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I plan to have my gap year at the age of 70 + when the CV situation is reduced by one way or another but lets not go there on this thread please.

 

I like visiting Castles and fortified stately homes.

 

For me, the memorable ones are Powys Castle, Bamburgh, Conwy Castle, Warwick, Hever and at the top of the list is Edinburgh Castle to mention a few.

 

Has anyone visited Armstrongs home and is it worth a visit?

 

If you have been to any, which ones impressed you and that you recommend I visit on my travels?

 

 

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Every time I take the caravan away, my main purpose is to visit castles, cathedrals and interesting towns & villages.

During the past summer I've been to the Castles of Pendennis, St. Mawes, Tintagel, Minster Lovell Hall and Sherborne.    Then the Cathedrals at Truro, Shaftesbury (Abbey) and Gloucester.   Apart from the buildings, I've also been to The Eden Project, St Michael's Mount and Stonehenge.

 

Four or five years ago I stayed at the Club site in Durham and on one mammoth day's tour, I took in Lindisfarne Priory,  Bamburgh Castle and Warkworth Castle.   This beautiful roof, I took at Bamburgh.  

 

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Next day I did visited several sites along Hadrian's Wall.

 

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Hever Castle is fairly close to home so I've been there a few times.

 

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Accounts of my visits during the past ten years can be seen on my website.

 

 

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Wales has plenty of castles and while you are there visit St. Fagans  national museum of history in Cardiff, which I found quite fascinating. near there is the big pit, as you can see I like interesting buildings.  In Cornwall , Chysauster ancient village , it's what's left of an iron age village.  

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I don't live far from Beeston Castle in Cheshire.  Although its a ruin, and you really want to be fit, try climbing up to it.  The views are absolutely amazing.  You can see the whole of the Cheshire Plain, although you can only see it through your oxygen mask:D.  I remember visiting it a few times when my dad would take me and my two brothers to visit it (used to be free), and even as kids, and we were fit (I had to be to keep up with both my brothers), I was panting to save my life:D.   You can also include a visit to Jodrell Bank as well as its not far

 

Not been, but Leeds Castle in Dover is supposed to be superb.  Have you tried going the the various websites for visiting these places?

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7 minutes ago, joanie said:

  In Cornwall , Chysauster ancient village , it's what's left of an iron age village.  

 

Sadly, it hasn't been open at all this year because of ongoing conservation work.   Because of Covid, that may be delayed into next year.  

 

There are lots of interesting deserted villages up and down the country.   This one we came across in the middle of Dartmoor.   Unfortunately it was too far for me to walk to.

 

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Then again, up on the Yorkshire Moors there's Wharram Percy.   All that is left, other than turf covered foundations is the village pond and roofless church.

 

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13 minutes ago, Babstreefern said:

 Have you tried going the the various websites for visiting these places?

 

By far, the best value for money is to join English Heritage.   If you're over 60, you can join as a 'Senior' at a reduced price - £55.    If you collect Tesco points you can also use them for English Heritage Membership so in effect you get the annual membership fee for less than £20.   Membership gives you and your children free entry to every EH site in the country.    Last year, I took my grandson to Stonehenge and Dover Castle.   Without being a member it would have cost me £53 for the two of us. 

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When you say the Armstrong's home I assume you are referring to Cragside and yes it is worth a visit. It was the first private home lit by hydroelectricity and the fireplace in the bit built on for a visit by the future Edward V11 it worth a visit in itself. If you time your visit for the beginning of June the rhododendrons are magnificent. We took three trips to see it all.

 

While in Northumberland we also enjoyed Wallington Hall and Warkworth castles and of course Hadrian's wall forts.

 

For me Hampton Court and Windsor castle are also must visit places.

 

My favourite ruins are Fountains and Riveaux Abbeys.

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Lydford  in Devon has a dinky little castle,  a gorge cared for by the National Trust,   a decent caravan site,  and two pubs - all within walking distance of each other. What's not to like? 

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Funnily enough but Lizzie says to me not what castle are we visiting, but what heritage railway!

You do castles, we do railways!

 

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Come up to North Yorkshire.  Aside from Knaresborough as previously mentioned, visit Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal, Rievaux Abbey, go to York and see the Roman walls, York Minster, and wander down the Elizabethan Shambles.  If you like afternoon tea, go to Betty's for the full silver service Downton Abbey experience.  We are full of fabulous places including Castle Howard, Ripon Cathedral, Royal Horticultural Society North at Harrogate (there is a Betty's tea room there also).   And then there is York Railway Museum and our local steam train service!  Go visit Whitby on the coast and see where Dracula came ashore at Whitby Abbey.

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28 minutes ago, YorkshireLhasa said:

go to Betty's for the full silver service Downton Abbey experience.

 

And talking of Downton Abbey, during the summer I went to visit television's Downton Church

 

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then close by to see the Crawley House

 

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and finally to the Downton Home Farm

 

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and none of them situated in Yorkshire - but in a village in Oxfordshire.

 

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2 minutes ago, Lady Bird said:

Betty's:D. My relative worked in the chocolate section....:D

All places mentioned above go visit. 

