This prompted me to wear one of my favourite frocks, a vintage red checked wrap dress sprinkled with white flowers and edged with white rickrack. If that already sounds delightful, what about butterfly sleeves? Check! The dress is fit and flare and has revealing tendencies, so vintage slip to the rescue! My Clarks Cloudsteppers, the most comfortable shoes ever, were a perfect match.
We'd slept a bit longer than usual so that we reached our destination, which was an hour's drive from the cowshed, by late morning only.
Oswestry, a charming little country town close to the Welsh border, is in the North of Shropshire, an area we hadn't visited before. However, it was by no means the first time that I had been there! As a 15-year-old, while travelling to Wales with my parents and siblings, it was the first UK town I ever set foot in. Not that we stayed there for long: on passing a little corner shop, my Dad stopped the car and sent me to buy groceries.
Back in the here and now, we easily found a parking spot near the town centre and, halfway up the High Street, we perched ourselves on a bench in the town park, Cae Glas Park, to get our bearings.
The war poet Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) was born in Oswestry, and although he only spent a few years of his life here, his family's connection with the town goes back generations, and his grandfather was once mayor of the town. In 2018, a statue to him, created by local artist Tim Turner, was unveiled in the park.
Just a short stroll on the High Street takes you to St. Oswald's Church, which was completed in the early 1670s. Oswestry is said to be named after king and saint Oswald, and the name is thought to be a corruption of "Oswald's Tree".
Oswestry is a traditional market town with award-winning markets, both indoor and outdoor, drawing visitors from all parts of Shropshire and Mid Wales.
The town has an eclectic mix of independent shops selling anything from bric-a-brac to books, as well as quirky antique shops and galleries.
The sculpture of the man chasing a chicken was aptly displayed above USA Fried Chicken in Willow Street.
Lunch was had at the local Wetherspoon, named after the war poet, and housed in an ugly 1960s/1970s monstrosity of a building, which we believe used to be the post office. Inside, it was light and airy, and the fish and chips we had was delicious. I made a photo of both our plates as proof to Vix that Jos didn't have his usual jacket potato!
There were charity shops galore as well, and I think we visited them all, finding treasure in many.
My finds included two cotton summer tops and a pair of wide-legged trousers, which you can catch a glimpse of on the bottom right. I also found the first of my brooches, a delighful Lucite one. The chap volunteering in that particular shop was a bit of a brooch collector himself resulting in a good chat about the subject.
Then I found Jos this amazing pinstriped linen H&M jacket, just as he was lamenting the fact that he hadn't packed a light-weight jacket.
Things were starting to heat up on Friday, when temperatures reached heights of about 25° Celsius.
The perfect day for a visit to another National Trust property and an amble through its gardens.
Powis Castle is just across the border in Wales, the road meandering along the border, welcoming us to Wales one minute and back to Shropshire the next.
We visited this magnificent medieval castle, built on a rock above its terraced gardens, last year as well. This was on a day with a rainy start, from which we sheltered by starting with a visit to the castle itself to view its amazing collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries.
This time, we decided to visit the gardens only, but not before making the acquaintance of Captain Peacock, his wife and their peababy, who were begging for crumbs in the courtyard.
Here's a look at my outfit, which might very well be my favourite of our holiday. I felt fantastic in my vintage waxed cotton maxi skirt combined with a cotton peasant top I bagged in the New Look sales last Summer. A red vinyl belt, oval vintage brooch bearing a portrait of a lady and ivory coloured beaded necklace completed by outfit. Oh, and my faithful Cloudsteppers, which really make me feel as if I am walking on air.
The world-famous garden, overhung with clipped yews, shelters rare and tender plants. Laid out under the influence of Italian and French styles, it retains its original lead statues and an orangery on the terraces.
I was photographing details of one of the lead statues, when I spotted this stone of joy painted with the cutest of ladybirds from @stonesofjoy1. I was thrilled to bits. I'm still not sure if I will rehide it here in Belgium, as I am very tempted to keep it as a souvenir.
There were some curious objects hidden away in the trees, like this pair of shoes, which bore a note in both English and Welsh that they were Betty's. These were part of a children's trail laid out in relation to a project about a group of pupils and teachers from the Ashford Welsh Girls School, Middlesex, who were evacuated to the castle in 1939.
Exploring the garden, we wandered the Italianate terraces and marvelled at those spectacular yew hedges and lavish herbaceous borders.
Arriving at the bottom level, we briefly sat down in one of the deckchairs on the lawn, but the sun had become too hot by then, so that after a visit to the lavs (there was a queue!) we sought out the shade once more.
