Monday 6th June 2016.
Well, ‘Flaming June’ was already living up to its name this week, when my little one and I hopped in our car destined for Montgomery, Powys, about 30 minutes (through some stunning countryside) from Oswestry.
Now, on one of the many (many) long drives I used to do with our newborn daughter, about 3 years ago I drove through Montgomery and had been meaning to go back ever since, after all, who wouldn’t be enchanted by a tiny gorgeous town with its own castle overlooking it?
We drove through the town to a signposted car park, and walked up the little hill back into the town.
I fell instantly in love with the old chocolate box houses and town square. It might be a ‘Welsh’ thing too, but the street signs were also a beautiful ‘Wedgewood’ blue, and quite a few of the beautiful buildings were helpfully marked with little plaques about the interesting history of the town (I’m a bit of a history boffin!). In an attempt to fight off the immediate ‘grumps’ setting in with my littley, we stopped at the Ivy House café overlooking the tiny town square (we were the first in and got a great view from our little table!) A latte and gluten-free cake (and a plain milk and crispie slice ) later, we were finally in good enough spirits to go for our little explore.
We wandered around the square peeking into the beautiful little shops, then wandered a little way down one of the lovely quiet roads to come across ‘Bunners’ – and let me tell you, if you go in and don’t fall in love with this amazingly higgledy-piggley Aladdins Cave of things (& probably need to buy something!) then you are DEAD INSIDE. It is a national treasure!
Originally an Ironmongers and Bicycle shop (check out the fab retro outside!) Bunners is a complete treasure trove of stuff we need and stuff you didn’t need until you saw it! This shop still has lovely original touches, lots of tiny drawers behind the counter housing bolts, thingmajigs and wotsanames, plus retro wooden storage cabinets and very cute (genuine) signs on their shop fittings.
My little one and I spent a good hour in there, and left with several awesome things we HAD to buy! (FYI they’re selling 2 Cath Kidston mugs for £10. Bargain!)
Back out into the sunshine, we walked up the steep and narrow lane up to Montgomery Castle itself. It’s very steep (and was very hot on Monday) so cars can drive up here too, so it depends on how you’re feeling.
The lane was lovely and shady, and flanked by banks of trees and wild strawberry plants, flowering ready to put forth those tiny wild strawberries towards the end of the Summer that are almost like bursts of Strawberry sherbet.
Finally at the castle ruins (building began on it in 1227) Lottie had a good run around, climb and explore, and we drank in the amazing green views, including four Red Kites (my all-time favourite bird of prey) who treated us to a fab aerial display and lots of showing off!
Too hot for our picnic (& still full of cake) we wandered back down into the town and back to our car, stopping briefly to play at the little playground by the car park (if you go, check out the fab, almost 1950’s style ride-on spring elephant & also be warned that on a scorching day the play roundabout is extremely hard work to push!)
We had a lovely morning – it felt almost like a mini holiday - and have vowed next time to take Daddy, although next time, the roundabout-pushing and tea and cake is on him :)