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  • Writer's pictureKeef Hellinger

Blog 200 - Exploring the Historic Charm of Shropshire: Travel Blog A Week Away in Salop

Updated: May 3

Created by KeefH Web Designs , April 29th, 2024, 11.58 AM


A Travel Blog by KeefH Web Designs Motorhome trip No58: 22nd-27th April 2024


NOTTS-> Ludlow & Bridgenorth, Shropshire, Stokesay Castle & Boscobel House and Charles 2nd's Royal Oak -> NOTTS 278 miles


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INTRODUCTION

A travel blog

Stanmore Hall Campsite , Around the Lake, Nr Bridgenorth shot by KHWD
Stanmore Hall Campsite , Around the Lake, Nr Bridgenorth


DIARY

Was due to be 3 days in Ludlow and 3 days in Bridgenorth for us well known motorhomies.

Day one in Ludlow the Sunday was removed after 7 hours stint in A&E Nottingham for Keef and the Monday and Tuesday where we were due to meet up with friends didn't quite make it this year, must be an age thing as the assembled crew teeter on the edge of being all septuagenarians, wow that will be a lot of years, experience, knowledge and fun when we next get together around the table.

Anyhow here a summary of the days away

  • Mon 22nd April 2024 Travel to Ludlow Campsite

  • Tues 23rd April 2024 Catch bus into Ludlow from outside the site, Town Quiz, Coffee & cake at Costa in Tesco's near the station, town quiz, 6 hours 3 miles , great fun

  • Weds 24th April 2024 Leave Ludlow, Stokesay Castle then onto Bridgenorth campsite at Stanmore Hall

  • Thurs 25th April 2024 Took van into Bridgenorth, parked man street, funicular railway, castle gardens, east street, then on for carvery lunch at the Royal Oak Alveley #yummy

  • Fri 26th April 2024 Day of rest at the campsite, Peacocks, Great lake, Reading and relaxation, not really enough sunshine but we did sit out

  • Sat 27th April 2024 Travelled home via Boscobel House and White Sisters Priory and this time the REAL Royal Oak, did you know it is the most used name for British Pubs, a great story of Daring do....


PANORAMAS & ART WORK

These are a few of the shots KeefH Web Designs Artworks Inc shot for this travel blog. I have many more images to muse over in my Flickr Art Collection #artforartsake Note not sure about this but you may need a Flickr account (free join) to view those





FRIENDS

Such a shame we were due to be away in Ludlow with our dear friends Neil & Marice, Mandy & Colin and Chris and Allyson in Ludlow with meals at the George and Feathers restaurants booked but for various reasons this years get together didn't quite work out, but hey if you look back at Blog 198 (see bottom of blog for link, thanks) you can see what fun we had in Shrewsbury, hopefully next years extravaganza will prove more fruitful, the only thing I can say is I'm on the look out for the elixir of eternal yoof before them #friends


LUDLOW

What a lovely town Ludlow is. We travelled there in mostly total rain having rung the day before to let the campsite know we would be missing on the first day of our booking. They kindly said we could arrive whenever we wanted on the Monday. We used M42, M5 and our usual route via Kidderminster and Bewdley etc. etc. We arrived just before 1 and set up camp. Very helpful staff , a useful site shop, gin van (which sadly wasn't open #haha ) and great facilities. Bit nippy and blowy but by the time we arrived the rain had finally stopped, This year I have felt like Noah!!!

Here is a video of us arriving and a site setup image, pitch number 109, last time we were here we were on pitch number 3.


our lovely wendy house on pitch 109 ludlow campsite by KHWD artworks
our lovely wendy house on pitch 109 ludlow campsite

Want to know a little more about Ludlow and its history , well here you go! Boy there are elements of AI I love...


Ludlow, located in Shropshire, England, is a charming market town with a rich history. Let’s delve into its fascinating past:


1.     Medieval Origins:

·        Ludlow’s recorded history dates back to the late 11th century after the Norman conquest of England.

·        The town was founded as a medieval walled town centered around a small hill on the eastern bank of the River Teme.

·        Key landmarks on this hill include Ludlow Castle and the parish church, St Laurence’s, which is the largest in the county.


