Sunday in Ludlow was another gloriously sunny day. Jimmy from the B & B advised a trip up Clee Hill where we had a view for miles around, right over to the Malvern Hills, the Black Mountains in Wales and Bredon Hill that we had climbed when on the Avon. A drive up the old road to the quarries was pretty hair raising because the narrow road was very icy and the car park at the top full of iced over potholes which made it difficult to gauge how deep they were. As I drove very cautiously down the brakes were graunching badly because of the ice and the main road immediately took us down a very long and steep hill so I was wishing we had stayed in Ludlow!
Because it was Sunday we were able to park in the centre of town so that Alan didn’t have to walk too far and we pottered round the castle and the church square and admired the many splendid buildings. If Alan hadn’t been hobbling we would have been charging up and down the neighbouring streets which looked very enticing. The Olive Branch, a mainly vegetarian and wholefoody restaurant/café was open and we each had a wonderful plate laden with six types of salad, a real antidote to the over meaty meals of the past few days. Our explorations ended with a drive down to the river at Dinham and then up the hill to a wonderful view over the town (Alan put a picture up on last night’s blog).
The Rose and Crown in the town centre was serving Sunday evening meals and we had good, plain but exceedingly tasty meals of fish & chips and fish pie.
Monday in contrast was a wet, grey and generally unpleasant day, but we set off resolved to finish our exploring of south Shropshire. We started with Leominster which didn’t interest us at all and went on through some very pretty scenery to Kington which we drove straight through as there was no parking in the main street and Alan had walked enough. Kington is small and the town centre is along one fairly narrow road but I could see there were some interesting shops and I would definitely like to explore sometime in the future. Then it was on to Presteigne, the gateway to Wales, which has lovely old stone and Georgian houses. We managed to park in Broad Street and had lunch in a café.
When we went back to the car and started away it was obvious there was something very wrong with the car and the wheels were rubbing badly. When we got out we could see that the car looked as if the whole front had collapsed down. Luckily before we went away I had taken out car breakdown cover (we had cancelled our bank scheme which was costing more than we received benefit) and I had just taken the cheapest package that covered everything that we needed for the great sum of £35. So I called up and in no time at all two very cheerful and reassuringly efficient men turned up with their recovery lorry. They identified that front suspension springs had failed, got their office to sort out a booking with the Ford garage in Ludlow for the following day, loaded us and the car onto the lorry and took us to the garage. There we received a very friendly welcome and a ride back to the B & B. The car was fixed and ready for collection by 11.00 the following day so we left to drive back home only an hour later than we had planned.
On Monday evening we had eaten at the Church Inn, another lovely pub with another blazing fire. It was a lovely place for a drink with an interesting clientele but the food (maybe because it was a Monday night) wasn’t nearly as good as the previous night at the Rose and Crown.
Statistics so far:-
2141.63 Miles, 1210 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels