|Day 27 – May 3||Codsall to Penkridge|
|Weather: Cloud, sun, showers||B&B: The Bridge House (£35)|
|Departed: 9:40 Arrived: 14:30||Walked: 3h 46m Rested: 1 hr 05m|
|Distance Today: 12.3 mi / 19.79 km||Total Distance: 430.0 mi / 692.02 km|
|% Complete: ~37.99 %||Pint of the Day: Salopian Brewery Shropshire Gold|
|GPS Track for: Day 27|
I walked out of the Travelodge and into the empty streets of Wolverhampton at just after 8am this morning. Before catching the train back to Codsall I decided to take advantage of the free wireless service at McDonalds and quickly post yesterday’s blog entry. The walk to the station was under bright blue skies but the northerly breeze made it bitterly cold. My impression of Wolverhampton is that it is a city trying to turn itself around. One of its residents (whom I met in Bridgnorth) indicated that it had a reputation for being one of the five worst cities in the world but I have no idea what criteria they were using when they came up with that claim. It might be a bit rough around the edges but it looks to me to be a city on the up.
I was off the train and following the Staffordshire Way by 9:40. It’s an extremely well-marked footpath so navigation was a breeze as I made my way north-east over the gently undulating Staffordshire countryside. The highlight of the morning session was emerging from a field and to see the impressive Chillington Hall sitting at the end of a very long gravel drive. It was easy to imagine horse-drawn carriages conveying Georgian lords and ladies to the manor and I suspect a period drama or two may have used this location.
Just before Brewood I joined the Shropshire Union Canal and followed its towpath for the next few miles. There were a lot of walkers, cyclists and narrowboat owners out this morning, taking advantage of this bank holiday Monday. The tree-lined “Shroppie” was beautiful and it brought back more memories of my narrowboat holiday in 2003. Back then we spent some time on the Shroppie although not on this particular section. I walked over a small but impressive Thomas Telford canal bridge before leaving the towpath and heading east through the tiny villages of Lapley and Whiston. I was making excellent time and was assured of making it to Penkridge by early afternoon so I dropped in for a pint and a sandwich at The Swan in Whiston.
After a short break I was back on the Staffordshire Way for the last couple of miles into Penkridge. There were occasional light showers but they never amounted to much. I checked into the The Bridge House at 2:30pm, appreciative of the relatively easy walking day. I had planned on taking a rest day in the next day or so but instead I’ve decided to turn two 20+ mile days into three shorter ones which also has the advantage of providing more accommodation options. My next full day off will be in Hebden Bridge which I plan to arrive in early next week.
The Wifi at The Bridge House is not working and so I’m down the road at the much nicer Littleton Arms (free wifi in the pub!).