2.     Geographical Setting:

·        Ludlow lies near the confluence of the rivers Corve and Teme.

·        The town is nestled beneath the Mortimer Forest and the Clee Hills, providing picturesque views.

·        Its sheltered location contributes to its charm.


3.     Architectural Heritage:

·        Ludlow boasts nearly 500 listed buildings, including well-preserved examples of medieval and Tudor-style half-timbered buildings.

·        The town’s aesthetic beauty has led it to be described by Sir John Betjeman as “probably the loveliest town in England.”


4.     Etymology and Names:

·        Ludlow was known as Dinam in ancient times.

·        The British name for the town was Dinam, which translates to “The Palace of Princes.”

·        The Modern Welsh name is Llwydlo.

·        The Old English name Lodelowe referred to the site before 1138, combining “hlud” (loud waters) and “hlǣw” (hill or tumulus).


5.     Weirs and River Control:

·        Originally, the River Teme had rapids near Ludlow.

·        Weirs were added along the river to tame the rapid flows, making the area more hospitable.


6.     Ludlow Today:

·        Ludlow continues to be a vibrant town, attracting visitors with its historic charm, cultural events, and stunning architecture.

·        Whether exploring the castle, strolling through the streets, or enjoying local cuisine, Ludlow offers a delightful experience.

Want to know more about Lawrence of Ludlow?



LUDLOW TOWN QUIZ

We caught the 11.01 bus into town, bus pass pleasures, nice chat with a couple and Betty the dog, from the campsite who had camped at a CL nearer the town (caravan and motorhome site) during the Covid times, which was when we last stayed in Ludlow. The bus is semi rural so there are only 3 trips per day and on the way back for the last 2, we got the latest, you have to request that it stops at the Ludlow Touring site else it goes a different way to Castle Richard. #hintsandtips

We had fun doing the Town Quiz, great fun, locals were helpful on a couple of occasions and there was a young couple with a dog doing the same whom we traded the odd hint, well it did say use ALL RESOURCES. #haha We certainly could have done with the bigger gang of friends, many brains make light bulbs work as the old saying goes. Anyway this was by far and away the hardest one we have done so far, it was our fifth one and the only one we didn't get right for a myriad of reasons, Ludlow is very steep and Annie's knee was certainly playing her. It also didn't help that some questions were deeply obscure and in one particular one the building was being renovated so the answer wasn't even visible, I used google to find an old image and blew it up. 2 old lead drainpipes at the tip of the building showing the repeat year 1728. I reported this change in environment to the quiz masters to ensure future quizzers didn't have the same problem.

Anyhow that all said and done we only got fooled by 1 question which meant overall we failed. How many city gates added to the century (year) the last original drum tower survived until. Boo, totally flummoxed. Would have given us TWENTY which was in the middle of Katwen Tyson #geddit Anyhow it was enormous fun and whilst it estimated 1.75 miles and 2 hours we walked 3 miles and took about 6 hours, including a fab lunch at the George and a coffee break at Costa coffee to rest our weary legs. So just in time to get the last bus back. What fun, we loved it, onwards and upwards to the next one.

Here is a video of the day with Colin's traditional shots of the clue sites (mostly) and a slideshow of the salient parts about the quiz.




STOKESAY 13th CENTURY CASTLE AND MANOR HOUSE

We packed up camp at Ludlow and left by 11 a.m. We travelled the short distance , about 10 miles, outside Ludlow to Craven arms, past the lovely railway station at Onibury we had been to before. We parked in the English Heritage car park and strolled through the old church to the shop and checked in. They gave us the usual audio guided tour kit, very useful. The gatehouse entrance is an old manor house with amazing carvings. Indeed all I can say about the mistress of the house at the time is back in the 13th century they must have loved sunbathing topless #teehee We had a fabulous time going around the old castle. It was a Royalist stronghold but cleverly they gave in immediately the New Model Army arrived so unlike Bridgenorth castle , which is no more than a large stump, Stokesay survives almost in tact. The gardens are lovely as well. After seeing the castle and grounds we retired to the cafe for coffee and a lovely slice of passionfruit and lime cake #toodiefor

Although the castle is 13th century built by Laurence of Ludlow the gatehouse was built by William , 1st Earl Craven.

lord and lady of the manor or adam and eve 1600s style by KHWD
lord and lady of the manor or adam and eve 1600s style

It is worth saying that William Craven never married as only had eyes for queen Beatrice of Bohemia (allegedly) and he looked nothing like the carving above the gate... you do the spot the difference, even down to the beard and type of moustache #teehee

Here is the travel blog video of our fun time at Stokesay, so worth a visit #recommended

It's so good to have helpful friends #smile

quiz question at stokesay castle, spotted by neil, documented in picture form by KHWDs
bullseye

If you fancy know a little more about Stokesay our travel blog AI pal can help here, read on descendants of Lodelowe....


