Sushi at Umai and then the Self-Guided Tudor Town of Shrewsbury Tour

I had to finish up a super tedious file today with a very late deadline, so I decided to do half the work this morning, go and have some fun, and then come home to finish. I wanted to be gone all afternoon to have lunch and do two walking tours, so that would mean an outing of 3.5 to 4 hours, the longest I’ve been away from Puppy. Needless to say, I planned my outing with military precision!

I worked steadily to noon with a mid-morning break to give Puppy a walk. Noonish, I gave her lunch, then had a play session to wear her out. Once she’d had a bowel movement and pee, she was very happy to go into her crate for a nap. Knowing that she’d had plenty of exercise and was being left with a fully tummy and empty bladder, I felt comfortable leaving her. She didn’t even whine as I prepared to head out, which was gratifying.

So first stop was Umai Japanese restaurant. I haven’t had a proper sushi meal since Málaga (and even that was stretching it a bit) and was very overdue, especially since I’ve been having the truly mediocre Tesco stuff to soothe the itch. We’ve been by the restaurant a few times as it’s in the Cross Keys Passage. I doubt I’ll have time to come here for dinner before I leave, but I realised this afternoon that I really should go see Shrewsbury after dark and whether these shuts are as spooky then as I think they would be!

I thought the restaurant was just this tiny bit on the shut, but, nope. There’s a large dining room at the rear towards Princess Street.

I went with the £12.50 mixed sushi special as that would give me the most bang for my buck. Such specials tend to be at the chef’s discretion, but I really wanted octopus. So I asked if a couple of my five nigiri could be octopus. The server said she could ask, but normally there are no substitutions for the lunch special and octopus is never included. So I was delighted when this beautiful plate came very quickly!

Everything was so fresh and this was the first time I’ve been able to describe the maguro (tuna — dark pink) as “buttery.” Whenever I’ve read that description of the fish, I’ve thought people were off their rockers or there was something wrong with my tastebuds! My only quibble is small, that I got three pieces of salmon sashimi plus a salmon nigiri and salmon isn’t my favourite (I’d rather maguro, but I know that’s much more expensive!). The maki (roll) had crabstick in it, so it wasn’t special, but I loved the masago (the orange stuff round it) as I haven’t had it in a while. The octopus was absolutely perfect and exactly what I hoped it would be.

I was enjoying my last piece of it when the server went to take away my plate and I had to quickly swallow and tell her that I wasn’t done as I still had my ginger left! I always save it for the end so that I don’t walk out with a fishy taste in my mouth. That’s one thing I haven’t missed about Canada, the US, and the UK, how I feel rushed to get out of a restaurant. Anyway, my lunch was YUM and very filling. I couldn’t believe the quality and quantity for the price.

I then walked a short distance to the Shrewsbury Museum, where I bought two more self-guided tour pamphlets, a second one for today and one to save for perhaps Monday. Then, it was time to start my tour of the Tudor Town of Shrewsbury. This was the least value tour as it is very light on stops. It said to plan for two hours, but I think I got it done in 30 minutes!

Here’s their map of the tour (click to embiggen to legible size):

The introduction to the tour from the brochure: “Following a disastrous trade depression in the previous century, Shrewsbury’s fortunes revived in the later Tudor period. The population grew and merchants thrived, especially drapers, the middle-men dealing in woollen cloth. It was a period of great re-building. Shrewsbury is one of the best-preserved Tudor towns in England, with many listed 16th century buildings. In this walk, we will draw your attention to just a few, but hope that you enjoy the Tudor townscapes. All of this is, of course, against a background of medieval buildings, many of which still remain — not just the parish churches, but also many of the commercial buildings.”

So chronologically speaking, this tour comes after the medieval one. The first stop is the Tudor exhibit in the museum, where we’ve already been.

Next up, I got all my questions, and then some, answered about the Old Market Hall I have passed a kazillion times. It’s right in front of the museum/music hall.

The Old Market Hall “was built in 1596 by the powerful Guild of Drapers who chose to use stone, which is slightly unusual since most market halls of this era were timber-framed. Tuscan columns support the first floor, where there was a chamber for Welsh cloth dealers and Shrewsbury drapers to meet and negotiate prices.

“The covered area beneath was for the sale of corn. In the far left corner, note the tally stone used to record or document quantities or prices.

“The Square had been the market place since the 13th century, long before the Market Hall was built, and milk and vegetables continued to be sold here until 1868 when the general market was built.”

There are many decorations around the hall.

