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Worcester, Bridgnorth, Ironbridge, Shrewsbury, Pontcysyllte Viaduct, Chester, Widnes.
(3 day bike-pack)
Wed 15 Apr - Fri 17 Apr 2015

Wed 15 Apr 2015

Wed 15 Apr 2015
Thu 16 Apr 2015
Fri 17 Apr 2015
Set off on bike shortly after 5am to cycle to Preston Railway Station. I arrived in good time to catch the 06:17 train from platform 6 to Birmingham International. It was a clear morning and I was able to watch a lovely sunrise across misty fields as we approached Wigan. At Birmingham I had to wait for the 08:49 Hereford train to Worcester.

Changing trains at Birmingham New Street

Outside Worcester Railway Station

Worcester where Charles II escaped

There was no defined bike storage space so I had to use the wheelchair carriage. I reached Worcester still in sunshine and had to wait for the lift down to street level as there were 2 women with push chairs. Previously the rail website had said the lift was out of action but I'm glad it was working. It was too small to take a bike and I had to lift the bike end up.

Charles House

It is obvious that bikes were never considered during the initial design. Down at street level I set off riding but soon had to get off and wheel my bike as I approached a one way system, the wrong way. I reached New Street and King Charles House. This is where King Charles II escaped after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. It is now a cafe. The narrow streets were very picturesque in the sunshine.

Charles II

Street in Worcester

Mill at Powick Bridge

I headed south to Powick Bridge where there had been battles at the start and end of the Civil War. I don't know how much of the bridge dates back to 1651. I followed a nice cycle track along the River Severn then left the city along a busy road to Holt Heath.

Powick Bridge

Metal Men by the River Severn

Metal Men by the River Severn

River Severn wier

Bridge over Severn at Worcester

Bewdley

Reaching Shropshire

The earlier cool sun had now warmed up and I was able to ride with a short sleeved top on. The earlier flat roads were getting more hilly as I approached Stourport. On the B4194 I turned off to the right to follow the Mercian Way which headed back to the River Severn. A steep descent took me down to the river and there was a nice preserved railway station on the way.

Rail Station at Arley

At the river the road ended but there was a pedestrian footbridge. On the far side people were sitting out in the sunshine adjacent to a pub.

Footbridge to Upper Arley

Flowers in Bridgnorth

Signs in Bridgnorth

I had a steep climb up to the Arley estate then a narrow lane before descending through parkland back down to the river and a wider bridge. I joined a cycle track of mixed surface. A few miles from Bridgenorth the track surface deteriorated and one section was so rough and steep I had to push my bike uphill with great difficulty. I can't understand how it ever got a cycle track rating. At a reservoir and sailing club I had more rough riding before thankfully reaching the road on the approach to Bridgenorth. In the town I crossed the bridge to call in the Co-operative shop to buy a 5lt of water for 1.19. I returned over the bridge and continued along the no 45 cycle track which took me across some sports fields and certainly wasn't a cycle track. Back on the road for a while the track left to follow an old railway track.

Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway Station

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway Station

Cycle track by the old railway

Mineral Waters

Cycle track on the railway

 

Carriage accommodation

Bedlam Furnace across the Severn

Bedlam Furnace built 1757

The cycle trail was very rough and must be a terrible ride in wet weather. Signs were inconsistent and confusing. Permissive path and No Public Access were shown together. I'd hoped to camp by the River Severn here but every gate had a fishing club sign saying no public access. The fishermen have sterilised access for many miles. I had to ride on for another few miles until I found an isolated length of abandoned railway across from the old Bedlam Furnace site on the far side of the River Severn. I found a camping spot in trees on some rough ground where I had to do a lot of stamping down of undergrowth to get my tent up.

Camp in the undergrowth

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