The third day of our trip, like most the others, started with a full English breakfast. I do love the full English breakfast: a piece of toast, beans, a sunny-side egg, sausage, bacon, and a pickled tomato sauce. I did miss a good cup of brewed coffee, however; all the coffee I drank in England was instant!
In any case, the first item on our agenda met with some difficulty. We wanted to see the Stiperstones, which involved walking part of the 49-mile path called Wild Edric’s Way. Walking at least a small portion of Wild Edric’s Way had been a highly anticipated goal for me, considering the fact I just wrote a book about Edric the Wild. This path wraps through the lands Wild Edric probably frequented, with such highlights as the Long Mynd, a medieval drovers’ road, the peaceful hills of Clun, Offa’s Dyke Path, and of course the Stiperstones.
Unfortunately, we could not find where the path to the Stiperstones started.
At that point I’m not sure who or what to blame for our difficulty: my inability to find a good address to plug into the GPS, or the GPS’s inability to give us a proper path to wherever we wanted to go, or the plethora of small unnamed roads, or my unwillingness to drive them. In any case, we drove around for some time looking for the Stiperstones, going down such roads as the one below …
We ended up in the East Ridge woods, and stretched our legs with a brief walk. Unfortunately, by then we were convinced the Stiperstone trail was not in our destiny.
It all turned out for the best, for while the day was still young, we decided to get back in the Ford Galaxy and drive further south to Clun, which we might not have done otherwise. Clun turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the trip.
The town is incredibly small, with a population of less than 700 people, and according to Wikipedia it’s one of the most tranquil places in England. I will readily attest that it’s one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever been.
After a short hike (on Wild Edric’s Way, at that) we made our way to the ruins of an old Norman castle. It was built by a Norman knight named Robert de Say who seized these lands from–of course–Edric the Wild circa 1066. Robert did not make it into my novel about Wild Edric, but after seeing these ruins, I kind of wish that he had …
After a little walk around the castle we went into the town for some scones, cream, and tea. Those were probably another reason I loved Clun so much. DELICIOUS!
That night was going to be our last in Shrewsbury, and we still had not been able to tour the Shrewsbury Castle Museum because of its limited open hours. Therefore we picked up and made our way hastily back to Shrewsbury and its lovely castle.
The museum was a bit disappointing, for me at least, as its focus was far from the stronghold’s ancient roots. Still, it was great to walk about inside one of my favorite castles. Afterward, we kept walking through town towards areas we had not yet visited. An important site for me was Shrewsbury Abbey, another remnant of one of my characters, Roger de Montgomery.
On the side, you can see the ruins of its most ancient section:
What I did not expect, however, was to come upon the sarcophagus of Roger de Montgomery himself!!
I can hardly describe how awesome it was to find this. So I won’t even try.
We continued walking around town, and treated ourselves that night to fish and chips. Oh my goodness, they exceeded my expectations to an incredible degree. Sooo good!
On that note, I forgot to mention that on our second day of the trip, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary at a hotel/restaurant called the Golden Cross within Shrewsbury. The Golden Cross!! Totally a coincidence, but in that case, all the more wonderful …