“On the west side, the large coat of arms with the Tudor dragon and the English lion belongs to Elizabeth I, who was reigning when the building was erected.”

The hall was restored in 2001-2 and is now a café and cinema. You can go upstairs to see the roof.

Directly across from the Old Market Hall, on High Street, is “Owen’s Mansion, built in 1592. Richard Owen was a prominent woollen cloth merchant and this was his prestigious house, in the centre of the commercial area.

“This is a good place to note the curved braces, a shallow S, used to strengthen the frame and the quatrefoils, 4-pointed designs. These and the carving of timbers to form cable mouldings are typical of the Shrewsbury school of carpentry. … the finials depict a warrior and his lady.”

Across the street is Ireland’s Mansion. “This was described by Sir Nikolaus Pevner, the 20th century writer on art and architecture, as the ‘Grandest timber framed house in Shrewsbury.’ This massive building, tall, broad, and symmetrical, was constructed in 1575 for commercial purposes by Robert Ireland, another wealthy wool merchant. It was three different houses, with shops on the ground floor, offices above, and accommodation in the attics. Locals are said to have called it ‘Ireland’s Folly’ because of its immense size. It has four projecting full height bays and four large gabled dormers.”

“This is a good place to see cable carving at close quarters.”

Next stop was my favourite building on Pride Hill.

“Space on major commercial streets was at a premium and often shops were very narrow, but the owners made up for it by building several storeys and also by adding jetties jutting out into the street at both first and second floor levels. This very narrow timber-framed house is Thornton’s. “This probably was a medieval shop with a single chamber above.

“The decoration on this building is interesting: under the first floor window is a design of cusped concave lozenges and the bargeboards are original, with damask work decoration. For some reason, the gable has been placed asymmetrically.”

Then, I was off to the library. By this point, one of the reasons the tours were taking less time is that I knew my way around!

The library used to the Grammar School, which “was founded in the reign of Edward VI in 1552, partly financed with money gained from the dissolution of the collegiate churches of St Chad and St Mary. The building is an amalgam of dates from 1450 to 1630 (main façade).”

I went into the library’s courtyard.

Across from the library is a big yellow house I’ve been curious about.

This is “a fine example of a late Tudor house.” It was moved from its original location around 1700.

I then headed to Windsor Place to see a long, curved building. It “is a side wing of John Perche’s house built in 1581. Its front is hidden behind the shops on Castle Street. This more natural brown and cream was the norm in Tudor times rather than the Victorian ‘renovations’ in black and white. … John Perche was another rich wool merchant and he served as bailiff four times.”

I then headed around the back of St Mary’s Church to find my next location almost at the corner of St Mary’ Street.

It is Drapers’ Hall, now a restaurant. “The trade in wool and cloth manufacture brought great prosperity to Shrewsbury in Tudor times and the Guild of Cloth Merchants or Drapers dominated other tradesmen like shearmen (finishers) and the mercers (retailers). The built this hall as a meeting place in 1577-78and added a second story in 1580. … The Drapers were a reliouss as well as a trade guild — The Brethren of the Holy Trinity.”

On my way to my next  destination, I saw something that drives me nuts and which I admire Amsterdam for not doing, changing the name of a long street partway.

My next stop was the original site of the Bradford House we saw above.

Heading back to The Square, I learned some interesting things about this Costa at the corner of Grope Lane. It was once the Cross Keys Inn. “It was restored in about 1990 and the beams were stripped of their black Victorian paint to reveal the original brown colour. The first floor [upstairs in the UK] is much the same as it was, but the restorers added a number of contemporary allusions in the carvings on the replacement bargeboards.”

I can’t see it, but one of those tiny figures is supposed to be Margaret Thatcher.

I went back through Gullet Passage to get to my next destination.

Right at the end of this passage is an unnumbered stop. This building is timbered on one side, but has a brick front, a good example of a Tudor building that was modernized in the 18th century.

The last stop is another place we’ve been. This is where I thought I would have done well to read the pamphlets ahead of time to save myself steps, but, hey, the exercise is good! Anyway, we’re back at Rowley’s House. “Today it stands in solitary splendour, surrounded by car parks, but originally it stood amongst a jumble of yards and passages, which may account for the unusual shape and positioning of the building. It was built in about 1590 and, since it has no chimneys, it is believed to have been business premises. It probably was used by William Rowley, a draper, brewer, and malster, as a warehouse. A little later, early in the 17th century, Rowley built himself a fine brick mansion attached to the timber-framed building. This is believed to be the first brick building in Shrewsbury.”

