Sunday 22 September Shrawley to Alveley

Miles walked today 18.6 cumulative 528.1

I’ve had a panic about the distance walked. Walkmeter consistently reads more than I measure on the map with a map wheel. I know GPS tends to over read if there is a poor signal but the maps it draws seem accurate. Maybe I am not that accurate with the map wheel. I think I will carry on quoting GPS and put in map miles at the end of the blog to compare.

There was an autumnal crispness to the air as I set off in sunshine, heading up the West Bank of the Severn. There was still some mist over the water giving an atmospheric feel to the morningThe path passed through a mixture of fields and farmland. The Severn flows sedately here and I thought that if Paul Robeson had lived in Worcestershire he would have written Ol Man River about the Severn because it seems to just go rolling along. Every so often the calmness of the river was interspersed by short stretches where the current gets faster, as if the old river was having one last go at being powerful. Of course, it doesn’t realise the shock it will get below Gloucester when it collides with a bore.

The leaves on the north facing branches of the trees are just starting to change colourHaving read Moxon’s book, I was prepared for the increasing number of caravans and chalets but as I approached Stourport there was a park of densely packed static caravans as far as the eye could see. I crossed the river at Stourbridge, wandered into town for a coffee and then set off along the Eastern bank. There were several smaller developments of chalets and caravan parks.

It was now raining. After a few miles I arrived in Bewdley. Both Stourport and Bewdley were important ports on the Severn before the railway as goods were carried up the river to a canal linking the Severn to the Mersey.

Bridge across the Severn at Bewdley

Much of Bewdley is Georgian reflecting when the town was in its heyday. The row of buildings on the riverbank used to be flooded regularly up to the level of their windowsills until the flood defences were improved

After lunch the sun came out again. Above Bewdley the river and path run adjacent to the Severn valley railway so every so often there was the whistle and puffing of steam engines.

My sleeping arrangement for tonight was in a sleeping pod, essentially a double bed, a small table and a kettle

I would have preferred a hobbit hole

Then disaster! The pub did not do food on a Sunday night. Fortunately my son, Tim and his fiancée, Kate live nearby (more on tomorrow’s blog) and came to the rescue. They picked me up and we went for an excellent curry in Bridgnorth.

Kate is a vet and I mentioned that I was surprised how few rabbits I had seen on the walk. She told me that a new virus has got into the country and has decimated the rabbit population. On that sad note I returned to the pod.