Parts of Old Downton are so ancient that history merges with legend: its renovation so sympathetic and creative that you may confuse fact with fiction.
A mixture of buildings – medieval, half timbered and Georgian surround a herb and flower bedecked courtyard that looks out towards the Hereford hills.
This is pure escapism – a chance to immerse yourself in history and enjoy an experience that will live long in the memory.
The Sitting Room
The sitting room is redolent of its previous incarnation – there is no hiding the fact that this was once an impressive stable.
Mighty timbers that once fronted stalls now provide seating from which to watch the roaring log burner, socialise and enjoy a drink from the bar – or in summer to contemplate the spectacular sunsets over the Shropshire hills.
The museum is the most mysterious room of all – for a start no one knows the origins of its name.
Its huge cider press can still trundle powerfully around its stone trough (with no drain to let the cider out!) and provides a dramatic focal point to a room which is ideal for small conferences and receptions.
The map shows Old Downton Lodge is just 6 miles from Ludlow – yet those six miles seem to transport you through time to a bygone age.
As the lanes narrow, even the most jaundiced traveller will be mesmerised by the abundance of wild life and the feeling that you have rediscovered the lost England of Housman and Shakespeare.
Although modern roads will lead you to its doorstep, Old Downton Lodge is well off the beaten track – and far away from light pollution: This is the place to see velvety night skies sprinkled with a myriad of stars.
Walk through its cartway and enter Old Downton’s secret world. Even the grounds seem timeless – there’s the remains of an ancient Motte and the cottage garden just invites you to take a seat, relax and enjoy a glass of wine.