I was underwhelmed by the Tudor tour, but grateful to have that knowledge about some of the buildings I’ve noticed many times. But I found myself wondering if the next tour would be worth my time since I felt like I was just basically walking in circles around Shrewsbury’s core repeatedly (to the point that a couple of panhandlers felt a need to ask me if I was lost and needed help!). But I’d paid for the guide, so I figured I might as well go ahead.

Little did I know, I was minutes away from falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

To be continued…

A Self-Guided Stroll Around Shrewsbury’s Shuts

I woke up to the calm after Storm Doris (or Doris Day, as many people called it!). It wasn’t that bad as far inland and south as I am, but it was loud and wet. Puppy needed a lot of coaxing to go do her business!

I had no work in the queue, so I thought of doing another self-guided walk. But, of course, I woke up to a large, difficult job available to me if I wanted it. I’ve been having trouble getting work with this client during the week since I’ve been in Europe because of the time that work is assigned, but if there’s anything for the weekend, I tend to get it as I appear to be the only one who regularly works at that time. So the client assumed I’d want it and gave me both a bonus and an extension as an incentive. So of course I accepted it and thanks to the extension, I could still take today off. I’ve been sleeping really poorly the last few days and just had my first decent night, so I should be raring to go on the job tomorrow.

I did all the Puppy stuff and put her away for a nap around 9:30, then headed out. The morning was bright, but cold. I passed the perfect car for me along the way…

Coming into downtown, I was more than a little peckish since I’d had a super light breakfast. I decided to pop into Greggs for a coffee to warm my hands and a sausage roll as a second breakfast. Think of Greggs as being about as close to Tim Hortons or Dunkin’ Donuts as one can get in the UK. They have sandwiches, soups, baked goods, and reasonably priced coffee. I was disappointed that the combo would be more than it was in Manchester, according to the menu, but, no, it was still £2. It’s almost not worth getting a sausage roll if you get a coffee!

I munched my treat as I headed to the Music Hall/Shrewsbury Museum. Outside of it, I spotted an exhibit I either missed the other day or which is new. It’s a bunch of photographs from all over the world showing the many facets of humanity.

Some of my favourites included this one from a Soviet prison, in 1988…

…this hilarious scene from New York City…

…a sad-looking Canadian couple…

…a Tanzanian family…

…and Japanese folks enjoying the artificial beach in Ocean Dome, Miyazaki.

It was then time to start the tour. It covered most of downtown in a very logical, but twisty sort of manner and there’s no way to make a Google Map that would make sense of the tour. Here’s the very detailed map provided in the brochure. If you open it in another tab, it does so to full, legible size. I will number each of the stops so you can follow along if you want.

So today’s self-guided stroll was about Shrewsbury’s shuts. “‘The Shuts of Shrewsbury are a notable feature of the topography of the town.’ So wrote L.C. Lloyd in 1937. For those unfamiliar with the word, ‘shuts,’ they are called snickets, ginnels, chares, alleyways, entries, wynds, weinds, wiends, twitchells, opes, and twittons in other towns. In other words, they are narrow passages connecting one street to another. True shuts must be open to the public, used mainly on food, and should not be culs-de-sac. Other desirable qualifications are that they are ancient and between walls, with steps, archway(s), and a corner or two. … Many of the shuts have disappeared and most of the survivors have exchanged their picturesque (or scurrilous) ancient names for something more genteel.”

Let me tell you, the £1 price for this guide felt like a bargain! I was curious about the various passageways I’d seen through town, but had no idea if they were open to the public or not. I was off on a wonderful adventure!

My first stop was Gullet Passage (1). “‘Gullet’ means a water channel and, in fact, this shut follows the course of a former stream that was drained from a peat bog. This was filled in to make a new market place, which eventually became The Square.”

Phoenix Place/Passage (2) was unmarked. I was grateful that the brochure had pictures of all the entrances so it was easy to spot them. Whomever made these brochures should be commended.

“As this shut widens, note the remnants of doorways and fire-places in the brickwork. These are the remains of the 19 houses recorded here in the 1851 census, a warren of unhealthy dwellings in a crime-ridden area.”

“From this wide section the shut narrows again to dive under timber-framed buildings.”

The entrance on this side is well marked.

I passed the King’s Head Inn, which dates back to 1404.

Right after the inn is King’s Head Passage (3).

“As the shut leaves the inn, it curves round, as did all the shuts in this low part of town, and runs toward the river. In times of flood, water collects at its lowest point, where the town ditch was cut across it in medieval times.”

Looking back.

