With the rain coming down as threatened before the start the original contingent of 18 booked for this walk had been depleted to 10 at the start point. However the brave ones were rewarded as the steady drizzle had all but ended within about half an hour after setting off, and the weather was positively balmy from late morning onwards.
The morning half of the walk took us over rolling countryside a little distance away from the riverbank and proved to be full of contrasts. Immediately after negotiating an idyllic but dense and boggy wood we were then strolling across the lush fairways of a rock guitarist’s 18 hole golf course, followed by close views of an attractive reservoir where the local sailing club was making good use of the breeze on the water.
Our lunch stop was able to take advantage of the picnic tables at the picturesque station at the riverside hamlet of Hampton Loade on the Severn Valley heritage steam railway. As expected about half of our contingent opted for the shorter version of the full 12 mile walk and returned to the start point at Bridgnorth by steam train. Happily there were no obstacles on the track so when the remaining walkers saw them off we did not have to resort to frantically waving our bloomers in the manner of Jenny Agutter in The Railway Children!
Our back marker, Martin Darby, took over escort duties for the walkers returning to Bridgnorth by train. He was able to spend the afternoon showing our guests the sights of the delightful historic town of Bridgnorth. Those of us who walked back to Bridgnorth in the rapidly improving weather also had time for a whistle stop tour of the delights of Bridgnorth High Town at the end . These included the funicular cliff railway from Low Town ( the only one inland in Britain and claiming to be the steepest), two contrasting historic churches including the first one designed by Thomas Telford, cobbled back alleys, and great views over the river and the surrounding countryside from the cliff top promenade.