In the King’s footsteps

Living quite close to Worcester, we often pop into the city for a walk along the river.

Worcester is a city steeped in history, where many battles have been fought.

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Looking towards Diglis Lock from Diglis Bridge last week.

The River Severn was very calm, and flowing at a more normal depth, unlike the video I posted last November in a previous blog post.

About a mile from this very modern bridge is Powick Bridge, a site of one of the major battles of the English Civil War during the 17th century.

We continued over the bridge and headed towards Worcester Cathedral. The cathedral’s tower was chosen by King Charles II to watch over the Battle of Worcester.

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Worcester Cathedral’s Watergate wall has dates recorded on it of the varying flood levels when the Severn has burst its banks. The highest recorded level was in 1770 (the large plaque) followed closely by March 1947.

To the right just above T’s head, is a marker (with greenery growing under it) for July 2007, the highest level in my lifetime.

The river’s normal level is at least 10-15 feet below the footpath he’s standing on.

We walked into the town, and along Friar Street, a very picturesque street full of beautiful timber framed buildings. I wonder what tales those walls could tell.

IMG_4689Having a while to wait before our train home, we called into King Charles House. This ancient building, which is now a pub, is one of Worcester’s most historic buildings.

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I’ve never been too interested in the history of the British Monarchs, but as T, who has a great interest in the English Civil war, launched into a history lesson with the poor barman, I started to find it very interesting.

King Charles House is the building from where King Charles II escaped his enemies after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651. This battle marked the end of the English Civil War, when the Royalists were defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians.

The King who eventually escaped to France, first headed north towards Shropshire, then, almost doubling back on himself, headed for the south coast.

Below is a map of his route.

For anyone interested, as I’m not going to launch into a history lesson, there is some good information here.

I have often walked Sal and Jasp on the part of The Monarchs Way that passes nearby our home, without knowing the full reason for its name, but the cogs of my brain where slowly putting two and two together.

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So today, we decided we’d would walk in a few more of Charles II’s footsteps.

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Is this really the route he took?

If it is, according to the above map, On September 10th 1651, he would have been heading towards where I am standing on his way south.

After doing a spot of research for this post, it appears we’ve trodden in his footsteps quite recently too.

When he reached the south coast, Charmouth was another place he passed on his escape route.

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I doubt he’d have had time to look for fossils though 😉

** I have added quite a few links to this post. Because of all the history involved, I felt it would make for heavy reading and may be off putting, but for anyone with an interest, they are quite informative.**

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Military precision

Another one of our planned trips, this time to Cosford Air Museum, which is about forty miles from home.

We’d recently seen it mentioned on the local news, and thought it would make a good day out, so I checked the website for opening times.

Perfect! open 10.00hrs until 18.00hrs, a short drive up the motorway system, we’d be there. I continued to read further, “hey, it’s free entry too” I shouted down to T “we’ve only to pay for the parking”, which at a maximum of £3.50 for up to eight hours, seemed perfectly reasonable.

I read further down the page……..at the various other means of getting there:

By air *? – not having a plane or grown any wings yet, that would prove a tad difficult. Bus? – not really an option if we wanted to get there the same day. Cycle? – certainly not an option if we (I) wanted to get there at all and…………RAIL? – Yeah!!!!! “T, T, come here quick”- we can use our rail passes!!!!! he ambles upstairs, and we continue to read the information…….could this get any better???

‘To thank you for taking the greener option, all train users will receive a free tea, coffee or small soft drink in our restaurant or café when they present a completed drinks voucher along with a valid train ticket’………. I noticed that cyclists would also be offered a free drink, perhaps they had to show a cycle clip 😉

Our carefully laid plans were put together ready for the day out. Free bus pass journey to our local rail station, ten minute wait for the train to Birmingham New Street, then we had a slight disagreement, we would either arrive in Birmingham with two minutes or thirty two minutes to get on the Shrewsbury train to Cosford. T was adamant it was possible to get off the train, run (yes that would mean demented running again) up the long flight of steps, the full length of the concourse and down the steps onto the other platform in two minutes. I declined the offer of embarrassing myself, so we chose the thirty two minute wait 🙂

On arrival at Cosford station, we had a very pleasant half mile walk to the museum.

The entrance to the museum.

One of the outside exhibits, a Bristol Britannia?

A natural flyer.

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There were three hangers full of planes from various era. which are in the slideshow above. I hope I’ve named them all correctly.

I can highly recommend this museum, it is certainly worth a visit.

* You may have wondered why I starred ‘by air’, well many years ago, when some friends and I were going on our first ever plane flight, the travel agent asked us what name it was booked under, we told her, then she asked, is it Bywater, unknown to me, she obviously hadn’t heard us and was asking if our name was Bywater, as I promptly said “no by air” 😆 😆 My friends totally cracked up, in front of the very stern faced travel agent, who thought we were a bunch of unruly teenagers. 😆 To this day, I still laugh about it.

In the words of the song….Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to Bangor

Oh, OK it sounded good 😎 anyway we went to Ludlow, and the train did continue on to Bangor. 😉

There’s a farmers market twice a month at Ludlow, we’d been planning to go for a while, T had been a couple of times last year and promised when I retired it would be a day out for us.

So once again we found ourselves at Bromsgrove station, waiting for the southbound London/Midland train, it was quite odd really, as each of our days out by train recently (bar one) had been from this station down the same line, each time we’d ended up a station further down the track, today was Hereford (at this rate we’ll be doing Cornwall by September) where we changed onto an Arriva Wales train heading for Ludlow and beyond.

I was pleasantly surprised when we got there, being on the borders between England & Wales, the town perched on a cliff above the river Teme ,is steeped in history with castle ruins and many beautiful old buildings.

The Feathers Hotel one of the many beautiful old buildings.

First port of call was the farmers market, we wandered past the stalls that were selling locally sourced produce, vegetables, meats, cakes, bread, honey etc. etc.

One of the vegetable stalls.

One of the shops, full of cheeses, most I’ve never even heard of.

Starting at the castle, we walked around the boundary walls, through the town then down to the river.

The cannon at the castle entrance.

Part of the castle ruins.

The start of the riverside walk,

at the end of here is this information board, Ludlow has quite a fascinating history.

We finished the day at a little pub called the Church Inn, which rather oddly is almost in the church grounds.

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A few more different images from today  are in this  slideshow