Emerging into blessed sunshine and blue sky.

I ended up on Smithfield Road and my attention was drawn to a plaque at the corner of Mardol, which has information about the Welsh Bridge.

The original bridge is gone, of course, but here stood one of Shrewsbury’s oldest bridges. It was built of stone, likely shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was then known as St. George’s Bridge. “Legend has it that in 1485, Thomas Mytton closed the bridge to Henry Tudor (later Henry VII), who was on his way to fight Richard III at Bosworth. Mytton declared that Tudor could only enter Shrewsbury ‘over his lifeless body.’ Forced to compromise, Mytton lay down and Tudor entered the town by stepping over him.”

Floods rendered the bridge unsafe in 1672. Some repairs were carried, but in 1795, St. George’s Bridge was replaced by the current Welsh Bridge.

“St. George’s Bridge provided the Welsh with important access to the English wool market, a trade that made Shrewsbury very wealthy.”

The other side of the plaque has information about Mardol. “Like much of Shrewsbury, Mardol has a hidden history. Behind its brick façades are complete timber-framed medieval buildings, traces of Saxon stonework, and Shrewsbury’s ancient ditch and wall defences. In Saxon times (900AD), Mardol was home to tradesmen who gained access to the river via long curving gardens. … By the 15th century, Mardol was home to wealthy merchants living in fine, timber-framed houses. Many of these were extended and brick faced in later centuries. … By the 17th century, Mardol had become the town’s red light district, providing drinking and whoring for the river boatmen and their crews. Today, it’s a thriving commercial street in Shrewsbury’s historic centre.”

Carnarvon Lane (4) was my next stop. You can see the entrance in the picture above, the rounded arch nearest the car.

“Ludovick Carnarvon lived here in 1460.”

I passed a lot of these tiles on my walk, but could not find anything about them.

“Rowley’s Mansion, one of the earliest brick houses in Shrewsbury, built by a wealthy draper and brewer in 1616-1618.”

Darwin’s Gate sculpture.

After a few turns, I came to Drayton’s Passage (5).

These dog heads “represent the Talbot breed, used for hunting in the 18th century, and provide a reminder that this was once The Talbot, a bustling and competitive coach inn at that time.”

This brought me back to the Music Hall, but I was only getting started!

Next to the Music Hall was the Coffee House Passage (6).

There is an intricately carved beam overhead. Is that a pineapple?

I love how the doorframe compensates for the crooked building.

More tiles. I looked up and didn’t see much…

I emerged to this pretty sight:

The tour then took me across Old St. Chad’s Churchyard. “The church was founded by King Offa, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.”

Once again, the pamphlet directed me to an informational plaque I would have otherwise missed.

“The Church where Shrewsbury began? Many believe that here, on one of the two hilltops in the loop of the RiverServern, stood Pengwern, the court of the Princes of Powys (7th century AD). We know that by the reign of Offa, King of Mercia (757-96), there was a monastic college on this site. In 1148, it was replaced by a much larger church, which extended from Belmont to College Hill. … The building in front of you is known as ‘Lady Chapel.’ It is the only standing remains of the church, after it collapsed sensationally in 1788. Four years later, new St. Chad’s church was built near the quarry.”

This plaque had a wonderful timeline of key moments in Shrewsbury history. Here are some highlights:

901: First written reference to Shrewsbury as ‘Scrobbesbyrig.’

1068: Shrewsbury Castled built by Norman invaders.

1148: Found of Old St. Chad’s Church.

1216: Henry III orders the construction of town walls.

1349: Black Death kills half of European population.

1403: Battle of Shrewsbury.

1645: Capture of Shrewsbury by the Parliamentarians.

1788: Collapse of Old St. Chad’s Church.

1809: Birth of Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury.

1918: Wildfred Owen dies in WWI.

Wilfred Owen? A poet best remembered, by me at least, for his poem “Dulce et Decorum est.” I actually used to know it by heart.

I then noticed this plaque by a tree and it made me tear up. “In memory of Nigel Johnson, who lost his life whilst carrying out his duties on behalf of the people of Shrewsbury. A tree for a tree man.”

I then had to turn onto Belmont Bank, a part of which I walked on the medieval tour. In 1610, it was Back Lane, a name that was in use until the 1950s.

Next up was Barracks Passage (7), which we’ve been to before.

This passage was called Elisha’s Shut in 1725. “The long range of timbered buildings on the right contains timbers felled in 1426.”

This projecting window might have been for a tallyman to log the carts in and out of the passage.

