Ludlow revisited

Trip Start May 22, 2010
Trip End Oct 31, 2010

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Alan and Alison's place

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today we decided to go to Ludlow as we had fond memories of being here on our first visit to the UK. It is not far from Shrewsbury so we sidetracked into a country town and did a number of caches in the area on the way. One turned out to be in the middle of a golf course – we only discovered this when 3 golfers emerged on a path, crossed over a road bridge then carried on with their game.

My favourite stop was at a town called Stokesay with a church and castle. The castle is a manor house looked after by English Heritage but unfortunately neither the church nor castle were open today. Stokesay church was built around 1150 as a chapel to the castle by the Say family who had come over with William the Conqueror. The Royalists took refuge in the church (with their horses) in 1646 but were forced out by the Parliamentarians who had captured the castle. Much of the church was destroyed in the battle but was later rebuilt. The church is a rare example of religious construction during the Roundhead Commonwealth period.

We called into the Ludlow Information Centre as I thought the name of the pub we had eaten at when here many years ago was the Unicorn. We ate there with the children and I remembered John having a long talk with a Welsh rugby fan while we sat in front of a fire. The woman at the centre told me that there was an old pub (17th century) called the Unicorn and it was still in operation although it had changed hands. It had also been flooded a few years ago. It was at the opposite end of town so we walked there and saw most of the town on the way.

There were a few shops that caught our attention. On was a butcher's with pheasants hanging in the doorway. We have noticed a lot of specialty butchers in towns in the UK and also fruit shops. We went past some lovely old buildings. I specially liked an old pub, 'the Feathers’ and a bank building. ‘Feathers’ had been an inn since 1670 in a building that had been a house that was enlarged in 1610 but whose age was much older. Ludlow was full of the blue historic plaques.

We had lunch in the Unicorn, which did look familiar but is not as upmarket as it had been then. My order was mucked up but the food was nice and we were given a discount because of the error. It was too cold to sit outside but here was a beer garden out by the river. The beams were as low as I remembered (one had a sign saying Duck or Grouse) but the free wifi was a concept that no one would have imagined when we were last there.

We walked back to the car via a fruit shop and headed back as the weather was getting worse. It had been fine although cold but it had clouded over and soon started to rain. We both had coughs and had had headaches so it was good to settle in to our Shrewsbury home early and catch up with the news and blogs.
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