is always a trial so when I got the Friday off, I jumped at the chance to get out of the house and do some exploring with my mum in tow. Having neglected my English Heritage Challenge of late, I thought it was only proper that one of their historical properties should be ticked off the list. Living in Staffordshire, I had a few options to head to, but when I spotted a property that would be free for my non-English-Heritage-member Mum, it seemed like the perfect place to head off to for a wet and windy day of exploring.
Open the door to this grand mansion and you will be transported to a dream of twinkling fairy lights, cosy reading corners and cat-cushions galore. Each corner adorned with a full fir, Wightwick Manor really goes to town during the festive season.
Exploring the lovely Kinver Edge today we headed off to something we have wanted to see for quite a while. Tucked away in the wilds, these unusual abodes were inhabited until as recently as the 1960’s and are carved into the rock face that surrounds them.
Perfectly placed among the Peak District National Park’s dramatic craggy heights is the Roaches. Home to the famous Winking Man formation and a former wallaby herd. This spot possess not only movie-worthy scenes, but also something that all great walks should have.
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.
Our English Heritage Challenge this week saw us hopping in the car off to Worcestershire to the beautiful Witley Court & Gardens to make the most of that lovely autumn sun among Witley’s jaw-dropping grounds. Check out how we got on below, and be sure to check out our challenge so far here.
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.
With its distinctive cultural heritage as the home of pottery, the Potteries offer an abundance of places to take tea using authentic locally-made pottery. Inspired by my weekend of pottery-based past-times I’ve rounded up my favourite places to take tea in Staffordshire.
This week, we decided to continue our English Heritage Challenge with a visit to Ashby de la Zouch Castle in Derbyshire. With a rainy morning on the cards we set out for our Sunday outing eqipped with coats and umbrellas and came back with ever-so-slightly soggy feet from walking the grassed castle grounds.
As lovers of all things history and castle-related, England and Wales are a treasure trove of days out and out-of-the-blue nerdy visits. That’s why, when visiting the lovely Kenilworth Castle recently we were more than taken in by the genius salesman that was the membership stand man. However, we also love a good bargain, so jumping on a year’s membership we decided to set ourselves a challenge.