A very short distance away is Compasses Passage (8), named for the Compasses Inn that stood on the site in 1880. “An old tale tells of a bull on its way to market straying from Wyle Cop and getting stuck in this narrow shut.”

You emerge on Belmont Bank. You can see Barracks Passage up the hill (the arched doorway before the red door).

On the way to my next stop, I passed a violin maker. Vicki, have they got a violin for you! 🙂

This private shut on Wyle Cop is not a numbered item on the list. It’s just big enough for a packhorse to enter the yard.

“The Lion [was] a notable competitor of The Talbot for the coaching trade in the 18th century.” Just across from it up and up a bit around the bend was my next turn, Dogpole.

The name of this shop caught my eye as it sounds familiar.

Does Wysteria Lane mean anything to any of you?

The unnamed shut in front of Dogpole House (9) was my next stop.

It brought me back to St. Alkmund’s Square, where we’ve been a few times.

I liked that this stroll brought me back to places I’d been from a different direction, offering me a chance to see them with fresh eyes.

I went back down the Bear Steps (10) and then turned right to come right back up to the edge of St. Alkmund’s Square so I could turn onto Butcher Row.

“There were 15 butchers’ shops here in 1828, and Abbot’s House still retains some of its meat-hooks and ancient shop fronts.”

Pride Hill, the pedestrian street, is at the end of Butcher Row. I turned right and went just past the Darwin Shopping Centre to a shut called 70 steps (11). “This is the last remaining shut of the four that used to link Pride Hill to the meadows at the bottom of the slope, beyond the town wall. When the shopping centre was built, the shut was incorporated, providing a long, dark, and uninviting descent, which we do not recommend.”

I just peered in, as they instructed, and continued on Castle Street (Pride Hill becoming it in the direction of the train station) and found, thanks to their picture, Castle Court (12). “Here is an inviting cluster of houses and flats, those on the left converted from a chapel and those on the right once part of the old County Gaol and House of Correction.”

For this one, I had to turn back and go the way I came, to Castle Street, and continue along to School Gardens (unnumbered), “once part of Shrewsbury School,” which Charles Darwin attended. Yes, another scaffold. There are a lot of construction works going on in Shrewsbury. Must be all the old buildings keeping everyone employed.

This courtyard was part of the old goal and was “the quadrangle used by prisoners for exercise.”

I continued along to emerge at the Darwin statue in front of the library and archives.

I then circled back around up Castle Street (towards Pride Hill) and found St. Mary’s Shut (13). “This has the longest covered section of all the shuts in Shrewsbury and is very narrow and dark.”

The brochure told me not to miss the second part of it, across a carpark, but I was disappointed that there was scaffolding blocking it. Thankfully, I was able to access it from the other side.

This part of St. Mary’s Shut “is probably the narrowest in England with a minimum width of 56cm. Old maps show the shut closed in by buildings throughout its length.”

This brought me to St. Mary’s Place. I circled around the back side of St. Mary’s Church.

St. Mary’s Court is #14, but there wasn’t really anything to photograph.

Here I am emerging from it onto St. Mary’s Street, with Church Street directly opposite, which I took.

This brought me back to St. Alkmund’s, where I followed the path (15) to the La Lanterna restaurant, where I had a nice lunch the other day. Here’s its entrance.

I went down the stairs and turned right on Wyle Cop (Barracks Passage, etc. is to the left). Next up was another place we’ve been before, Golden Cross Passage (16). Let me tell you, I was seriously tempted by that affordable sushi, but I’d been out for a few hours and it was getting close to Puppy’s lunch time.

Emerging from Golden Cross, I turned right on Princess and then right again into Peacock Passage (17).

Of note in this shut is that you can see the spire of St. Alkmund’s Church. The effect was rather impressive.

At the end, you cross the High Street (difficult unless a cute delivery guy stops to let you cross) to get to Bank Passage (18).

It used to have more steps.

More tiles.

You emerge on Fish Street below St. Alkmund’s Church.

Looking back down Bank Passage.

Looking down Fish Street.

Do you know where you are? The Bear Steps are to the right after this building and Grope Lane (19) is to the left.

Bear Steps yet again.

And back to Grope Lane, which was the first stop on the medieval tour.

I emerged on High Street. Market Place and the Music Hall are to the left. I continued ahead to Pride Hill.

I passed a bookstore along the way. I need this book.

I turned right on Pride Hill and popped in at Tesco’s for a few things, including some mediocre sushi for lunch. I haven’t had proper sushi yet in England, so that’s something I definitely intend to do before I leave. The place I passed today is apparently really good and has very reasonably priced lunch specials.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Shrewsbury’s shuts as much as I did! I have one more tour pamphlet left, but I may go buy more since I have almost two weeks left here. Let’s hope the weather holds up!

