|Day 24 – April 30||Worcester to Bewdley|
|Weather: Sun, Cloud, Showers||B&B: Severn Valley Guest House (£38.00)|
|Departed: 08:15 Arrived: 14:45||Walked: 6 hr 20m Rested: 1 hr 00m|
|Distance Today: 17.6 mi / 28.32 km||Total Distance: 389.1 mi / 626.20 km|
|% Complete: ~ 34.37%||Pint of the Day: Bank’s Bitter|
|GPS Track for: Day 24|
I was away by 8:15am on account of a weather forecast that predicted heavy rain, wind and thunder by late morning / early afternoon. However the skies over Worcester were bright, blue and breezy as I weaved my way towards the Severn River footbridge. The route involved a bit of backtracking but I was able to cut through the racecourse and before long I was heading north again.
I followed the western side of the river through some wonderful countryside, perhaps the nicest stretch of the Severn Way so far. I didn’t dally though and ended up clocking the fastest average speed of my LEJOG to date, 3.3 mph.
Just prior to reaching the Camp House pub near Grimley I heard the familiar ‘kaw’ of a peacock. As the path diverted around back of the pub I entered a menagerie of bird life including hens, buzzards (at least that’s what they looked like) and three magnificent and very photogenic peacocks. Next up I passed a weir and the set of locks used to navigate around them. At this point my route deviated from the SW and I made directly for Grimley where the SW then followed an inland route for a mile or so. This was the least interesting part of the days walk as it passed through a large quarry and a light industrial park disguised as a farm.
At Holt Fleet I rejoined the river and would follow it all the way to Bewdley. This stretch was characterized by a string of caravan parks dotting the riverside. Some were fairly posh but many were fairly scruffy and in need of a lot of TLC (or a little TNT). There was also a handful of little cottages just north of the Holt Fleet locks that looked like something out of the Ozarks … I half-expected to be greeted by Jed Clampett.
The threat of rain was building and by noon the showers started. Very light and sporadic at first, just the sort that would have you taking your rain gear on and off every 10 minutes. I had however put my gaiters on first thing in the morning as I expected to be traipsing through long grass but encountered very little.
I arrived in Stourport-on-Severn around 12:30pm having walked over 4 hours without a break other than to pause to take photos. I was only a few miles from Bewdley but my feet needed a rest and so I piled in to “The Angel” pub and enjoyed a nice pint of Bank’s Bitter. The small bar area was filling up with with a collection of locals and visitors as well as three dogs. The first two were small but the third was a massive Collie with the most amazing coat I’ve ever seen. I suspect it was a cross of some sort but it was certainly friendly and knew it’s way around The Anchor. It knew where the water bowl was and waited patiently for the landlord to toss some doggie treats (which he did).
Back on the trial I was greeted by some friendly horses. Most horses ignore walkers and just keep on grazing but these two made a point of walking right up to me. We had 30 seconds of quality time together and then they went back to grazing and I continued my march north.
The showers were sharper now but most fizzled out after 10 or 15 minutes. There was one short diversion from the river just before Bewdley and it traversed a small wetlands and a wood carpeted with Bluebells. Before long the lovely Georgian town of Bewdley came into view and after a brief visit to the TIC I was safely ensconced in my “Grade 2 Listed” b&b. I have a large room with a tiny door and quite possibly the best view of the Victorian Viaduct in town.
I’ll be here for two nights but will walk to Bridgnorth tomorrow, my final day on the Severn Way.