On Saturday 2nd May I walked 17 miles from Ironbridge to the Ercall (and back) with the Ironbridge Walking Festival. After parking at the furnaces we headed to the Toll House start point just over the Iron Bridge. There was a good turnout of 14 people, everyone who had signed up turned up. There was a weather forecast of rain for most of the day so we were all prepared with our waterproofs. I did not take my camera with me due to the distance and expected pace.

The walk headed up a lot of steps and into the forest of Coalbrook Dale. There were a lot of steps and they made my knees sore, I was very pleased when they finished and we started walking down. The rest of the walk went along paths, through fields, trees, and a few road sections. I had wanted to remember the walk and all its details so I could blog it accurately, but I got very lost. I know we went along parts of the Severn Gorge path and Shropshire Way. There were also aspects of other signed paths throughout.

The walk went at a decent pace without many stops. The only stops were short in order to keep moving. We reached the Ercall at a reasonable time. It is a very nice hill next to the Wrekin. It is a woodland with bluebells and wild garlic. There was a short stop at the highest point of the Ercall with a tale told of its formation – a lump of mud scrapped of the Giant’s shoes and dumped on the ground.

Then we headed off to the heights of the Wrekin built when a Giant dumped a spade full of mud on the ground. The first part of the path we walked up was one which I normally come down. The second section of the climb was a new path to us all. It was to the side of the main path. It was a small path ridden with tree roots but surrounded by bluebells. It was actually easier to walk this path compared to the standard path most people use. It was not as strenuous. There was a very short sharp stretch to get on to the top of the Wrekin. On the top it was very exposed and windy. We had a group shot and then headed downwards on the path on the back of the Wrekin. This is a steep path, with loose rocks and trees. It is difficult to walk and try not to fall over. Once at the bottom of this path, we started the route back to Ironbridge. The return route was undertaken on road, path and through fields. It started to rain a little at this point, but no where near the amount anticipated.

The last section of the walk gave way to discussion about the bridges of Ironbridge. The Iron Bridge was built by Abraham Darby. It was built in the same way that wooden bridges were made so there are no rivets. Thomas Telford built a bridge further up stream which was replaced a couple of centuries later as it was too wide. This has since been replaced again as it is too wide. The Gorge is not very old (relatively) and still growing.

The walk ended successfully without loosing anyone. It totalled up to 17.5 miles, with another half a mile back to the car. My feet were a little sore and rather sweaty. I was glad to take my boots off and relax after accomplishing my longest walk yet.

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4 Responses to Ironbridge to the Ercall

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