For the most part my birthday wish came true, it only spat about 10 minutes of rain today and the rest of day was sunny and pretty epic as walking conditions go. I had a great night’s sleep and a big slap up breakfast at Browns @ Quay Side hotel in Worcester. I received a complimentary upgrade to my room upon arrival which included a free bottle of Merlot, which probably assisted in the sleep I had, though my head was a tad fuzzy once I set off.
The Severn Way passed right outside the hotel’s entrance and ran along the river until just outside the limits of the town centre, and that’s where it got a little sketchy. The trail is nowhere near as user friendly as the Great Glen or West Highland Way. I wasted about half an hour trying to connect with the trail that followed the east bank of the Severn, but there were 5 different trails running in and out from one another. I had to use both my GPS and Google Maps to get on the right track, and from then on you just have to follow the path and/or footprints because the trail also goes through public ‘right of way’ access routes through corn and onion fields.
The Severn Way leaves the river for a time just outside of Clifton. I decided to join the A38 to Upton upon Severn as the road had a wide footpath and it decreased the mileage of the walk due to the many river bends. I stopped in at the Plough Inn for a few pints of Guinness just across from where the Severn Way follows the west bank of the river.
I had every intention of stopping for a bit at Tewkesbury, and although I will regret that decision, due partly because it has such a good reputation as great place to visit, but time was against me as I had to press on to Gloucester to meet a friend for dinner in town.
I should have rethought my route planning to Gloucester and failed to notice how much the river meanders. I tried to cut as many bends out as I could, cutting across what you could only consider were local ‘dog walking’ fields and paths. Thankfully my GPS had most of these routes listed on the Ordinance Survey map, but quite frankly, it was far easier to just ask a local.
Managed to finally get in to Gloucester at 18:30 and met up at the same time as my friend, Jenna, who had driven in from Abergavenny. Had a brilliant Thai dinner and catch up at the Bangkok Canteen, but I was completely knackered and soon needed my bed at the Travelodge. lightweight!
Stopped in for a few birthday pints of Guinnes at Upton upon Severn. Beautiful village with very friendly people. The landlord of the Plough Inn bought me a pint, as did one of the punters. Can you believe the weather in the photo of the bridge was taken not 20 minutes from the photo overloking the town. Crazy British weather!!!