Rather a lot of it… Mostly Welsh water, this – the rain hasn’t been especially heavy here in Shropshire. The “big bends” near Leighton are almost invisible – look carefully to see the current in the normal river bed. It’s the same at Cressage bridge – the flood plain is a lake, and if the water rises another inch or two, it will be over the road. Flooding here is not uncommon, but this could be the last opportunity to see the disused power station above the waters. Perhaps, in some way, that’s symbolic.
Willey and Linley: we walked this way before Christmas (see “The depth of December“) – a route which was good underfoot when the fields were soggy. After last night’s heavy rain, the field paths will again be worth avoiding. It’s cold, and with a strong westerly wind, a bit of shelter would be good too. So we’re returning to the quiet roads linking these hamlets, stretching our legs and making most of the (fitful) sunny intervals – the sun is pleasantly warm when it’s allowed to shine. (Just for variety, we’re doing it clockwise – last time, we walked widdershins)
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There’s a cold wind, but it should stay dry. Maybe there’s a chance of some sunshine? Not really – certainly none of the deep blue that we had between the morning’s sharp showers. Down in the valley, walking between Ironbridge and the Coalport bridge, it’s sheltered and pleasant enough. To avoid what would have been a very muddy path, we’re crossing the Severn twice more – using the Jackfield memorial footbridge and lastly, the new “Free Bridge” – that’s four metal bridges in a row, all significant in their own way.
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Jackfield tile museum – for colour on a rainy afternoon…
Wednesday 27 Feb: We’re enjoying the last day of the warm sunny spell, walking from the top of Coalbrookdale to the pools at Dawley, in part following the route of old pre-railway age wagonways. We’ll cross (on public footpaths) some real railways too – the disused line to the power station and the soon-to-be-reconstructed line from Horsehay. The various pools, dating from the same era as the wagonways, are likewise associated with the early iron-making industry in these parts. They look pleasantly rural in the bright sunshine.
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Attingham – a sunny afternoon, perfect for a gentle stroll with a wide-angle lens. Warm stone and a deep blue sky – what more could one want?
Another sunny afternoon! We’re taking a short wander on the other side of the Severn, at first through the woodlands above the river, before skirting around the back of Ironbridge to descend towards the unwrapped bridge. It looks splendid in its new red livery – it will glow, I imagine, when the sun’s going down on a later spring evening.