In the UK roads are labelled with the letters M, A and B with a number following the letter. Unless they’re really tiny in which case they may have a name, but they don’t have a label.
The A49 starts in the north at Bamber Bridge and travels down the west of England and along the Welsh border ending at Ross-on-Wye. Along the way it passes many towns such as Wigan, Warrington, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Leominster. More interestingly it also passes a lot of castles.
I’ve driven along the A49 several times before and always been intrigued by the number of brown signs I’ve passed. Brown road signs point the way to places of interest. Like castles.
Although I’ve always been intrigued, I’ve never had time to stop. I promised myself each time that one day I would do a road trip and see for myself exactly what the A49 has to offer.
Well, that day is finally here.
I have to be in Cardiff over Easter weekend for a conference and so have decided to make the most of my time off work by taking a week to get there and travelling slowly along the A49 and then seeing a bit of South Wales before arriving in Cardiff on Good Friday.
I’m not going to traverse all 140 miles (230km) as I’ll be starting slightly further south, but I plan to spend some time in Cheshire and Shropshire as well as having in a day in Hay-on-Wye before heading down to South Wales.
I might go to Ludlow to check out the food scene (it’s famous for it). And whilst I’m there I’ll check out the castle.
Then there’s also Stokesy Castle, Hopton Castle, Cholmondeley Castle, Beeston Castle, Acton Burnell Castle, Bridgnorth Castle, Clun Castle and Witley Court.
They’re all easily accessible from the A49. I won’t get time to go to all of them and if I did I’d end up not appreciating them as they’d all blur into one in my mind. But I’m going to pick a few.
I may also pop into Hereford to have a look at the Mappa Mundi. It’s the largest medieval map known to exist and is housed in Hereford Cathedral. I’ve seen it before, but it was a long time ago. I’m definitely due another peek. Hereford did have a castle, but it was demolished in 1660. The defensive ditch was used for sewage for a while, but that too has now gone.
I’m taking my van and will be sleeping in it along the way. Over the past week I’ve been making curtains. (Or rather my mum has. Thanks Mum!) Yep, I’ve had my van for about five years, had it converted for about four years and slept in it a lot, but I’m only just getting curtains.
I’m getting excited about my trip, but can’t leave till Sunday. This is because first I have something else exciting to do. But that’s a whole other post.
Have you road tripped along a less well-known route before? Share in the comments below.