You will never be short of things to do during your stay in Shropshire at The Castle Hotel. Whether it be one of the more energetic activities such as cycling or hill walking, or just a lazy stroll around the ancient cobbled streets of Bishops Castle, this lovely and unspoilt area offers something for everyone. The entire area surrounding The Castle Hotel is designed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it is fast becoming a renowned as a centre for outdoor activities.
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The Castle Hotel is a Walker Friendly Hotel, which means we go the extra mile to cater for even the most intrepid of walker needs. For more information on our extra facilities specifically for walkers please click the icon below.
From the more famous walks of the South Shropshire Way and Offa’s Dyke, to the hundreds of miles of public footpaths across the county, there is a walk here to suit all levels of fitness. The South Shropshire Way runs right past the front steps of the hotel, and we are also a popular stop-off for hikers walking the entire length of Offa’s Dyke. The Kerry Ridgeway Walk is a gentle 15 mile route through the hills of the central Welsh Marches, walking you through history – from the Stone Age, via the Bronze and Iron Ages, to a Norman motte and bailey high above Bishop’s Castle.
We also have a large number of illustrated local circular walks available from the hotel reception, ranging from under an hour, to a full day walk.
Walks on the Long Mynd and over to the Stiperstones are a must for the more hardy of walkers. For anyone looking for a more leisurely stroll take an amble up Carding Mill Valley in nearby Church Stretton. Owned by the National Trust you will be rewarded with glorious and panoramic views.
From May through to the end of September there is a Shuttle Bus provided specifically for walkers that runs all day between Bishop’s Castle, Clun, Knighton, Leintwardine & Ludlow. For more details please click here
Every year in June Bishops Castle hosts its annual walking festival. This is a “Guided 3 Day Walking Festival in the Shropshire and the Mid-Wales Hills.” It is run by experienced volunteers and is one of the leading small Walking Festivals in the country.
Apart from the fact that The Castle Hotel is built with stone from, and on the site of, the original castle in Bishops Castle, there are a large number of “real” castles within a few miles drive. The two most impressive are Powis Castle, and Ludlow Castle.
Powis Castle, one of the jewels in the National Trust’s crown, is constructed from ancient sandstone and overlooks the Severn Valley. The castle is an impressive sight with its red walls and beautiful terraced gardens. The museum contains treasures that Clive of India brought back from India.
Ludlow Castle is one of the finest examples of medieval ruined castles, set in glorious Shropshire countryside, and at the heart of a bustling black & white market town.
But not to be missed out are some great examples of Norman Castles including Clun Castle, Stokesay Castle and Montgomery Castle, all within 30 minutes drive.
The Castle Hotel is an ideal base for exploring this ancient and unspoilt land of rolling hills, valleys and castles.
The Castle Hotel is a Cyclist Friendly Hotel, which means we go the extra mile to cater for all cyclist’s needs. For more information on our extra facilities specifically for cyclists please click the icon below.
As long as you are not afraid of the odd incline or two (you will struggle to find horizontal ground!) then cycling in and around Bishops Castle, The South Shropshire Hills and over into neighbouring Wales is truly a rewarding experience.
From long rides over to Church Stretton and the Stiperstones, to serious mountain biking over the Long Mynd and into Cardingmill Valley, you will constantly be surrounded by unspoilt countryside with countless miles of off-road tracks and valleys to explore. And what better way to end the day with a pint or two of locally brewed real ale and good food.
Bishops Castle is also a great place to stop over if you are cycling the Lands End to John o’Groats ride. For more details on this check out Pedal Nation
We offer a bicycle lock up facility.
If Golf is your sport then you are well looked after. Church Stretton, Ludlow, Welshpool and Knighton all have courses to test even the most well travelled golfer. Shrewsbury is within 30 minutes drive and offers over three courses including the famous Hawkstone Park Golf Club.
The Castle Hotel is ideal for country sport getaways with superb shooting and fishing right on our doorstep for you to enjoy. Excellent course and fly fishing is available in many lakes, pools and rivers in the area.
If you are a glider or flyer, we are ideally placed with 7 miles of the Midlands Gliding Centre on “The Mynd” one of the oldest gliding clubs in the country with year round operation.
Hang Gliding, Paragliding and Flying Instructor/Lessons
Leavesley Aviation Air Experience School owned and run by Ex-British Squad Member Mark Leavesley is based in Bishops Castle . Mark offers one to one professional guiding and tandem paragliding flights, with thousands of hours flying all around the world you are in the safest of hands guaranteed. For more details visit Leavesley Aviation
For more information on Hang Gliding and Paragliding, visit the Long Mynd Soaring Club.
Welshpool is within easy striking distance. Set in rolling borderland, Welshpool’s major attraction to the visitor is the 13th Century Powis Castle (See “Castles and Forts”)
You can also visit the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway – a narrow gauge steam train operating throughout the summer months. It was originally built to take local people to market with their sheep and cattle. It runs on an 8 mile journey from Raven Square and operates between Easter and early October.
Lying within a giant loop of the River Severn and guarded by its castle, Shrewsbury has been called England’s finest Tudor town – with good reason. Black and white buildings are everywhere, as are the ancient “shuts” or passageways which connect them. There are no less than 660 listed buildings in the town.
Shrewsbury Museum houses a collection of artefacts from the nearby Roman city of Wroxeter (open to the public), now considered by many historians to be the true site of Arthur’s Camelot. Shrewsbury has a superb abbey and the town has excellent shopping facilities and good parking. You will find a huge variety of shops in Shrewsbury – as well as all the usual high street names, there is an amazing range of unique independent retailers.
Shrewsbury most famous son was a Charles Darwin and there are many exhibitions and events devoted to his works on evolution. You may also choose to relax in beautiful Quarry Park, where the famous Shrewsbury Flower Show is held, or take a boat trip on the River Severn.
The ancient town of Ludlow is within easy reach of Bishops Castle, and at one stage boosted more Michelin stars than London! The Market town and its castle sit on the steep banks of the River Teme and the streets of the medieval walled town slope downward to the water’s edge. This is perhaps one of Britain’s best-preserved medieval towns and The Bull Ring in the town centre was once the site of bull baiting events in the Middle Ages. With nearly 500 listed buildings including some fine examples of medieval and Tudor-style half-timbered buildings Ludlow paints a striking picture and is well worth a day’s exploring.
It was here, in the dramatic gorge of the River Severn, that Ironmaster Abraham Derby first perfected the art of smelting iron with coke. The area is the site of ten extraordinary “hands-on” museums telling the story of the industrial revolution and it is now designated a World Heritage Site. Blists Hill is an entire Victorian town recreated here complete with “spit and sawdust” pub, Victorian sweet shops and a working foundry. The Coalport China Museum is also located here. A whole day out!
Snowdonia National Park in Wales is within easy reach for a day-trip, so cross over the border into Wales and explore the beautiful little towns like Betws-y-coed, or tackle one of the high mountains. Highly recommended are Snowdon, Tryfan or Moel Siabod.
Often described as one of Britain’s most unspoilt towns, Montgomery is well worth a visit, with its mix of timber framed buildings and grand Georgian and Victorian houses. Montgomery grew up around the hill-top castle in the early 13th century. Tea and cake in the Castle Kitchen is always a good decision after a stroll around the town, and don’t forget to make a trip to Bunners, one of the best traditional hardware stores in the land!