Ben Bentley continues his month-long campaign to highlight the area’s top visitor attractions. Click here for an overview of the great days out campaign and check back each day for the latest idea.
Ben Bentley continues his month-long campaign to highlight the area’s top visitor attractions.
Click here for an overview of the great days out campaign and check back each day for the latest idea.
Where is it? Weston-under-Redcastle, Shropshire, SY4 5UY - just two minutes’ drive off the A49 north of Shrewsbury. Within 20 minutes of Shrewsbury and Telford.
What is it? A proper fantasy-land of crags, cliffs, caves, deep woods – and a series of extraordinary monuments built more than 22 years ago. After years of neglect the magical landscape was lovingly restored and re-opened in 1993.
“Striking scenes and terrific grandeur” were the words Samuel Johnson used to describe the follies of Hawkstone Park when he visited in 1774. He had a way with words, did old Dr Johnson.
How much is it? £7 for adults, £6 concessions, and £4.50 for children. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) are priced £22; 2 adults and 3 children, £25.
What is there to do? A powerful and timeless landscape, first opened in the late 18th century by the Hill Family to overwhelm their guests’ visual and spiritual senses. It was restored in the late 20th century.
Take a journey on a magical walk through majestic woodlands, along precipitous cliff edges, discover tunnels, bridges and ravines before exploring the caves set high on Grotto Hill where you can explore a pitch-dark labyrinth of ancient mines cut into the cliff.
Other spectacular highlights include the Swiss Bridge, a rustic wooden structure perched over an unnervingly deep chasm; the Cleft, a path winding between two cliffs which narrows into a dark, creepy tunnel, and the Monument, a 100ft high column which can be climbed to enjoy panoramic views of up to 13 counties.
Marvel at the views over the Shropshire and Cheshire plains to the distant Welsh mountains. Knock-out. Don’t forget your camera or you’ll kick yourself halfway home.
Activity weekends take place throughout August where visitors can have-a-go at archery, 4x4 driving or watch magnificent displays of birds of prey.
Join in the medieval weekend between August 25-27. Let the ‘Battle under the Redcastle’ commence! Take the opportunity to re-live history and watch the Audley family reclaim Hawkstone. Watch battle training with horses and swords and see 12th century life as it really was.
Interesting fact: The park provided the landscape for the BBC’s Chronicles of Narnia.
Opening times: Open seven days a week throughout August. Gates open at 10am with last admission at 3.30pm.
Verdict: An exhilarating day out; let the kids take an adventure in nature’s own playground.