Ludlow Castle is the most celebrated castle in the Shropshire Hills and with good reason. Not only was it one of the first stone castles to be built in England, but its place in history is deeply etched through its importance as a Yorkist stronghold during the Wars of the Roses and home to the young Richard III It was the de facto capital of Wales from the 15th to 17th century and remains within the family of the Earls of Powis, and is open to visitors year-round (weekends only in January).
A visit to the castle is a must when in Ludlow and you can even stay there in the castle’s self-catering apartments. The castle is also the venue for various events, including the Ludlow Spring Festival (beer, bands and classic cars) and Ludlow Food Festival.
Other places to stay in Ludlow include the Feathers Hotel, the Cliffe at Dinham and the Clive.
Stokesay Castle, just outside Craven Arms, is actually a fortified medieval manor house and, indeed, the best-preserved such building in the country. Its Great Hall is unchanged in more than 700 years since it was built in the late 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow, then one of the richest men in England. You can stay nearby at Green Way Camoing & Glamping. While at Hopton, you can visit the romantic ruins of Hopton Castle, whose preservation is managed by a charitable trust.
The similarly dramatic ruins of Clun Castle are also free to visit and you can stay nearby at the White Horse Inn.