To get back to our route, we had to retrace our steps a couple of miles back to Ludlow, and then cycle out again. The ride after Ludlow was on narrow back roads, initially quite easy, but then a little harder along Wenlock Edge. The clouds were very low, but no rain, and the scenery was excellent. We stopped for a tea break in Much Wenlock, a pretty town with tudor houses, a clock square, and an old priory that we did not pay to visit
We took a slight detour to Ironbridge to see the first iron bridge, built by Telford at the start of the industrial revolution. There are several museums of various early industries (iron, china, pipes...) and a recreated Victorian village. The brochure descriptions sounded rather Disneylandish, and they are too expensive for a casual visit, so we skipped them. The ride to Ironbridge was easy, but the route out went straight up the side of the gorge on tiny lanes going up 700 feet in about 3 miles, so we were not sure the detour was worth the effort!
|Lynn Resting in the Sun|
Once we were out of the gorge the ride was downhill or flat, with a trailing wind, and we made good time. We had a picnic lunch of bread and Shropshire Blue cheese borrowing the table outside a pub in Little Wenlock, and then cycled on to Market Drayton. The weather was now bright sun, with dark clouds in front of us later on, and riding through the gentle pastoral scenery was a joy
|Peaceful Scene, Threatening Clouds|
We decided to cycle on to Nantwich, and it was delightful in the evening sun on easy roads. Unfortunately when we got to Nantwich, not only did we find that the front tire was getting soft, but despite visiting and calling numerous places, we couldn't find anywhere to stay! We finally gave up in Nantwich, and decided to look for something in Crewe, which is a much larger town, fortunately only 5 miles away. We eventually reserved a room in the Ramada Inn - not the type of place we had been aiming for on this trip but certainly better than sleeping on the street. By now it was around 8pm, we found that both tires were flat, and it was beginning to rain. This was becoming a decidedly low point of the trip! After that however things improved rapidly. We fixed the flats relatively quickly in a bus shelter to keep dry, the rain stopped, the ride to Crewe although along an A-road was fine and easy. We got to the Ramada Inn just as the light was failing (days of course are quite long in England at this time of year) and the rain was starting to fall again. The people at the Ramada Inn were very friendly, happily allowing us to carry the tandem into the room to keep it safe and dry, and we had a relaxed stay that night and Sunday morning breakfast.
Route and more pictures
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