Shrewsbury Museum and Medieval Centre Self-Guided Walking Tour

I can’t believe I haven’t been out for almost a full week! Well, I have been going for daily walks with Puppy around the neighbourhood, but that’s been it. I had an unexpected burst of work that kept me very busy indeed! It wasn’t an unmanageable amount, but between that and Puppy and house duties, there wasn’t much time left except for an hour or two of Netflix in the evenings. I had the day off today, so I was able to head out to the Shrewsbury Museum, the only thing left on my to-do list for Shrewsbury proper.

Puppy and I had lunch, then I took her for a walk before settling her in her crate for her afternoon nap that meant that she’d barely know I was gone.

Spring is springing in my part of England. These are from the garden here.

I headed downtown by way of the route to the train station. Not sure if it’s a short cut, but it lets me do a loop. I like this row of cottages along a walk and bike path. They all have different coloured doors.

The museum is off High Street. It’s so strange to see here a bank I use in Mexico.

Market Square.

The Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is in the old Music Hall.

Admission to the museum is £4.50 and well worth it! This museum is a trove of treasures! There is absolutely no way I can do justice to it as that would involve recounting 2,000 years worth of British history, for which I have an unfair advantage over most of you. So I’ll just share a few things that caught my eye.

You start in a very thorough exhibit about Roman Shrewsbury, starting in the Late Bronze Age and into the Iron Age to set some context. There was an exhibit inside a miniature “roundhouse” that explained how those people lived.

The ceiling:

Here’s what a roundhouse would have looked like.

The roof:

I learned in this exhibit that there are 70 hill forts in Shropshire, more than anywhere else in Britain, and that they had purposes beyond defence.

The Roman invasion was “a terrifying and shocking experience for the local people.” For some, life went on as before. Others took advantage of the situation and provided the soldiers with goods and services. New materials and technologies appeared. Think of what would happen in North America some four or five centuries later.

An interesting fact I learned is that the Romans introduced tombstones to Britain. Here are some Roman tombstones:

Here’s what a farming settlement might have looked like at the time. This was not a primitive society.

I saw some wonderful mosaics that reminded me of those I saw in Bulgaria.

One of the innovations the Romans brought was writing. “There is no evidence of the written word in Shropshire before the Romans arrived.” The soldiers who conquered the region would have been literate.

Wealthy Romans had all the comforts most of the developed world enjoys today, included glazed windows, painted walls, central heating, and running water. The underfloor heating was particularly ingenious. “Hot air from a furnace circulated under the floors and was sent up pipes built within the thickness of the wall and roof, something like a modern central heating radiator.”

Of course, the Roman period moved into the so-called Dark or Middle Ages. By 650 AD, the nearby Roman city of Wroxeter was abandoned. “What is certain is that bit by bit, the grand buildings of this once-fine city rotted and collapsed.” I hope to get a chance to visit the ruins of Wroxeter before leaving here.

Here is the most incredible artifact I saw today, a silver mirror that would have been held by a slave. It is “the finest Roman mirror found in Britain”!

The Shrewsbury Hoard:

I had fun playing with mosaic tiles.

Just a tiny bit of some of the Roman artifacts I saw. These are all jewellery or pieces used to tie togas and tunics.

I headed upstairs and found this signage rather confusing!

Into the medieval section.

I recognised this straight away, having spent quite some time poring over it when I was in university! It is the Great Domesday Book of 1086, a great survey undertaken by Willian the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of 1066 to learn who owned what and its worth, all for taxation purposes. This segment is about Shrewsbury, whose townsfolk felt they were being overtaxed.

The medieval section has a timber frame ceiling.

Shrewsbury as it would have been in the 16th century.

This shows what the English Bridge would have looked like during the Middle Ages. It originally had two sections, with an island in the middle.

This was a fun game. There are magnets that you need to place in the correct spots to create a medieval town. I got to work!


It’s a real family!

Medieval tiles.

This did not go well.

I actually have real quill pens that I purchased when I went to Washington DC in 1997.

This screen by Shrewsbury Abbey played an episode of Cadfael.

There he is.

Medieval armour.

Next, I went into the exhibit about Tudor Shrewsbury, starting around the end of the 16th century. By this point the town’s economy was stagnant, the population was dropping, and buildings were in disrepair. The reformation of the church had left the abbey and friary buildings in ruins. But by the 1560s, there was a revival of the woollen cloth trade and the town began to prosper once more.