 

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9 hours ago, BOAC said:

I plan to have my gap year at the age of 70 + when the CV situation is reduced by one way or another but lets not go there on this thread please.

 

I like visiting Castles and fortified stately homes.

 

For me, the memorable ones are Powys Castle, Bamburgh, Conwy Castle, Warwick, Hever and at the top of the list is Edinburgh Castle to mention a few.

 

Has anyone visited Armstrongs home and is it worth a visit?

 

If you have been to any, which ones impressed you and that you recommend I visit on my travels?

 

 

For authenticity, Chillingham Castle in Northumberland...https://chillingham-castle.com


...and only 35mins from....

 

Cragside is definitely worth a visit ....the kitchen, which for some years had been boarded before the NT reopened it, is an amazing timecapsule. 
 

In Yorkshire on specific dates....

https://markenfieldhall.com

 

Bolsover castle is always worth a visit.

 

 

Many years ago I visited Castle Bolton. https://www.boltoncastle.co.uk

It’s probably been poshed up a lot now but back then you could walk around it anytime....there was an honesty box. Mary Queens of Scots was imprisoned there en route to Fotheringhay Castle.


We stayed in the caravan nearby and I decided to go there just after dawn on an autumn morning to get some atmosphere in my photos. Mist was shrouding the surrounding land and being alone in a castle also that early was really creepy and very very atmospheric when considering the history.

 

I confess I didn’t stay long 😂 

 

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1 hour ago, PR1 said:

Funnily enough but Lizzie says to me not what castle are we visiting, but what heritage railway!

You do castles, we do railways!

 

 

 

Oh no ! I put heritage railways as number one priority and castles second. West somerset and the RH & D I have yet to visit but I wanted members opinions on castles and I got some. Thanks all.

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5 hours ago, Babstreefern said:

I don't live far from Beeston Castle in Cheshire.  Although its a ruin, and you really want to be fit, try climbing up to it. 

Some years ago we had a cave rescue call out to Beeston castle. Restoration work was ongoing and someone had broken open the grille on the well in the keep. The police were concerned that someone may have either fallen or been thrown down it. We towed a petrol powered winch all the way from Derbyshire and heaved it up the hill, lifted to shoulder height to go over the bridge into the keep and mauled it to the well, together with a headframe and comms gear. One of our party went down (with breathing gear, just in case) and checked it out. From memory it was around 350 feet deep. There was nothing there.

We were all knackered when we had finished!

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38 minutes ago, BOAC said:

 

 

Oh no ! I put heritage railways as number one priority and castles second. West somerset and the RH & D I have yet to visit but I wanted members opinions on castles and I got some. Thanks all.

Anyone who likes castles AND railways could do worse than going to Porthmadog (when Covid rules permit) and make a day of riding the Welsh Highland Railway to Caernarfon Castle and back. 

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8 minutes ago, staffordshirechina said:

From memory it was around 350 feet deep. There was nothing there.

 

 

 

Well, there should have been at least 2 x 1 pennies. I chucked them down the well in about 1957 and made a wish.

 

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11 hours ago, BOAC said:

 

 

Well, there should have been at least 2 x 1 pennies. I chucked them down the well in about 1957 and made a wish.

 

We did speculate on how bigger pile of loose change there might be. However, the bottom was just bare sand. I suspect that normally there would be water there and heavy coins would get covered by moving sand. I think it was 1976, the drought year.

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Bamburgh and Alnwick in Northumberland and Stirling in Scotland are worth a visit. Scotland is populated with castles so a tour might be the best idea.

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I would recommend two of my favourites: Penrhyn Castle and Dover Castle.

 

Cragside,  Armstrong's home is interesting, but it left me underwhelmed.

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17 hours ago, staffordshirechina said:

Some years ago we had a cave rescue call out to Beeston castle. Restoration work was ongoing and someone had broken open the grille on the well in the keep. The police were concerned that someone may have either fallen or been thrown down it. We towed a petrol powered winch all the way from Derbyshire and heaved it up the hill, lifted to shoulder height to go over the bridge into the keep and mauled it to the well, together with a headframe and comms gear. One of our party went down (with breathing gear, just in case) and checked it out. From memory it was around 350 feet deep. There was nothing there.

We were all knackered when we had finished!

Saw the well.  I bet the grid took some shifting.  Me and my two brothers would chuck stones down to see if we could hear them hit.  I know now why we couldn't hear anything.  We said it was bottomless:lol:

 

Another castle to visit in Dorset is Corfe.  Has a terrifying history.  Its one of those castles, that when taking a picture around sunset, its really atmospheric

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I must mention Lincoln Castle and Cathedral- great places to visit.    As is obvious from the list quoted on this thread, there are loads of castles in the U.K. - many years ago we had an American couple with 2 daughters ( around 12 years old ) rent the house next to ours. The guy had a “ thing “ about castles and took the family away every Saturday/Sunday to view one or several. This went on for some 18 months or so and the girls had to write up a description of what they had seen after every visit.  As one can imagine, the girls got sick and tired of the regime and I doubt if they have ever wanted to visit another castle in their life. A bit of a rebellion occurred!!  Just shows you can have too much of a good thing! 

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