Easter in Shropshire by Gordon Winrow
Following President Keith's brief resume of our Easter Tour to Shropshire - here is a slightly more detailed account of our exploits. However, one correction of the description of the birds in Keith's photo is needed for the sharp-eyed bird spotters - which is that they are greylag geese in the picture at Ellesmere - and not swans!
The weekend started with a visit to the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford, near Telford. We enjoyed a trip round the museum where there are over 70 aircraft on display, including a unique exhibition of Britain's three V-Bombers - the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant. There are also a number of aircraft suspended in flying attitudes. In addition, we visited the magnificent Cold War museum which has recently been opened, followed by a 20 mile circular ride from the museum.
On Saturday we rode to Ellesmere, passing through Cockshutt, then picking up a cycle route into Ellesmere. Ellesmere is in the heart of Shropshire's Lake District, set on the largest and most spectacular of nine glacial meres. Ellesmere is the birthplace of the Llangollen Canal, which was designed and built by Thomas Telford. We had lunch outside by The Mere, and enjoyed looking across at the herondry on the island in the middle of the mere. Setting back we rode mainly on a cycle route through Ruyton-XI-Towns and through Baschurch, where we stopped to look at the lovely medieval village church.
The next morning, following a hearty breakfast, we set out for Ironbridge. The route started on the B4280 (previously the A5) to Atcharn, over the River Severn on the original narrow bridge, diverting off the main road through Wroxeter and over the high hills overlooking the river. Ironbridge is a World Heritage Site, with ten amazing museums in one beautiful valley.
We cycled through the Severn Gorge and picked one of the museums to visit - the Jackfield Tile Museum. The beauty of this museum is that tiles are still made there, and the exhibitions reflect the great use of tiles through the Victorian era. Examples of tiles that had been manufactured there are tiles that were used on the London underground system or tube stations, namely Covent Garden, and there is also a splendid display of those used in the Food Halls at Harrods.
We walked over the famous Iron Bridge and cycled back up through Brosely - a steep ascent out of the Gorge. We had tea at Much Wenlock and walked around admiring this small, well-preserved historic wool town. We also visited the Priory and looked at the site of the Much Wenlock Olympic Games, returning back through Cressage and Cross Houses, along the A458, which runs parallel to a dismantled railway line.
On our last evening, we went again to a friendly small hotel in Shrewbury for our meal, taking a last opportunity to see the Abbey, the Castle and the magnificent Victorian railway station.
Thanks to David Hoben from us all, for once again arranging a splendid Easter weekend.
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