Discover Montgomery Castle - Short walk
- Going: Medium difficulty - Steep climbs and descents with narrow tracks in places.
- Duration: 1 hour+ to include taking in the views and castle grounds.
With your back to the Town hall front entrance proceed to your left along Arthur Street for a few hundred metres. You will pass The Old Bell Museum on your left along with some interesting wooden framed houses. On your right you will see Bunners Hardware Shop ( A great place to visit in its own right as it is a warren of little rooms cram packed full of hardware and general household items and represents a real olde worlde village hardware store. Also of note are the two working fuel pumps, one on either side of the shop front.) The hillside path leading up to the castle is directly opposite Bunners to your left.
Take the path and go through a small swing gate. Follow the small steep path as it ascends upwards through trees giving you short, somewhat restricted views down over the town below. Eventually towards the top the path widens out to give you your first glimpse of the castle outer defences.
At the top of the path we would recommend first walking around the outside of the outer defences to get an overall idea of the sheer size and grandeur that the castle would have represented back in the early 1220s when it was freshly built. To achieve this go straight ahead, and bear slightly right as you emerge at the top of the path. Then walk alongside the high outer wall keeping the castle on your left. It's quite fascinating to explore the walls and wonder just who built them.. and imagine the views and sights that were seen from these actively fought over em-battlements down through the centuries.
You will pass small gateways that give glimpses into the outer sectional defences, and bridges that linked the outer and inner living areas. These bridges are fairly modern replacements for the originals, but they still convey a presence of the ones that once spanned these defensive gaps.
Continue walking with the castle on your left until you reach the furthest end of the site where, bearing a little to the right, you will find a raised history information plaque of particular interest overlooking a famous battlefield far below.
On 18th September 1644 the battlefield staged a battle of overwhelming importance during the first civil war between Parliamentarian and Royalist forces. The battle advantage went to and fro but eventually the attacking Parliamentarians got the upper hand and eventually they prevailed. This plaque describes the battle and leading people involved and from this vantage point, high above the scene you can survey the whole battlefield below. As a small puzzle see if you can spot the spelling mistake in the text on the plaque.
Continue to walk around the rear side of the castle outer defences keeping the castle on your left. You are walking along the line of the outer defensive wall that surrounded the inner castle fortress. Looking up as you go you will be able to see the large and strong rocky outcrop that the castle was built upon. It takes advantage of the rock as its impregnable foundations.
The castle remains above form part of the inner living areas and you will next be going into these areas and able to look back down on the area where you have been walking, and enjoy outstanding views out around the surrounding region.
Follow the track around to the left as it rises to join the first of the bridges that you will cross to obtain access to the inner fortress and living areas.
Near the first of the defensive bridges is an information plaque that gives an insight into the history of the castle. After reading it, cross the two defensive bridges and enter the castle. You will find more information plaques around the site and they will help you to better understand the importance of Montgomery Castle and its surrounding scenery. Take a few moments to discover the inner water well, the main oven and kitchen areas and the prisoner cells, and take in the views.
The castle and grounds can often appear different each day with every change of weather throughout the seasons of the year. Sunrises and sunsets are specially beautiful and I love taking my camera on our numerous walks around the site. Here are a few of the photographs we've taken over the last few years:
Start your return to Montgomery Town by walking back out over the bridges and taking the gravel path running fairly level off to the left hand side of the sheltered seating view point. As you proceed along this graveled path you will get glimpses through the trees down onto Montgomery and through them to the Corndon Hills approximately 8 miles distant. As you enter the main castle car park turn to your right to exit through the gates onto a roadway.
As you step towards the roadway turn immediately left and take the small, narrow lane that descends next to the car park gate. We have a pet name for this lane - 'Fern Alley' - as it has many species of fern growing on its damp banks - it's real name is 'The Conduit' or as known by locals, ' The Cundit'.
Continue down this lane and after a hundred metres or so notice a small swing gate to your left. This leads to a track that meets the one you ascended to the castle on about half way up the climb. You can take this route if you wish and get back into town opposite Bunners Hardware shop. We will however continue down the lane here to descend into town to the rear of the Town Hall, and back to our starting point.
The lane reaches its steepest here so take your time to descend down past the Dragon Hotel on your right and to the town hall where you began this walk.
We hope that you enjoyed our short walk and tour of our lovely Montgomery Castle and you feel inspired to take another of our suggested walks shortly. We particularly recommend the 'Offa's Dyke' and 'Ffridd Faldwyn Hillfort' walks that take a few hours to complete.