Day Tripping, Week One: Loveland Castle

Here at the home of the blondies, we have no big travel plans for this summer. The constraints of finances and time are working against us as well at the prospect of traveling with three kids, one of whom is still three and still very capable of publicly humiliating meltdowns.

But we are planning on numerous little day trips to some of the more unique places nearby. Day trips are cheap and they are also easy to cut short when my three weefolk begin to take more interest in tormenting their siblings than in the destination itself.

Tuesday, we headed out to Chateau Laroche, also known as the Loveland Castle. This castle is just about ten miles from our house, sitting on a bluff above the Little Miami River. There's a short road down to the castle that is so steep, it was like trying to driving down one of the roller coasters at Kings Island. All three of my little jabberjaws were good enough to keep quiet for the minute or so it took me to stand on the brake, point my van downhill, and pray.

Castle LaRoche itself was built by one man, Harry Andrews, who bought the land as a retreat camp for his Sunday School classes. When their tents began to decay, he and the young men in his class used river rock and mixed cement from the sand to build a crude two-room stone shed. Over the next several decades, the castle was built by Mr. Andrews.

I wish I had taken some pictures of the inside but the stairs down to the dungeon (which fascinated my older two) and up to the second and third story were just as steep as the road in. I was too busy making sure no one broke their necks to snap any indoor pictures.

But I did get some nice ones outside:


The main portion of the castle.


The wing of the castle; the second story is the chapel. All the windows have crosses in them.


The gardens and a view of the other side of the main portion of the castle.


My tired but totally fascinated kiddos.

If you go, Castle LaRoche charges $3.00/person (including kids) and the tours are self-guided. They also do arrange school tours or group tours with a tour guide for groups over 20 people. And they do some very cool OverKnight camping events for Boy Scouts - how cool would THAT be?

This day tripping adventure got a big thumbs up from all of us, and guess what? It was waaaay easier going back up that steep hilly road on the way home.

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