This we found in the woodlands opposite the castle, where several walks have been laid out. Our weary limbs, and my rebelling knee in particular, dictated that we take the least streneous one, which at one point passed a tranquil, reed bordered pond. Here, I left Jos sitting on a rough-hewn wooden bench, following a path that brought me to the igloo shaped ice house!
Retracing our steps to the garden coffee shop, we grabbed the last shady table and sat down with cups of cappuccino. Here, more crumb-begging was being done by this funny chap, which we'll call Mr. Humphries.*
The sun still blazing, hazing the view towards the mighty Welsh mountains, we said our goodbyes to Powis Castle and drove back to England.
*Back in early Spring, two new peacocks arrived at Powis Castle and those who follow the castle's Facebook page like I do were asked to choose names for them. By popular vote, they were named Captain Peacock and Mr. Humphries (my choice as well) after the characters of the legendary British sitcom Are You Being Served. I'm not sure if I got the names of the actual peacocks we met right.
Finally, even if I'm not exactly wearing shorts, and it's Sunday already, I am linking to Nancy's Fancy Friday.
O , lovely to be back in the UK again for a few minutes. What a wonderful castle, we always visit at least one when we are in the UK. I always love the funny names they have for anything. Fabulous!ReplyDelete
I'm glad to have been able to transport you to the UK for a few minutes, Nancy! xxxDelete
I can see why the green outfit was a favourite, it looks wonderful! And the flutter sleeve dress too. I don't think I've ever been to Oswestry, so this has been another enjoyable virtual tour for me! xxReplyDelete
Thank you Sarah. This certainly is a combination I will wear again. We have to go back to Oswestry, as there's lots to see in the area as well. xxxDelete
that green maxi outfit is indeed one of your bests!!ReplyDelete
and the BW is green with envy about jos´ new linen jacket - he wants one since ages, but it is impossible to find a decent one 2.hand - outside of england.
the gardens of the castle are stunning! and peacocks!!! just wow.
hugsies, my dear! xxxxx
Thank you Beate! I can't get over the fact that I found this jacket for Jos. I only looked in one shop, and this was the only decent jacket they had. And it fit him too! I love peacocks! xxxDelete
ohhhh, so lovely that you enjoyed these beautiful places in the sunshine!, the beautiful details, the sculptures, the atmosphere, everything looks so summery and delightful!. Love your red dress and its butterfly sleeves!, and so fab that you found the perfect summer jacket for Jos!. And totally love your maxi skirt and the cute top, such a fabulous ensemble in fabulous colors!! You look Gorgeous!!.ReplyDelete
Powis Castle looks like a magnificent place to visit and have a walk around!, those gardens and the peacocks are fab!, so lovely that you got involved in picking their names!!
Thank you so much Monica! Powis Castle and its gardens are well worth visiting. We've been twice already and I'm not ruling out a third visit! xxxDelete
I love how your posts are full of photos of interesting places. Few others have that. And the red dress is very pretty.ReplyDelete
Thank you Ally! xxxDelete
I've never been to either of these places and both sound as if they deserve a visit. I loved the peacocks,peahen and peababy!ReplyDelete
You got some good finds; the lucite brooch looked beautiful. How interesting the guy was a brooch collector; I wonder did he collect them to sell them? Jos's jacket was a great score.
Loved your outfits especially the maxi skirt and peasant top.
I'm so glad you had some decent weather!
Thank you Vronni. I don't think they guy collected them to sell. But I bet he got first picks if anything came into the shop. In hindsight, I'm surprised he didn't keep that Lucite brooch for himself! xxxDelete
I love peacocks - I can hear them here (the park where they live is not too far away), but I seldom see them. What a lovely property that was - thank you so much for sharing your amazing photos, Ann!ReplyDelete
I adore both your wrap dress and your maxi skirt outfits - both are just wonderful (glad those shoes are comfy!). Your new trousers are intriguing, and doesn't Jos look dapper in his new blazer!
Hope your week goes well, my dear!
We used to hear peacocks in a nearby park as well, but they've gone now. I loved hearing their plaintive cries, which makes me think of lazy summer evenings. xxxDelete
I'm with others who cheered your green outfit for a day at the castle gardens. You fit right in with the glamorous peacocks. I'm so glad the weather turned toward sunshine during your visit!ReplyDelete
Thank you Sherry! I just loved those peacocks! xxxDelete
Soo wonderful to see all these gorgeous places. You have a good eye for fotogaphs and vintage treasures :)) I enjoy travelling with you so much! ;)ReplyDelete
With a huge hug Tina
Thank you so much Tina! xxxDelete
I've always wanted to visit Powys castle! Envvious!!! You look dreamy in your green outfit and I like your finds from the shops- I got a similar orange top in the charity shop recently!! What brand is yours!?xReplyDelete
Oh, you really should visit, Kezzie. Plus, there's a lovely vintage shop in nearby Welshpool. My top is from New Look, how about yours? xxxDelete
Shropshire is so very pretty. I love seeing your photos of your travels - and your splendid outfits.ReplyDelete
If you do keep the stone, perhaps you should take it on your travels and let the maker know via IG where it's been. That would be fun...
