|Day 23 – April 29||Tewkesbury to Worcester|
|Weather: Cloudy / Rain||B&B: Wyatt Guest House (£40.00)|
|Departed: 08:00 Arrived: 16:40||Walked: 6 hr 20m Rested: 2 hr 05m|
|Distance Today: 19.4 mi / 31.22 km||Total Distance: 371.5 mi / 597.87 km|
|% Complete: ~ 32.87%||Pint of the Day: Wickwar Ale|
|GPS Track for: Day 23|
After three weeks of fantastic weather it was bound to happen and so after a 19.4 mile walk I find myself drying out my kit for the first time since Portreath. I took yesterday off and spent much of it arranging accommodation to take me through the Bank Holiday weekend. Sorting out accommodation is definitely my least favourite chore. Some nights were easy but one took me 3 hours to arrange and not without the help of the Tourist Information Centre.
The highlight of my day off was meeting fellow LEJOG John Parsons. We’ve been exchanging emails for nearly a year so it was great to finally meet face to face. We spent a few hours chatting about our experiences over a meal at the Tudor House Hotel.
We decided to walk to Worcester together and so by 8am we were on our way under partly cloudy skies. We were well aware of the weather forecast so we were often looking over our shoulder to see what was headed our way. At some point this morning we left Gloucestershire and entered Worcestershire (my fifth county).
The grassy, dandelion stuffed meadows that typified the walk from Gloucester to Tewkesbury continued this morning. The long grass was wet and it wasn’t long before our shoes and pant legs were sopping. I should have put my gaiters on but didn’t … I won’t make that mistake tomorrow. We marched along, following the river and having a good natter. At one point we crossed a fence and found ourselves in a field surrounded by clay pigeons. When we looked around we realized we had stumbled into the middle of the Oxford Gun Club’s shooting range. Oops. We soon had our location worked out and one of the members helped us find a short-cut back to the Severn Way.
Once back on track it wasn’t long before we reached the peaceful looking village of Upton-upon-Severn. We stopped at the Swan Inn for a rest and a pot of tea which we enjoyed in the beer garden. On leaving the pub we noticed that there wasn’t just one pub in the village but four, all of which were lined up next to one another along the river.
We crossed over the river at Upton and carried on heading north. Both of us noticed that the flowers and trees were much farther along then points south. John’s knowledge of the local flora and fauna is extensive. While he rattled off the names of birds, butterflies and a wide variety plant life my contributions were somewhat less valuable: “Look, it’s a pink flower” or “see the big bird, it’s black and white”.
Up until this point the rain had held off but by noon it had arrived and continued on and off for the remainder of the day. There were a couple of opportunities to cut corners on the Severn Way and a couple of mandatory diversions, especially on the outskirts of Worcester. I found the last few miles into Worcester were less interesting than earlier in the day. We did take a second break in the town of Kempsey, just south of Worcester. We bought coffees from a shop and kicked back in a bus shelter – luxury!
Earlier in the day we passed through the little village of Stoke Severn and when we passed the WWI memorial I noticed not one but seven Clifford’s were mentioned. Two had died in action, four had served overseas and one had served at home.
Compared to the other towns I’ve passed through Worcester is pretty large and it took us nearly an hour to reach the center of town. At this point we parted company as John needed to find the TIC and I needed to get my B&B a half mile down the road. It was good fun walking with John and we expect we may meet again further down the road.
Tomorrow I continue my walk up the Severn to Bewdley.