Stokesay Castle, nestled in a peaceful Shropshire valley near the Welsh border, has a captivating history that reflects medieval life in England. Let’s explore its fascinating story:


Laurence of Ludlow and the Wool Trade:

Stokesay Castle was built in the late 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow, a local merchant.

Laurence had amassed wealth through the wool trade, which was booming during that period.

His vision was to create a fortified manor house that showcased his prosperity and power.


Unique Features:

Stokesay Castle is one of the finest fortified manor houses in England.

Its military appearance is deceptive; it was not designed to withstand a serious siege.

Almost everything visible today was constructed in the 1280s and 1290s by Laurence of Ludlow.


Medieval Treasures:

Among Stokesay’s many treasures are:

A medieval staircase that stands as a testament to craftsmanship.

A richly carved 17th-century chamber that exudes elegance.

A tiled floor that whispers stories of the past.


Preservation and Restoration:

In the 19th century, early conservationists sympathetically repaired and preserved Stokesay Castle.

Thanks to their efforts, the castle remains remarkably intact, offering a glimpse into medieval England.


Significance and Survival:

Stokesay Castle’s importance lies not only in its buildings but also in their survival with minimal alteration.

It stands as a living link to a bygone era, where wool wealth and architectural finesse intersected.


Explore Further:

If you’re curious about Stokesay Castle’s full history, consider reading a comprehensive account.

The castle’s story intertwines with Laurence of Ludlow’s rise, the wool trade, and the taste of medieval England.


Want to know more? Stokesay


If you want to know about William Craven , 1st Earl Craven and constructor of that fine manor gatehouse, click HERE


BRIDGENORTH & ALVENEY

Annie's distant rellie Joseph Lloyd Whatmore (3rd great uncle) was Mayor of Bridgenorth back in the day and we have visited before from a genealogy perspective, but now we have the freedom of the town we explored more. #smile

Mr. Mayor was a hatter & furrier with shops at both 6 and 51 high street. Between 1852-81 he was a councillor, mayor & magistrate from November 1860.

We parked in the main street by the buttercross. You have to park end on which is not an issue for our perfectly formed Wendy house van. Its only 40 minutes allowed stay, which put a bit of pressure on us but we had time to use the Funicular railway, the shortest and steepest in the UK (allegedly). If you are an English Heritage member let them know, its not advertised, but that will get you the return journey for free. On the lower level, mostly sandstone, is the River Severn and Bridgnorth's quayside, lovely views. Up above beside the bridge is the oldest seed shop in the UK. We had a quick walk around and then returned back up via the funicular railway to the north cliffs. It's called the Cliff railway.

After that we walked along the circular road parallel but way about the river. Some great sites heading towards the Castle and gardens. Sadly the castle is almost just a stump after Oliver Cromwell's participation. Our informer at Boscobel told us the Royalists / New Model army disputes (if I can be so understated) were more about religion than power and corruption. Who would know to challenge the expected norm. Anyhow after the gardens we legged it back just in time to avoid a parking ticket, be warned. You don't get long, but over by the park there are a lot of parking areas. The Mercian way as indicated by the sculpture you see at the start of this video slideshow of travel blog images starts at Wyre Forest which is also well worth a visit.


BOSCOBEL HOUSE AND CHARLES THE SECOND

After a fabulous "chill" day Friday at the Stanmore Hall campsite, reading, sitting out in the sun (briefly) , eating, drinking and making merry we breakfasted and broke camp (love that expression from my boy sprout days) parked up the van and tootled off to Boscobel. The campsite was lovely and we will return. Here's a few of us chilling , literally, as you can see now taken refuge inside. tee-hee


So we heard a lot about Charles the 2nd at Boscobel house. I went to see what remains of the Royal Oak a bit away from the house. It was cold and quite a walk so Annie stayed back at the farm area trying to shelter. We were so cold afterwards we went and had coffee, cake and a lovely cheese scone offering in the stable block to warm up.

