For all those who like to immerse themselves in history and get a real sense of what life was like hundreds of years ago, Stokesay Castle, near Ludlow in Shropshire, UK, is a fabulous place to visit.
It's a step back in time being largely as it was when built in the 13th Century by Lawrence of Ludlow, a successful Wool Trader.
We were there on a breezy, overcast day when the wind blew in through the unglazed windows of the Great Hall, just as it would have done when Lawrence and his family lived there. Shutters hang from the windows and would have been closed against the cold and the rain.
"Get a real sense of what life was like"Cupcake Ipsum, 2015
An octagon of cobble stones in the floor is a hearth where a fire would have been lit to provide heat. Where the smoke escaped is unclear, there is no opening in the roof as you might expect. The timber of the impressive cruck roof is blackened from the smoke.
Exploring the castle we found a plethora of fantastic finds. We climbed the original 13th Century staircase leading up out of the Great Hall, saw original mosaic floor tiles - a rarity in a private house of this period - and original plasterwork still with it's floral pattern painted onto it.
I thoroughly recommend getting off the beaten track and taking the time to visit Stokesay Castle.
While you're in the area you could make a visit to Ludlow Castle.
Ludlow was an extremely important location during the Plantagenet and Tudor periods.
Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII died here. His heart is buried in nearby St Laurence's Church and his body in Worcester Cathedral.