It’s only open to the public six days a year – and as today is one such, we thought we’d better go and have a look. The 2nd Lord Berwick, of nearby Attingham Park, had it built for a friend, a little over 200 years ago. Gosh! – here he is in person, looking sprightly despite his years, explaining those things which might not be obvious. John Nash designed the house to be a little corner of Italy in the Shropshire countryside. Is that Vesuvius over there? (No, it’s just the Wrekin).

Attingham Park Estate: Cronkhill NT

Round the bend at Shrewsbury

After yesterday’s walk in the hill country, we went for an almost-level walk this afternoon, following the Severn downstream from the weir to below Belvidere bridge. The river follows a looping course here, so that, though we’ve walked getting on for five miles along its bank, it’s only about a mile and a quarter back to the car when we leave the water’s edge. Starting from the abbey, we head for the footbridge and the weir. At first it’s fairly busy, but as we move away from the built-up area there are fewer people about, and it’s very pleasant and easy walking. We enjoy brief glimpses of a couple of kingfishers as we approach the railway bridge at Belvidere. We don’t see them again, though we do see two or three trains humming along. Our return from the river takes us past the Column, where Lord Hill surveys the scene, looking smart after a recent wash and brush-up.

View OS map on Streetmap

Attingham indoors

Fri. 19 May: can’t remember when we last looked around the house at Attingham. Have we ever?

Attingham Park NT

Scots Guardsman

A rare visitor to Shrewsbury today – “Royal Scot” no 46115 Scots Guardsman, seen making light work of Battlefield bank with 12 coaches in tow (I suppose we should be glad that it wasn’t raining – but the weak sunshine of just five minutes earlier would have been most welcome).

Pumpkin time

We’re having a wander around Attingham Park. It’s dry and bright this afternoon (though breezy and chilly), and there’s a wonderful crop of pumpkins (some of them bearing messages) in the walled garden. There’s a rather fine colony of little pale toadstools on a stump in the woods, not to mention a large wooden frog.

Attingham Park NT

October on Lyth Hill

We could do with being in Shrewsbury around 4pm – how about a short walk beforehand? Lyth Hill could be good… We’ve walked this route before – out along the dog-walkers’ grassland to Spring Coppice, then along rough tracks and quiet lanes to Exfords Green.  After that inevitable bank of cloud on this otherwise-bright afternoon, the sun comes out again as we pass the Scots pines on the end of the hill.  The stags at the venison farm are bellowing – there’s a public footpath through their field, but we’ll perhaps stick to the road on this occasion, and brave the occasional passing car.

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A showery Sunday

We’ll head for Shrewsbury – we won’t be too far from shelter if the rain comes on. The showers could be heavy and thundery, according to the forecast. They weren’t, of course, though we did shelter under the English Bridge for a couple of minutes. There’s much more sunshine than shower, in fact, and the quieter streets of the town are at their best in the warm autumn light.

View OS map on Streetmap

The Walled Garden

Too warm for anything very energetic… A wander around Attingham Park, focusing on the colour in the walled garden.

Attingham Park NT

Beside the Severn: Shrewsbury

We’re walking beside the Severn, down to the weir then upstream to the Frankwell footbridge. We’ll make a detour into the Quarry, Percy Thrower’s creation where the rhododendrons and azaleas are at their best. There’s rain about, so we take a route through the modern shopping centres to avoid a shower, which has passed as we return to the older parts of the town centre.

Who could forget Leander?

45690 Leander at BattlefieldFriday’s steam special left Shrewsbury, heading for Crewe and ultimately Dumfries, soon after 4pm. It was moving along nicely at Battlefield (site of the battle of Shrewsbury more than 600 years ago) a few minutes later. Pictures taken, we headed for home – I was due out again later in the evening. No time for blogs. Almost forgot…

It’s a popular spot, hence the letterbox crop to lose parked cars and photographers along the bottom. There were some fairly obtrusive power cables and a pylon too, but they’ve gone (crop and Photoshop), and the Shropshire hills would have provided a backdrop, had the air been clearer.

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