A grey bank holiday

Best kind? After a rainy morning, the afternoon looked a little more promising, though there was never any sunshine, and we did feel the odd spot of rain. So there were no views to speak of, nor were there many people. A few at the YHA cafe at Coalport, perhaps, where we enjoyed a brief refreshment stop (tea and cake, of course), and one or two others beside the Severn as we headed back, but certainly not bank holiday crowds. Yes (answering my own question) – they probably are the best kind, when you don’t have to go to work in the morning.

After Doris Day

Friday – the sun’s shining, and we’re taking a walk down to the Severn, on the day following storm Doris. Others were worse affected, I think, though there were one or two trees down (fairly rotten specimens, it has to be said), and one or two houses lost a ridge tile. It’s more sheltered in the valley, and the weather’s mild enough for us to sit outside the youth hostel at Coalport for our tea and cake. We’ll head for home the shortest way – up the dingle with its wonderful hanging gardens, and not-so-wonderful mud. Can’t have everything!

Windy afternoon…

…but bright and sunny – we’ll have a leg-stretch, but we’d better avoid the hill tops. We follow the lane down to the Severn valley, which is well-sheltered, but mostly in the shade…

Down the lane

Barely a cloud in the sky this afternoon – can’t stay in! A walk down to Coalport will fit the bill – it’ll certainly be worth avoiding the cold wind, though that will mean avoiding the sun too. Can’t have everything!

map

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=369345&Y=301606&A=Y&Z=120

Coalport on a grey afternoon…

…so we’ll do it in black and white! It’s a pleasant circuit, down to Jackfield by hidden paths in the jungle, then across to Coalport and along the old railway track to Coalport bridge. We cross the Severn again and walk along the other old railway, before joining Pound Lane and heading for home.

opentopomap.jpg

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=369350&Y=301556&A=Y&Z=120

Old ways

We’ve parked at Bedlam, beside the old furnaces (I wonder how they got that name…). Our route takes us up the hill towards Madeley, where we’ll walk around three sides of the old (closed in 1920) Meadow pit mound. On and off, we’re following the trackbeds of the pre-railway age tramways of the Madeley Wood Company – as far as the All Nations (a last remnant of times long before “craft beer”, when pubs brewed their own beer). Now we’re walking down the route of the Coalport branch railway, which closed to passengers more than 60 years ago. Descending to the canal, at the foot of the Hay Incline, we cross the river to Jackfield, and for the first time walk the new path through the stabilisation works. Beyond, we’ll walk where Severn valley railway trains once ran – before crossing the Severn again on the modernistic new “Free Bridge” to return to the car.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=368575&Y=303426&A=Y&Z=120

Coalport: season of fruitfulness…

Friday: mellow, yes, but no mists, and it’s very quiet away from the roads. The views are not worth recording under this still day’s grey sky, but there’s plenty of interest in the hedgerows.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=369200&Y=301641&A=Y&Z=120

Mostly floral

We needed a leg-stretch – down to Coalport, perhaps, for tea and a piece of that rather-nice choc chip shortbread they sell at the youth hostel… There’s colour in the field edges and the hedgerows, but beyond, the landscape is in its grey mid-summer mode on this warm afternoon. We’ll concentrate on the flora, mostly…

Coalport cakewalk

What better reason could there be? The youth hostel at Coalport, beside the china works, is a quiet and sheltered spot for refreshment (with the added entertainment of watching visitors trying to park their cars – yes, we’ll sit outside), perhaps a little over half-way on this enjoyable (and easy…) walk. And once again, after some showery weather, it’s a very pleasant day for it. There’s colour everywhere – the oilseed rape may be past its best, but there’s plenty more yellow in the hedgerows and verges – and purple, and blue, and white to set it off. There’s a cool breeze when we start out, but it’s quite still in the deeper parts of the lane, and the air is heavy with the scent of the May blossom.

Blooming spring!

That’s what it’s doing! We’re walking down to Coalport for tea and cakes, and everything is bursting into flower – the blackthorn, the bluebells, the garlic and the coltsfoot. As we drink our tea, a primrose flutters past – or perhaps it’s a brimstone butterfly.

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