Distance 17.58 miles, cumulative 865.85 miles, time 8 hrs, walking time 6 hrs 10 mins, pace 2.8 mph, camped The Unicorn Inn campsite.
Thanks to Bal for putting us up for 2 days and running us about. We left Steve’s Dad’s and headed towards the Severn Way along the Silkin Way which is right outside Dad’s front door. The Silkin Way is a footpath and cycle way which uses a disused railway from Telford to Ironbridge and Coalport. When we visit Telford it is our usual running route but today it was our link down to the Severn Valley and Severn Way which will be our route for the next 6 days down to Bristol.
The weather was fine and the path took us past a constant series of fishing pegs owned by various angling clubs and through some very large cereal and vegetable fields each of which was one to two miles long. The path passed through Bridgnorth Golf Club and we found a nice flat spot with short grass to pitch the tent but several groups of golfers asked us politely if they could ‘play through’, whatever that means.
It was a little unsafe as a camping pitch so we carried on but Steve again became pre-occupied with thoughts of relinquishing the burden of his rucksack having seen the electric golf carts.
After three and a half hours we reached Bridgnorth. Steve observed that if we had been driving from Telford we would be home by now. Lynn is not convinced Steve has fully embraced the spirit of what walking JOGLE is about.
We arrived in Bridgnorth and dived into the first tea shop we passed. There are a great many tea shops in Bridgnorth, which makes for healthy competition, and £3 cream teas – we had limitless tea and a large scone – try finding a cream tea at that price in Devon.
We were the only customers and the proprietors had only opened the tea shop a week ago and only at weekends. It transpired they were really only trying to improve their chances of selling the premises which was a listed 18th century riverside 3 bedroom town house which could have a tea room business run from the ground floor. The owner asked if we were interested in buying it. We didn’t so no and we didn’t say yes. We enjoyed our cream tea and the owner offered to let us leave our rucksacks with him while we climbed up to the higher part of Bridgnorth to get a few supplies. Bridgnorth has a funicular railway running from the riverside up to the town, we walked. It was just as well we had left the rucksacks behind as the town was busy with Sidmouth residents and we would have been knocking them over like skittles. For blog readers who do not know what characterises Sidmouth residents, the East Devon seaside town is often referred to as ‘God’s waiting room’. Having offended a good proportion of our readers we will move swiftly on, which is what we did but only as far as the Estate Agent’s window to check the asking price of the tea shop.
We returned to the tea shop and made a cheeky offer for the house – the owner didn’t say yes and didn’t say no.
We walked on to Hampton Loade with the river on our left and the Severn Valley Steam Railway to our right and discussing Stamp Duty thresholds. The line was busy with steam trains which made for some good sights, sounds and smells.
We pitched and had time to enjoy the sunshine after a level and dry day of walking down the valley.