Thank you Mim! And what a great idea to take the stone on my travels! xxxDelete
It is always a pleasure to read your posts. Oswestry as a name could very well be a corruption (or shortening to make it sound better) of Oswald's tree, it does sound like it. I couldn't tell for sure, though. I have an interest in etymology but I'm not sure whether I have a natural talent for it. Anyhow, Oswestry seems like a lovely market town. Did I hear book shops mentioned? The shops I saw features here do look very unique and attractive. Who doesn't like quirky and arty shops? Market towns are always interesting. How nice you were here before and that's actually the first UK city you visited. The region of Shopshire does look like a great place to visit on the whole. From what I found on Wikipedia, this area is absolutely fascinating in terms of history. This town has had quite a dramatic history, I've just read something about rebellions, wars, it being burned down in the past and all sorts of things.ReplyDelete
The garden you showed is beautiful. The peacock is gorgeous. They are such beautiful birds...and the funny thing is that I have a feeling they know it. They seem so confident in their own beauty. Speaking of things beautiful, I love your outfits. The first wrap dress is so darling and those shoes do look comfy. The second outfit with the vintage maxi and the fancy top is absolutely divine. The red belt is the perfect finishing touch. I also like Jos' outfit, his blazer is very chic.
I wonder what you will do with the stone! Keep us updated.
Thank you so much for your wonderful and knowledgeable comment, Ivana! I'm so pleased with your interest in my posts. I'll probably take the stone on my travels as suggested by Mim! xxxDelete
What, no jacket potato? Thank goodness for photographic evidence!ReplyDelete
Love both your red dress and the wonderful green outfit and didn't Jos do well with that smart linen jacket? Your finds aren't too shabby either!
Oswestry is the first place we ever took Gilbert! We had chips, bought a duvet set from a chazza and admired antiques we couldn't afford. It's a lovely place, I didn't know about the Wilfred Owen connection.
How fab that you got to see the peacocks and Powis Castle again. It's making me want to go back and see it in all its summertime glory. xxx
I told Jos we needed to take photographs in order for you to believe it. It was seeing Jon's fish and chips that made him decide on a change ;-) As for Oswestry, they probably dug up the Wilfred Owen connection to celebrate the centenary. xxxDelete
Wow! Your green outfit is gorgeous! A-line maxi skirts are so dramatic.ReplyDelete
Those massive grounds of the castle are very impressive. Nothing here ever compares to the old gardens of Europe.
The story of the ladybug stone is really cool. I've never come across anything like it.
That baby peacock is so darn cute!
Thank you Suzanne! Yes, I know, the baby peacock is super cute. We used to stay at a B&B that had peacocks and the owner always called them peababy's, which I thought was rather sweet! xxxDelete
Somehow, a formal garden just isn;t complete without a peacock or two! Really enjoying your travel posts.ReplyDelete
Thank you Goody, and I do agree about the peacocks! xxxDelete
That red wrap dress looks amazing on you, Ann! That style and colour really suits you! Although I must also say that your green outfit is just as pretty! That top and skirt look fabulous together! Lovely! Those peacocks are adorable. Hope you're having a wonderful week, Ann. XXXReplyDelete
Thank you so much Sasha! xxxDelete
Your story took me to a dreamy vacation, dear Ann! I loved the combination of old buildings with humorous modern sculptures, such a dynamic mix!ReplyDelete
Your maxi skirt outfit is just phenomenal, and the red belt took it to a high fashion level! And your red dress is perfect for a hot day and looks divine on you!
Thank you Natalia! How are you these days? xxxDelete
Have a lovely day dear! Thanks for stopping by.ReplyDelete
Thank you Ivana, you are so kind xxxDelete
I've always wanted to go to Powis thank you form sharing.ReplyDelete
Oh, you should Gisela. You'd love it enormously! xxxDelete
I must try to get over to the west a bit more, you have sold your holiday tales to me.ReplyDelete
It's meltingly hot here today but I can't complain, I'm like a lizard, I love the heat!
I saw your green outfit on Instagram, still love it xxx
Oh, there is plenty see over on the west, Sally! I'm glad you love my holiday tales! xxxDelete
I find life much easier in summer. You hop in and out of the house anytime. :-) Except there is a heat wave, of course. RegulaReplyDelete
You're quite right, Regula. But no heatwave for me, thanks ;-)Delete