An earlier start today from the Gainsborough House Hotel. The beast had been parked up overnight in a back room and I had to wheel it through the breakfast room and foyer to get it outside. Thought I might have problems but the breakfast waitress held all the doors open for me.
Weaving through the town with the morning traffic wasn’t ideal but after a mile or so we escaped onto the lanes. Went past some lovely houses out in the country but all had sturdy iron fences and gates. The hills slowed us down as usual but apart from one they were all manageable. When we got to the exception we stopped at the bottom and both looked up the sharply rising lane. Neither of us felt like a challenge, so I checked the map for alternatives. It meant a couple of miles on an A road and was longer but we were both in agreement – anything to avoid the climb we were facing. It’s on the A roads we feel most vulnerable – especially when we’re climbing slowly on a left hand bend, so hidden from traffic approaching from behind. We had another A road stretch coming into Bridgenorth.
The town is on two levels. The lower town, on the banks of the Severn and the higher town which occupies a steep sided hill overlooking the river. We walked over the bridge looking for a potential lunch stop and found a nice little place right next to the river. It wasn’t yet 12.00 so we had a wait while the kitchen came on line. Eventually we were fed and watered but to leave the town, we had to push the bike up a steep, narrow street to get up the the ‘high street’. We had spotted a fernacular(?) rail car as we’d entered the town but just knew the beast wouldn’t be accepted.
Walking the high street we chatted with several folks before mounting the bike for a fast descent back down to the riverside. There we got onto another disused rail line that would carry us all the way to Ironbridge. We arrived not long adter 3.00pm. Bathed and changed we took our paints nack to the bridge and sat in the afternoon sun (yes, sun!) to sketch. The pub we’d booked B&B with was a bit rough sp we ate on one nearby before retiring to ours.
Tomorrow we’re aiming for Whitchurch, past Shrewsbury. That’ll line us up nicely for Chester and the Wirrel, so we should be in Liverpool in a few day’s time.