…and tea – and toasted teacake. The YHA cafe is open again for the year, just weekends for now – it’s a good reason for a walk down to Coalport. It’s an enjoyable leg-stretch too, and there may be some signs of spring.
Friday 2 November: it’s still half-term for the local schools, but the rules say the cafe closes at the end of October… At least the benches and tables haven’t been taken away, so we can sit for a few minutes and enjoy a small amount of chocolate, sufficient for the long pull back up the hill. The sunshine is very pleasant, but the day’s changing as we approach home.
…is an old-fashioned little pub in Madeley. Just opposite the Blists Hill museum, it’s a bit of a time capsule in its own right, one of the last of the original home-brew pubs. Within walking distance too, not far off one of our regular routes. So instead of tea and cakes at Coalport, we’ll have lunch at the All Nations. Remarkably, it’s warm enough on this beautiful sunny day to sit outside (we’ll pay for it over the next few days…).
Suitably replete, we’ll follow a wonderful woodland way back to the “Free Bridge”, before rejoining our usual route homewards.
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It’s a regular: walk down to Coalport, for tea and cake. But it’s too warm for tea and cake – we’ll have ice creams instead. We’ll vary our return route too – Corbett’s Dingle (locally known simply as “the dingle”) can be impossibly muddy, but today it’s dry, and pleasantly cool and shady on this warm afternoon.
We needed to call into the shops in Ironbridge – “We could walk down, have lunch and walk back the long way”. We did! It’s not warm, but we soon warm up, and it feels pleasant after last week’s Siberian snowfall. There’s a possibility of showers, apparently, maybe of hail or snow – and yes, there’s hail (which bounces off) and a little rain (which doesn’t). After the rain, the skies clear – to reveal more shower clouds approaching. We’d better not hang around.
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They were an unexpected bonus – we hadn’t realised the hostel cafe was open, and despite the cold, there was enough sunshine and shelter for us to sit outside. Other than the café, a couple of lambs and some catkins, there are few signs of spring. We’ve got some cold weather to get through before things warm up.
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…and Jackfield, Madeley and Ironbridge. The sky is clear blue, but the temperature is barely above freezing and there’s a stiff northerly breeze. The sheltered valley and south-facing slopes might be the best places to aim for, and there’s plenty of interest on this short leg-stretch.
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