A Tale of Four Bridges

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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All Nations

…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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Rain, hail and snowdrops

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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Coalport cakes

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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