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.
A 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.
After 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.
The 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.
The 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.
At 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.