With a week of annual leave falling in the UK Easter holidays this year, an unorganised me had yet again left firm travel plans to the very last minute. With a hopeful week of sun heading England’s way, where better to explore than the land of cream teas and pirates?
Perched on a dramatic craggy hillside overlooking the Cheshire countryside sits a mammoth feat of Medieval architecture. A windy Saturday outing took us to Beeston Castle for a weekend wandering and some bracing winds. Having been on the books for a while, its was time to tick this atmospheric ruin off our challenge checklist.
The centre of Roman living 2,000 years ago, Wroxeter was once the fourth largest city in Roman Britain. Inspired by our recent trip to the forts of the north and the spectacular Hadrian’s Wall, we decided to explore some Roman sights a bit closer to home.
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.
Having become members of English heritage last year (and setting ourselves a challenge), our guidebook went with us EVERYWHERE. From sitting on a car park overlooking Hadrian’s Wall thinking ‘where next?’ to stopping off at a Midlands tea room for the day’s inspiration. Being particularly precious about books there is nothing better than a crisp edition and that new-book smell. But this is no ordinary book.
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.
Spanning the entire width of Britain, Hadrian’s Wall was once a colossal construction peppered with vast Roman forts housing soldiers and their communities. A lot of the wall now lies in ruins with some parts gone forever, but the remnants that do remain give a fascinating insight into what used to be there. Having headed north for the weekend to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, we decided to discover the sights of the ancient and mammoth monument for ourselves. Read on for what we got up to.
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.
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.
Built in the 12th century, Kenilworth has gone through some pretty big changes, most notably when the resident Dudley was wooing Elizabeth I, with its beautiful gardens and charming aviary it really was the perfect place to set off to on a crisp Autumn day. Leaves crunching underfoot, the low sun offsetting the castle ruins and building to dramatic effect and a Lord of the Rings ceremony taking place in the gatehouse, this day trip turned out to be the perfect setting.