This is Castle Country! Castles in Wales and castles in England - if you love visiting castles, houses and historic buildings then Oswestry and The Welsh Borderlands are a great place to visit. There was once a need to protect the Welsh and the English along the borders of Shropshire and Wales from each other but visitors these days can enjoy the legacy of old conflicts by visiting the fascinating mix of castles and buildings that are scattered through the countryside surrounding Oswestry town.
Some may only give a hint of what was once here – Oswestry Castle and Old Oswestry Hill Fort would have been look outs for invaders from either England or Wales and will give you the same panoramic view of the town of Oswestry and the plains of Shropshire.
Looking for an English castle? Nearest to Oswestry is Whittington Castle. It sits in a quintessential English village and the castle itself with its moat is just what you would hope for – a legend about a pantomime character, a few ghostly happenings and a lively programme of events all year that bring history to life.
Move on to castles in Wales and somewhere much grander and Chirk Castle should be your next castle to visit. This quite stern and grey Castle has guarded the Marches Border since medieval times. The dungeons remind you of the bitter times past but the beautiful gardens soften the austere exterior and, as it’s a National Trust property, there is a great programme of events all year. Don’t miss the woodland walks especially in spring to see a carpet of snowdrops.
The third and possibly grandest castle is south of Oswestry, near another market town – Welshpool. Powis Castle is a warm pinky red sandstone castle looking so grand sitting perched above the Welsh countryside and the interior is stunning, especially the Clive of India collection. The giant yew trees are just one element of the famous gardens and, again, as this is a National Trust property there is a variety of entertainments throughout the summer.
Many of these impressive buildings hold events to bring our history to life - find out more here.
Shrewsbury and Montgomery Castles are a bit further away but you could plan a fascinating short break if you put them all on your list of places to visit.
Wrexham is home to another National Trust property – the fascinating Erddig House. This beautiful house was a home until the 1970s when it was gifted to the National Trust – it is a real treat for anyone interested in the upstairs downstairs lifestyle of grand houses.