After our busy day exploring the delights of the city of Worcester we headed off northwards on the second leg of our West Midlands tour of England. Passing through Kidderminster and leaving the county of Worcestershire for Shropshire we were on our way to Bridgnorth.
Bridgnorth and the River Severn
One of the reasons we had decided to explore this part of England was that we had so little knowledge of any of these three counties. Of course we had heard of the big towns but had never visited so felt that we just had to put it right.
Bridgnorth wasn’t one of the places we’d heard of at all and to be honest we only really added it to our itinerary as it seemed a sensible stop on our route. Thanks goodness we did as it was a revelation. Approaching from Lowtown in the East we walked over Bridgnorth Bridge (imaginatively named) and climbed up to Castle Terrace passing the fabulously named Theatre on the Steps as we went. The town is perched on a hill overlooking the River Severn with brilliant views of the Shropshire countryside all around.
Sometimes it’s the places that you know nothing about and expect the least from that surprise you the most and this town certainly did that. From the Castle Gardens to the Shakespeare Inn, the timber-framed Town Hall to the New Market buildings, the medieval Northgate to St Leonards Church. Every turn was a delight.
“The finest view in all of my kingdom” – Charles I
The fabulous funicular railway is apparently the oldest and steepest inland railway in the UK, having been opened in 1892.
As we headed back down to continue our journey we both commented that Bridgnorth was the sort of place we could easily see ourselves settling in. It has a character and charm of it’s own and is set in some of the most beautiful countryside that the country has to offer. We’re not sure why Bridgnorth hasn’t got an ‘E‘ in it, after ‘Bridg‘ but there has to be a good reason. Couldn’t find one unfortunately.
Park House at Shifnal
Our normal overnight accommodation seems to be either Premier Inn or a Travelodge but Jo decided to take us up a few levels by booking the very splendid Park House Hotel at Shifnal. Complete with an indoor swimming pool and various bars and restaurants it was a sight to behold. The fact that the communal bars were all out of action due to covid-19 wasn’t a problem as we probably wouldn’t have used them anyway!
We did however book our own private session in the pool which was wonderful. Really felt like we were spoiling ourselves in our own private pool. Luxury. Throw in a couple of days worth of full-English breakfasts and we were completely there! The budget was well and truly blown and we loved it!
RAF Museum at Cosford
The real reason for heading up to Shifnal was for us to spend a day at the Royal Air Force museum at RAF Cosford, only a couple of miles away. Somewhere that we had both wanted to visit since our time in the RAF a few years back.
Now I could go on and on about Tornados and Spitfires and the Merlin engine zzz z z z z z z but that would send you all to sleep and drive our blog stats right down! Suffice it to say we had a fantastically interesting socially-distance visit reading every plaque and sign and reliving our time in the forces.
Although there were two huge hangars jam-packed full of Meteors, Hurricanes, Victors and every British aircraft you could imagine it was the third hangar that really made our day. It featured a detailed history of The Cold War and was fascinating. I was actually posted to West Germany in the mid 1980s during the Cold War so that made the whole exhibition even more meaningful to us.
Our only slight criticism of the museum was that there was a lot of US Air Force history which wasn’t really necessary. It should have focused more on the RAF we think but I guess the Cold War was Russia versus America wasn’t it so we can’t complain. The museum was well worth a visit though.
BTW we’re loving having a little car and being able to just go when and where we like. Is this what life is like for you car owners out there? Amazing. Even enjoying the journeys with Jo driving and me navigating and lots of interesting and daft conversations along the way. The latest was about choosing our 5 favourite counties of England. Not easy. Might become a blog post if we can decide on an answer!
24/09 – 25/09/2020