Ludlow was such a surprising find, with its grand castle, medieval buildings, beautiful walk along the river Teme and good food. You will need your walking shoes as the town is on a hill and full of wonderful old narrow streets. The buildings have heaps of character, as many are hundreds of years old.
The town’s website describes Ludlow as, “a thriving medieval market town and an architectural gem with a lively community feel…” There are also interesting walks and many coffee/tea places to try.
It is located near the Welsh border. In fact, when we took the train from Bath to Ludlow we needed to change trains in Newport, Wales. If you can schedule time between trains visit Newport too. We only had an hour but that was enough time to see some statues and get a feel for the area. A little bit longer and you could even have lunch.
There is history, history and more history to discover in Ludlow. There is a small museum that is well worth the time to pop into. It is open mainly on the weekends so check before you go. You will find a great map of the castle that provides a realistic look at how the castle was in its day and how it was used. Be sure to visit the museum first, then go over to the castle and plan to spend a couple of hours.
The castle was built in 1086. You may want to purchase the audio guide, as there is much to see and many rooms to explore. Be sure to take the spiral staircase to the top. The views of Ludlow and the surrounding area are worth the climb. Many events are held here including a food festival in September and in November it is host to the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre.
The castle also has a small hotel that we would love to stay in next time. In town there are many excellent restaurants and cafes to get tea and afternoon ice creams.
In the castle square, there is an outdoor market every day except Tuesday. The charm of this market is that it features different vendors according to the day of the week. Be sure to stroll through, when you are out wandering.
Ludlow castle square
You can walk all the way around the castle. From the right side it is pretty clear where to go. If you go left when you get to the fork in the path go left! If you go right you will have some great additional views but it is usually too overgrown to get through.
If you stay in town after about 4 pm most people leave the city center, making it a great time to explore the unique shops. There are several very old pubs and restaurants to choose from if you are looking to eat out. If you happen to have a dog with you a number of these places have outdoor seating where your four-legged friend is welcomed.
Our favorite place to get a quick bite to eat was Vaughans Sandwich and Salad Bar, on King Street. We really enjoyed their hot roast pork baguettes or baps (like a hamburger bun). Many people miss the upstairs seating where you can relax and enjoy your meal. The window opens out onto the very narrow King Street – it is amazing to watch huge buses and trucks squeeze through. We enjoyed eating there and the sandwiches are great as a takeaway as well, and the prices can’t be beat.
Ludlow river with bridge and swans. With just a hint of the castle on the hill.
Ludlow is about three and a half hours by train from London Paddington station. There is a bus, at the train station, that will take you right to the city center by the market. Ludlow is a beautiful destination that we really enjoyed. We are sure you will too.