Cycling day 19: Stourport-on-Severn to near Newport

Today has been a very eventful day of cycling. Fairly soon after setting off I discovered an unexpected portion of Regional Cycle Route 49. I didn’t want get distracted by it so early in the day, so only surveyed the first few metres of it before continuing on my planned journey.

Wyre ForestMercian Way statueA few miles further on the route passes through the delightful Wyre Forest. It’s a peaceful setting. The first part of the route follows the path of a former railway that passed through the forest. This is then followed by using some bridleways. Within the forest I encountered the first of many Mercian Way statues that I’d see on my trip today. National Cycle Route 45 is also known as the Mercian Way.

’40s dayAfter leaving the forest I reached the village of Upper Arley. The preserved Severn Valley Railway passes through the village. By chance I met another cyclist whilst cycling over a bridge over the railway, adjacent to the station. He explained that nearby Bridgnorth, further up the line, celebrates a ’40s day each year where people dress up in costume. That day happened to be today. There were a number of people in costume on the station platform and in the village.

Severn Valley RailwayThe cycle route then veered away from the railway for a few miles before running adjacent to it further up the valley. Whistles from the trains could be heard frequently though, even when away from the line. When beside the line I took a photo of the train approaching. I passed some members of the Home Guard patrolling along beside the track before the cycle route left its route.

Overgrown NCR45The next section of route used a number of bridleways. Unfortunately though some of these are quite overgrown, so I had to walk my way through parts. I was confident that I was on the correct route though as there was good signing only metres away.

Silkin WayAt Bridgnorth I took a break from following NCR45 and followed a B-road to near Telford. I picked up NCR55 here, the Silkin Way. This passes through the heart of Telford mainly following the path of a former railway. Telford appears to have quite a substantial cycle network. Judging from the data showing on my GPS however we’ve still got quite a bit to be mapped here. It looks like it will be quite an enjoyable place to map. So, if anybody in OpenStreetMap feels like organising a Telford mapping party for some time after I complete my trip then I’ll try to attend it.

This evening I discovered a great Indian restaurant in nearby Newport. Food cooked beside my table, staff who clearly knew their customers by name, and excellent service and food. All in all a great day.


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