Newest Review: ... to walk across the now pedestrianised famous Iron Bridge. There are numerous websites on the net and reviews on here which give the histo... more
simply "Gorge-ous".. sorry..
Attractions in Ironbridge in general
Member Name: pania22
Attractions in Ironbridge in general
Advantages: simply fab!
Disadvantages: hilly, maybe slightly tricky for the disabled to get around.
Last week I managed to tick a "to do" off my very long list of "to do's". Now, this list grows by the day with things I want to see, do and acheive and places I wish to visit. If i'm lucky I get to tick something off it once a month. This list, seriously, Is getting to be like the comedic scroll in shrek that goes on....and on....and on....and on....and.... ok, you get the idea.
This particular "to do" was "visit Ironbridge Gorge." a place I've wanted to go to ever since (and I cringe to admit this) I saw it on Home and Away, back years and years ago in the days of Selina, Damien and Jessie! and I can very happily say that I was not disappointed in even the smallest way.
Living in Corby, I was amazed to see that Ironbridge was only 1 hr 45 drive away from me along the M6 and then M54, an amazingly straight forward journey for me. I arranged to meet my friend at Junction 4 off the M54 just outside Telford who was going to lead me in and show me the sights of Ironbridge.
Being a country girl I was amazingly impressed with the scenery on the drive in to the gorge and vowed to some day buy the first house that I saw for sale there. The gorge had ample parking at both ends of the high street for tourists and I remarked to my friend many times on the lack of coaches and traffic throughout the town.
Arriving at the gorge we parked on the opposite bank to the High Street where we were able to walk across the now pedestrianised famous Iron Bridge.
There are numerous websites on the net and reviews on here which give the history of Ironbridge so I would rather focus on what the area has to offer than to repeat this information again so all I will say is "Its got a big bridge, made of iron, over a hole in the ground with a river and was built by a very famous man who liked to play with moulton metal..." right, thats the history bit done! So, after a brief stand on the bridge to peer and appreciate, we headed to a cafe that no englishman would want to miss.. "The Tea Emporium" in the square.
This cafeteria is the home of every single tea in the world it would appear, even stating on the menu the recommended maximum brewing time for each variety, at an exceptionally reasonable price for a good old english cuppa I must say compared to many. The courtyard had very tidy wrought iron tables and chairs with a lovely view of the bridge across the street.
After kicking our heels for a short while, relaxing after a relatively long drive we decided to head off for our main target, a hill just outside Ironbridge by the name of "The Wrekin" (pronounced reekin)
A short drive led us to our destination and following a change into more appropriate footwear headed off up a shady wooded path for what I thought would be a nice gentle stroll to the top of a pleasant hill with pleasant views. And then I woke up.
By the first bend in the track I was puffing quite solidly and by the time I was half way up, the back of my thighs and my butt were burning massively, of course I couldnt admit this to my friend who I decided to let think was sweating marginally less than me! (he wasnt. dont tell him)
After a half hours brisk walk we reached the summitt at 1500 feet but wow! what a view. The rapidly tightening quads were instantly forgotten as we had panoramic views from the top back across to Ironbridge and miles beyond birmingham, Up to Chester in the north and across to Shrewsbury, the foothills of the welsh mountains and in the far far distance the very hazy outline of snowdon to the west. Simply breathtaking.
As we headed back down we stopped at the small outdoor cafe window very considerately opened (I would imagine in a fit of enterprise) by the rangers wife at the rangers cottage where you could purchase soft drinks, ice cream, crisps and tea. There was also a very conveniently placed toilet guarded by the countries least grumpy guard dog tucked just around the corner. Although there were no views from the cafe it allowed us to rest our legs and pass a pleasant ten minutes conversation on the benefits or otherwise of living half way up a stony track in the middle of a wood! well recommended although a medium to good level of fitness would be required to reach the top.
Hot, sweaty, thirsty and extremely hungry we decided to head back to Ironbridge and find what it had to offer in the way of food. as you head from the bridge and walk left along the river towards the museum, you will pass the ruin of a smelting furnace on the lopposite side of the road, just a ruin, just standing there, as is ironbridge's way and adds completely to the overall quaintness and feel of the place. Slightly further on you will come to a pub named "the malthouse" and this is where we found a lovely lunch of the best baguettes I've tasted in a long time! and of course the pint of shandy as a reward for a strenuous walk went down a treat to! most definately worth a visit.
Ironbridge of course has so many other attractions nearby. There is the Ironbridge museum, detailling a history of the gorge, the iron industry and building of the bridge itself, quite pricey at £20 for an adult, £13 for a child or £55 for a family. An intriguing attraction by the name of "enginuity" where you can test different aspects of electrical engineering, fab for the kids, and a victorian village just a short drive away. Being an outdoors walky kinda girl I didnt test any of these so all I can say is "they are there"
To summarise, Ironbridge was everything I expected it to be and not a disappointment in the slightest. A day would not have been long enough for me to spend and see everything it had to offer and I will certainly be going back for more walks, more exploring of attraction and most certainly sampling of different pubs! Charming, Quaint, amazingly scenic and, by virtue of the lack of coaches, yes during the holidays to, really rather peaceful.
Summary: Nearby or far away, go visit. You wont be disapopointed.
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