Travellers' Tales: Welsh borders in bloom

Long Mynd descent
Long Mynd descent
Long Mynd descent

Travellers' Tales: Welsh borders in bloom

Lucy Coyne and four friends explored Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire

D’you need a hand?’ Colin calls from the towpath. We carry a wheel to his boat. It’s a hot and frustrating start: three punctures, two broken tyre levers, and we’re only 20 miles out of Kinver. It’s day one of our four-day cycle tour, wandering across the county borders of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

At 5pm, after a few scenic hours on first the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal, then the Shropshire Union, we rejig our route. Leaving the watery tranquility and thorns behind, we carry on to Audlem along quiet, flowery lanes. It’s still over 40 miles to our next B&B. By 9.30pm, we’re cycling in the moonlight. Bats are on the hunt, flitting past as we pedal through pockets of warm and cool air laden with clouds of drifting scent.

We ride up and over the Long Mynd, and the spectacular route down is the most incredible and steepest descent I’ve ever achieved.

Lucy Coyne

On day two, we’re rejuvenated. Tyres intact, we wind our way along various NCNs to reach Shrewsbury in time for an early evening toast to the oarsmen sculling on the willow-lined River Severn.

On day three, we’re aiming for Ludlow but are delayed by another puncture.

Amongst the campion and buttercups at the roadside, rain falling, we replace the innertube. We ride up and over the Long Mynd, and the spectacular route down is the most incredible and steepest descent I’ve ever achieved.

The final day’s ride to Ironbridge is glorious. The last sun-filled miles high on Wenlock Edge are followed by a swoop down to ‘the birthplace of the industrial revolution’. It’s been a fabulous ride. Discussion starts about next year’s tour – and the debate about Slime, puncture-resistant tyres, and CO2 cartridges continues.


 Finishing in Ironbridge
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