The closest train station to Goodrich Castle is Lydney, just under 12 miles away and an 18-minute journey from Gloucester station. There are a number of taxi firms that make the transfer from the train station to the castle quick and easy. The largest railway station with national connections is Gloucester, which connects visitors with the castle by bus. From the bus station, the 33 and 34 to Ross-on-Wye take around 40 minutes, then it’s a five-minute walk down Castle Lane.
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Historian Adrian Pettifer described striking Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire as "the most splendid in the county, and one the best examples of English military architecture". Keeping watch over the old Roman road between Gloucester and Caerleon from a high rocky outcrop, the castle was originally built as a Norman earth-and-wood structure. The addition of a stone keep in the 12th century, and a concentric ring of walls and towers in the late 13th century, turned it into a strategic powerhouse, combining luxurious living with intimidating defence.
All this and more you’ll learn from the castle’s free audio guide, which will walk you through Goodrich Castle’s colourful history, pointing out its murder holes, its stained glass windows and the grisly details of the Civil War siege. There is a castle exhibition, with the only surviving Civil War mortar, Roaring Meg, and a shop to stock up on heritage-inspired goodies.
When you’ve had your fill of all things Civil War, head for the excellent cafe serving locally sourced lunches, teas and cakes before taking a stroll around the famously picturesque ruin beloved by Wordsworth and other Romantic poets and painters.