10 Shrewsbury – Wem

Shrewsbury to Wem 17.25 miles (27.6Km.)

Shrewsbury station

Shrewsbury station

Another train ride, this time to start the day from Wem into Shrewsbury. Sorry to bore but I did feel some nostalgia at Shrewsbury station which has missed out on investment but retains that 1960’s feel without the steam. The traditional signal boxes and some semaphore signals still control the junctions and all the platforms retain running lines. The station is surprising busy but for me it’s now more like a bus interchange than a railway station, the parcels, baskets of pigeons and mail having gone.

Shrewsbury - St Mary's Water Lane

Shrewsbury - St Mary's Water Lane

Retracing my steps to Kingsland bridge the walk follows the north bank of the Severn. With the twists and turns of this river disorientation can occur, but keep the water on the right and we can’t go wrong. A proper riverside walk and very pleasant too. Under the English bridge then the much enlarged rail bridge, although it’s still possible to see the original bridge surrounded by later steel girders that now support rails and platforms.

After the first modern bridge the GEW and Shropshire Way leave the river bank and follow the line of the Shrewsbury canal, abandoned in 1944 but part now used as a cycle track. I nearly missed the next departure point and needed some encouragement from the guide as the path takes us over a garden and patio at Uffington. The Corbet Arms looked very smart after its recent makeover.

Brickkiln bridge crosses a section of the canal that just needs dredging and then we enter a tree lined section of path leading to Haughmond Abbey. The footpath does a tour of this site, outside the perimeter fence, but for me that was adequate. I could have made a short detour to the fort on Ebury Hill, too much history. There was an excellent path through Colins Rough, unfortunately it was the wrong one.

Forlorn kissing gate

Forlorn kissing gate

I was surprised to find that the level crossing of the railway line south of Hadnall required me to walk on the ballast and step over each rail. With trains travelling so fast and quietly, looking to left, right and down was a concern. When upgrading the lines and trains Network Rail should provide us with a level surface so that we can cross the line quickly.

I would recommend a short detour in Hadnall. There are two Inns and another well stocked shop. I used the latter and took my lunch in the churchyard.

Approaching Grinshill

Approaching Grinshill

At Grinshill the authors offer us a choice of route and not because one is blocked at the time of their writing. I don’t like choices, because I usually make the wrong one. The lower path, or narrow road, around the south of The Cliff was interesting being cut into the soft red stone and the impressive church at Clive shouldn’t be missed but I would have liked to take in the view from the trig (192M) in Corbet Wood. Next time!

After each section walked I’ve submitted any problems to the County Council and at Clive Wood I reported a sign on the track saying ‘No Public Right of Way’ Shropshire CC have now confirmed that the track beyond the house is not recorded as public. While the Definitive Map provides proof that a path is public, it doesn’t mean that paths not shown on the map must be private, but it does make it difficult if challenged.

I met another walker at Clive who recommended a visit to Tilley a pretty village. With the section of road walking into Wem a re-routing along the Marches Way could perhaps improve the approach into the town.

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Great English Walk map of section 10

Great English Walk map of section 10

Great English Walk section 10 - the work

Great English Walk section 10 - the work

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