Thursday 12 May: Staffordshire – a walk from the Satnall Hills car park, near Milford, through the Shugborough estate to find draught Bass in Great Haywood (no, it doesn’t look like rain! The weather’s better than expected too!). We return beside a tranquil stretch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal to complete a circuit full of interest.

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To the bridge

We need to walk down to Ironbridge to buy some cards, apparently. We’ll go this morning, as there’s a chance of a shower this afternoon (again! It is April, of course). I’ll take the camera…

One of the photos below depicts some old brickwork, topped by steel sculpture. Only very recently (after more than 40 years of walking past it) I discovered that it was the southernmost support of the former railway station footbridge, which spanned the road alongside as well as the tracks. There’s always something of interest to discover!

Snowdrops, knitting and deer

We need to visit Shrewsbury in the early afternoon – a visit to Attingham afterwards would be good. The snowdrops will be out! Nearby, the bothy is full of knitted people whose homes in the woodland came crashing down in the storms (apparently…). They seem to be having fun – there’s a tea party in progress. Out in the park, the deer have been having a party too – they’ve had their 3pm winter feed, and are now taking it easy.

Attingham Park NT

Fish and chips

We’re walking down to Blists Hill. “We could have lunch there. The fish and chip shop might be open”. It was – the aroma led us straight towards it. They were pretty good too, though I suspect a portion between us might have been sufficient. Our return journey will help to walk them off!

While we’re dining (al fresco) the little replica Trevithick steam locomotive is being driven up and down the track on the opposite bank of the canal. I’m not going to try while fingers are greasy, but as soon as we’ve finished… Inevitably, as soon as we’ve finished, and cleaned our fingers, the loco driver is ready for his lunch. We’ll wander on.

Blists Hill Victorian Town

Rain in the park

… and colour in the walled garden. One of those days when it could rain anywhere, anytime – or might stay dry. It didn’t, of course. We took shelter under the trees in the deer park for a few minutes, but didn’t need our waterproofs. The season is nearing its end in the walled garden, where there’s plenty of colour in the flowers, fruit and veg.

Yes, it’s a National Trust property – but we’ve walked four miles this afternoon…

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The green man

Wandering from Willey once more – this time, back up Scots Lane and down to St Leonard’s church at Linley. An interesting little building, tucked away from reality down a rough-surfaced leafy lane, its main claim to fame seems to be the green man over a blocked north doorway. It is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust

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