Weekend away to test out the new ‘cuppa shelves’ in the camper. We now have two small shelves in the corners above the bed to hold a morning coffee or tea so it would seem ungrateful not to get away and test them out! Our plan was to meet us with our Tribby friends, Phil and Jan, and catch up with news of their 6 week trip down through France and Switzerland and enjoy a bit of sightseeing around the Severn Valley.
Arrived at our campsite, The Squirrel, in Alveley just outside Bridgnorth on Saturday afternoon. The forecast was to see the tale end of Hurriance Bertha but the sun was shinning and all was good with the world. Just off the main road to Kidderminster there were 10-12 pitches set behind the pub and a bowling green. All looked good with the exception of a very small child who popped over and stole our step! Luckily the culprit was apprehended and said step returned amidst lots of tears and tantrums (hers not ours!). After an afternoon sat in the sun we had a meal in the pub followed by a few drinks, and were impressed that the pub was happy to serve 1/4 pints for those of us not able to drink in large quantities.
Sunday morning was fairly bright but storm clouds were looming. Deciding that it would be fine we dressed in waterproofs and headed to the Severn Valley Country Park. What appeared on the map to be a 10 minute walk turned out to be a mile or so up hill and then down the other side. Well worth the effort though as the park stretches for miles on either side, a total of 51 hectares. Well maintained footpaths lead you down to the river itself where the Severn Valley Steam Railway runs alongside the river and a multitude of paths and trails. At this stage Bertha kicked in with vengeance – it wasn’t just raining, it was hammering down, accompanied by thunder and lightening. We decided the best plan was to head for a cafe at the station, this would have been a good plan if our route has arrived at the station rather than a Halt. By now we were all soaked so Plan B and head back whence we came to the visitor centre for well earned coffees and cakes and to try an dry out a little. By the time we left the rain had gone and the sun was out so we walked back to camp with steam rising from us as we walked feeling rather smug that we had managed 4.5 miles in the tale end of a hurricane.
By Monday the storm had well and truly passed so we decided to take a bus trip into Bridgnorth. A lovely market town in the heart of Shropshire, its split into two towns – High Town and Low Town. Whilst they are joined by a road they are also joined by a funicular cliff railway, the only inland one in the country, so that’s the way to travel between the two, only £1.20 return with amazing views. The low town runs along side the river and there are a few shops and cafes, we took the picnic option and bought supplies from M&S and sat on a bench by the river to watch the world walk by as we ate. Back up in the High Town we walked along the town walls and stopped for a quick look in the church of St. Mary, designed by Thomas Telford, before heading over to the main attraction, being the Severn Valley Steam Railway. Not sure what it is that beats the sight, sound and smell of a steam train? For us it was the icing on the cake of a fabulous day. The train runs down to Kidderminster but we were tied to a bus ticket back to camp so we didn’t take the trip (we will next time). So it was back up to town for a wander around the shops for an hour, plenty of independent shops and old fashioned bakers and delicatessens, before heading back on the bus for a well earned afternoon nap.