A bed owned by the Corbet family of the area.

The embroidery was exquisite and all done by volunteers according to traditional patterns.

Looking back to the medieval section. There were so many children running around that I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I would have liked. 🙁

Daniel Defoe, in his A Tour through the whole of the island of Great Britain, 1724-26, described Shrewsbury as “A town of mirth and gallantry.”

Then came a hodgepodge of exhibits where I learned a very surprising fact that I’m shocked I didn’t know: Shrewsbury is the birthplace of… Charles Darwin!

There was a very interesting bit about the natural history of the area and I got to hold a mammoth tooth!

I learned about the ceramics and porcelain trades here, made possible thanks to the good Shropshire clay.

Near the end of the regular exhibits, I saw a panel that said something I’d never been explicitly told, but knew implicitly, that “teenagers” are a very modern concept dating to the mid to late 20th century.

I also learned that the Victorians were mad about ferns and that led to some species becoming locally extinct!

“Trying to Find my Ancestors in a Cross Cultural Word,” is a portrait that “parodies passport photo-booth images and combines the artist’s own face and those of Victorian ethnic stereotypes.”

They combine to form this famous face. Amazing!

Finally, there was a special exhibit about British nursery rhymes.

I had never heard the “go to Spain” line of this classic nursery rhyme.

I love this!

There was another room upstairs, but I’m not sure what for. It did give me a great overview of the “miscellaneous room”and its ceiling:

And the exterior of the music hall.

There’s loads more to see at the Shrewsbury Museum, but that’s what I’ve got to share with y’all. Then, I was off to take a self-guided walking tour.

Back of Market Place (museum behind me).

The museum has a bunch of self-guided walking tour guides. I picked the top three that interested me the most. If I get through these, I’ll go back for more! They are really well done and detailed, so the £1 cost is very fair. I have maps at the bottom of the post to orient you once the walk recap is done.

The Medieval Centre brochure had this to say as an introduction: “Shrewsbury was an important town in medieval times. William the Conqueror put a strong baron, Roger de Montgomery, in charge of this lawless border region and the settlement was fortified as a strategic town to defend England against the Welsh. The Normans also reorganised the church and the importance of religion in daily life can be deduced from the remains of the Abbey, three friaries, and four parish churches in the town centre. Shrewsbury became an important market town and trade centre, attracting merchants who built substantial stone mansions in the 13th and 14th centuries and timber-framed buildings in the 15th century.”

The tour starts at the Music Hall, which incorporates Shrewsbury’s most intact 13th century stone house, Vaughan’s Mansion, owned by a leading fleece exporter.

From there, I walked back towards High Street, crossed it, and found myself in Grope Lane, which was referred to as long ago as 1324. It is one of the rare Grope Lanes that retained its name through the centuries. Its name came about for exactly the reason you think.

This is a good spot to see some of the old timber framing up close.

Grope Lane leads to Fish Street, from which you can climb the Bear Steps.

“The complex of buildings at the top form the core of medieval Shrewsbury. It was built and altered over many years and dendrochronology shows that the earliest timbers date from 1358.” So that answered a question, how they date the buildings.

This is the area where the medieval market would have been held.

I then headed to St. Mary’s Church, “the only great medieval church in Shrewsbury to have survived intact.” Its core dates to 1150.

I can relate (pun not intended) to this sign I passed on the way to my next stop.

What I’ve been calling the main pedestrian street is actually Pride Hill. In the Middle Ages it would have been lined with shops, just like today.

Next stop on my medieval Shrewsbury tour was the McDonald’s. Really.

Check out its basement! It would have been the cellar of a business on Pride Hill.

I circled back to the High Street, passed Grope Lane, and found myself at the Golden Cross Passage, which is typical of Shrewsbury’s shuts, or short cuts between two streets. The Golden Cross Pub has been dated to the late 15th century!

I emerged on the other side to take Milk Street and then turned on Wyle Cop to stop just after the Lion Hotel.

There, I could see two medieval timber-framed buildings, one of which was built in 1406.

The tour then took me through Barrack’s Passage.

These well-preserved buildings are 2 of the 32 surviving 15th century timber buildings in Shrewsbury.

From Barracks Passage, I descended Belmont Banks to get to the Town Wall.

Here’s a bit of the town wall.

