We have started turning our minds to possible places to live when we finish our exploration of the waterways and so we have been spending a few days in Shropshire starting with a couple of nights in Bridgnorth. It was a very wet day when we left Croxley with very difficult driving conditions. As we neared Bridgnorth we passed through some of the places we had explored from the canal: Stourbridge and Kinver, which was a particular favourite.
In Bridgnorth we stayed at the Bear Inn, a pub next to Northgate. The room was very comfortable and well decorated and the breakfasts delicious. We were the only guests: not many people go away just after New Year, unless its off to find the sun somewhere! The Bear wasn’t doing evening meals so we ate at the Legend Chinese, after a wander round the town taking in two pubs, both of which served very well kept Shropshire brewed beer. So far so good!
The next day we woke to snow. It fell quite heavily but was fairly soft though it did settle on the roads and made for wet walking. Alan was still hobbling badly but was keen to explore so we proceeded very slowly. A highlight was a trip down from High Town to Low Town on the Cliff Railway. It costs £1 for the return journey and the cars look like miniature old fashioned buses. There is a fabulous view from the Castle walkway over the Low Town, a view apparently much loved by Charles I. There are many wonderful Georgian and Tudor buildings and a real feel that this is a town that has been cherished and preserved. Bridgnorth has some excellent food shops and the butcher was a feast for the eye with hams hanging from the ceiling and pheasants on the front of the shop. We had really enjoyed their sausages at breakfast. The deli had the most amazing bead in the window.
We had also planned to explore the surrounding area so spent the afternoon driving over to Much Wenlock. It was slow going with considerable snow on the road and the thick white fog meant that our vision was only a few yards on either side. Despite that we really liked Much Wenlock. In contrast to Bridgnorth the buildings were low and stonebuilt and there was a very imposing church and a Guildhall and another magnificent butcher and market with vegetable stalls.
Alan had continued to hobble valiantly around and consequently by the time we went out to a recommended restaurant, Bambers, he was in agony and barely able to walk. 300 yards along the High Street seemed like 3 miles. The restaurant was deserted on such a cold night and the staff were about to call it a day and go home. One other diner joined us. The food was excellent and we were left to muse on the problems of how hard it must be nowadays for businesses, especially in a town that seems to have too many pubs and eating places for its population. Alan found even sitting to be immensely painful and the return journey was worse than when we went out. There was a band on at the pub which was full but we were so tired we went straight up and not even the loud music from below kept us awake.
Statistics so far:-
2141.63 Miles, 1210 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels