Day 18 Tues 17-05-2005
Stourport-on-Severn to Claverley
I slept poorly, partly due to the room smelling very strongly of smoke. It must have wafted up from the bar below. I was walking by 7:15, with no breakfast (it wasn't included in the price).
Once more I followed the river Severn, and arrived at Bewdley by 9:00. A cafe near the impressive arched bridge provided beans on toast, I sat near the window and admired the Georgian buildings outside.
Full of beans (sorry), I walked along roads skirting north of Kidderminster. I got my wish for a change of scenery as Kinver Edge had to be negotiated - a sandstone ridge several hundred feet high looking out over woodland. On the descent into Kinver, there were caves and houses carved in the rocky outcrops of sandstone. This part of north Worcs and south west Staffordshire has been called the "Switzerland of the Midlands" - I think a little poetic licence has been employed here...
Kinver had a pleasant high street, where I was able to get some fruit, and a pint. In the afternoon, narrow lanes lead to Claverley, where I wanted to stop.
The post office pointed me in the direction of Tudor Cottage, where there was rumoured to be B&B accommodation. I found the cottage, and chatted to Mrs Henshaw, who was unsure whether to offer me a room or not. She did do bed and breakfast, but she had been feeling unwell (vertigo and dizzy spells). Fortunately, she decided to take pity on me.
Mrs Henshaw was 84, and her husband 90. They were retired farmers, and as well as B&B they rented out the "White Cottage" in their garden. Tudor Cottage was over 500 years old, and they had lived there for over 60 years. The garden was a delight, all kept up by Mr Henshaw. Later that evening I was invited downstairs for a chat, and discovered that they were experienced travellers, having visited many parts of the globe. Mr Henshaw was very quiet, and just when you thought he was not following the conversation, or dozing, he would make a very pertinent remark, surprising me.
Reg & Joyce Henshaw
The White Cottage