Friday, 28 November 2014

Severn Valley Country Park

The next day of our break dawned bright and sunny, but extremely cold.  A perfect day for a walk and as we'd spotted the walking/cycling track and the Severn Valley Country Park while on our train ride, we headed off there.

Our first stop was the car park on the Dudmaston Hall Estate, at the point where the Hampton Loade ferry crossed the River Severn.  Despite the signage indicating otherwise, it didn't look as though the thing had run for a long time.

Walking routes around and through the Dudmaston Estate
The winch for the ferry
Open? I don't think so!
The Severn Valley Country Park sits on the site of a former colliery near Alveley.  It now forms a 125-acre park and recreational area which spans both sides of the River Severn.

Plan of the waymarked walking routes around the park

Wood carving commemorating the park's industrial heritage
Wood sculpture in the children's playground
We decided to follow the Riverside Trail, which is quite well waymarked, although a few of the markers were missing so Mummy got temporarily lost a few times despite having a copy of the map!  Although the Visitor Centre was closed (only open at weekends during the winter), the foyer was open so I was able to grab a copy of the map leaflet.  Here's a pictorial walk along the riverside trail.

This little fella happily posed for pictures

Over the bridge and turn right
Follow the path around the pond
The River Severn is on your left
Up the steps
Cross the bridge
Here the riverside trail joins the Mercian Way long distance footpath and national cycle route 45.

One of the Saxon warrior way markers of the Mercian Way
We stopped to play Pooh Sticks

Here the path goes off in several directions.  This way leads to Highley station on the Severn Valley Railway.

 We followed the cycle path which leads past the Country Park Halt.

Adjacent to Country Park Halt

No trains were scheduled today, so we expected to find totally clear tracks.  And we did.  Until we heard a whistle in the distance and the unmistakable chuff-chuff sound of a steam train.  Small, who can't cope with loud noises, went and hid.

Sure enough an engine, hauling a couple of carriages full of people in bright orange jackets, puffed towards us, giving us a cheery wave as they went past.  An unexpected and pleasant surprise to see a train and obviously making better headway than the one that fetched us back from Kidderminster the other day!

We headed back to the path and continued on our way.  Managing to miss the steps down onto the lower path, we ended up beside the river on a very muddy section of the path.  It was much easier to find the steps from here so we headed back up onto the far less muddy bit of path and back to the bridge.  From there, we followed the markers back to the visitor centre.

A thoroughly enjoyable walk and a nicely tired Small who slept like a log.

Until next time. x

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