The current Royal Oak is a sapling of the original which apparently was taken down branch by branch by trophy hunters back in the day. Indeed this sapling although very old was hit by lightening so still not much left but from a history perspective, a joint passion of ours, well worth the walk. White Ladies priory further down the road is where Charles initially took refuge. We drove to it but as it was raining and a way off the roadside and Annie's knee wasn't great we chose not to walk over to the ruins, devastated during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries .

The house was very interesting and rather than use the standard English Heritage audio guides , as the folk on the till said, on entry.... "we have real people".... some of whom whilst interesting were rather difficult to get away from. The grounds have traditional farm animals, rare breed ones at that, ideal for grandkids etc. The gardens are great and the preserved stable blocks filled with much info. All in all so glad we visited, you are never too old to learn. Whilst history and geography were not my "bag" at school they definitely are now.


Want to know more about Charlie's daring do? Here you go

charles 2nd national portrait gallery
handsome dude in annie's opinion

Charles II, the son of Charles I, played a significant role in English history, especially during the tumultuous period of the English Civil Wars. One of the most intriguing episodes associated with Charles II is his escape after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Let’s explore the story of Charles II and the Royal Oak:

1.     The Battle of Worcester:

·        In 1651, the Royalist army, led by Charles II, faced the Parliamentarian forces in the Battle of Worcester.

·        The Royalists suffered a decisive defeat, and Charles II was forced to flee for his life.


2.     The Escape to Boscobel House:

·        After the battle, Charles II found himself on the run, pursued by Parliamentarian troops.

·        He sought refuge at Boscobel House, a remote location in Shropshire, England.

·        The house belonged to the Penderel family, who were loyal to the Royalist cause.


3.     The Famous Royal Oak:

·        Charles II hid in an oak tree within the grounds of Boscobel House.

·        The tree became known as the Royal Oak and symbolized the king’s escape and survival.

·        The oak provided cover and protection, allowing Charles II to evade capture.


4.     Disguise and Adventure:

·        Charles II changed his appearance, donning country clothes and cutting his royal locks.

·        With the help of the Penderel family, he moved from one hiding place to another, avoiding detection.

·        His escape involved tense moments, close calls, and daring maneuvers.


5.     Legacy and Pub Names:

·        Charles II eventually made it to safety and later regained the throne.

·        The story of his escape became legendary, and the Royal Oak became a powerful symbol of resilience and survival.

·        To this day, many pubs in England bear the name “The Royal Oak” in honor of this historic event.


6.     Boscobel House Today:

·        Visitors can explore Boscobel House and its beautiful orchard and gardens.

·        The descendant of the famous Royal Oak still stands, connecting us to this remarkable chapter in English history.


charlie boys account of his daring do, shot by KHWD, even retold by samuel pepys
charlie boys account of his daring do, samuel pepyes did it as well

After Boscobel and avoiding the marching Armies in that area (Modern Model Army this time, tee hee) we spent our time trying to avoid the M6 toll (£14 last time) and used Watling Street... guess what it really is a straight Roman road, or A5 to return home and unpack after a most enjoyable 6 days away.


BLOG VIDEOS

This is a video of all out talkie vids combined. Must practice my acting voice a little more.


MORRIS LEISURE QUALITY CAMPSITES

The campsites are fab, it seems there are 6 of them. As we are now part of their Loyalty scheme and they are slightly cheaper and with good facilities if and when we are in the area we will try them all out. We stayed at Ludlow touring park and Stanmore Hall sites this time, I have included some extra details in case you are interested fellow motorhomies. #recommended if you want to know more about this lovely set of campsites Look Here


THE END

Thanks for reading folks, hope it was helpful


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5つ星のうち0と評価されています。
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Keef Hellinger
Keef Hellinger
4月29日
5つ星のうち5と評価されています。

under construction , a return trip to the wonderful ludlow



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