There was no good vantage point, so it’s hard to show how high up the wall is. The wall was “terraced into the river bluff at the edge of the river flood plain. The whole wall was 3.2km long and was built between 1220 and 1250, on royal orders, following the successful attack on the town by Welsh forces. … The major part of the wall encircled the high ground and ran down to the river, where there were gatehouses on the two bridges. Much was destroyed in the 18th century and this is the best remaining section.”

I then retraced my steps and went down Beeches Lane to turn onto St. Julian’s Friars.

Instead of crossing this foot bridge, I went under it to the tow path.

These cottages are all that remain of the perimeter buildings of the Franciscan Friary founded in 1245.

I continued along the tow path to English Bridge.

Having been to Shrewsbury Abbey, the next stop, already, I didn’t go back since I’d been gone quite a while and needed to get home to Puppy. Instead, I continued to walk along the river.

These arches are part of the remains of a Dominican Friary.

It was then time to head back to the centre of town along St Mary’s Water Lane. It was a pretty steep climb.

The last stop of the tour is the castle. I’m undecided if I will go there because I’m not that interested in the military museum it houses.

“The castle was built within three or four years of the Norman Conquest [1066]. Its primary purpose was to dominate the town, to monitor and intimidate the population, and suppress rebellion. From here, the garrison could survey the whole town, including the approach through the neck of the meander, any movements on the river fords and hostile gatherings in the market place. Today, the inner bailey has stone curtain walls built in the 12th century on top of the original Norman ramparts. The crenulated parapets were originally medieval, though they have been repaired or replaced several times. The hall, with flanking circular towers, is mid-13th century.”

From this final stop, it was an easy one-mile walk home along the river.

Here’s a general overview of my afternoon:

And a more detailed map of some of the highlights of the walking tour.

Shrewsbury Abbey

I managed to get away for a few hours this afternoon during Puppy’s nap. I decided to head out to Shrewsbury Abbey. First, I thought to grab something quick for lunch, but was lured by the signs for La Lanterna Italian restaurant that took me through twisty medieval streets to the back of St. Mary’s Church.

The restaurant was in the basement of this building, the old church vestry.

The interior was tiny and very cosy, with the theme decidedly Italy.

What had caught my eye was the set menu for £8.50. It came with a glass of wine, bread, a really lovely salad…

…a slice of very garlicky bruschetta, and a generous portion of creamy pasta with greens, tomatoes, olives, and bacon. Wow!

This gourmet meal was a bargain even by Balkan standards! I was really impressed. Service was stellar, too. It wasn’t till I got home that I checked out reviews for the restaurant and they all praise it highly. I really discovered a hidden gem.

Here’s the lobby of the basement entrance with the entrance to the restaurant. Love the stained glass.

I made my way down some stairs to the High Street and turned left to cross the river and get to the abbey.

First glimpse of Shrewsbury Abbey!


I couldn’t believe that I was there. Of course, I knew that almost nothing remains of the original medieval abbey.  From Wikipedia: “The Abbey was founded in 1083 as a Benedictine monastery by the Norman Earl of ShrewsburyRoger de Montgomery. It grew to be one of the most important and influential abbeys in England and an important centre of pilgrimage. Although much of the Abbey was destroyed in the 16th century, the nave survived as a parish church and today serves as the mother church for the Parish of Holy Cross.”

I walked around the exterior a bit to take in the Victorian parts.

Admission to the abbey is free, but they suggest a donation of “at least £2.” They had guides in many languages and I picked a French one. The translation was decent.

This is the only original stained glass. You can tell that stained glass is really old if it’s wavy and kind of buckling.

This is a very recent stained glass made by a woman named Jane Grey. It is of Saint Winefride, a Welsh woman tied to a number of legends.

I spent about 15 minutes in the abbey reading about its unusual history of partial demolition and reconstruction. It was a grand,  draughty old space. Its guardians are very friendly and welcoming; available for questions, but not intrusive. I’m really glad I had a chance to visit!

It was then time to head back across The English Bridge and head home as Puppy surely needed to be let out.

I passed the front of St. Mary’s Church since I wanted to pop into the Tesco Express near Barclay’s to get coffee.

It was raining steadily when I came out Tesco and, of course, I had forgotten my umbrella. But it wasn’t a hard drizzle so the walk home wasn’t too unpleasant.

Here’s a rough map of my day, although not of my route.

Riding the Brontë Bus to Haworth in Search of Wuthering Heights

My host is the one who clued me into the fact that I’m right near “Brontë country.” Now, I don’t pretend to be a huge fan of the Brontës as I’ve never been able to get through any of their works, but I’ve always thought that Wuthering Heights had to be one of the most evocative English book titles ever and have a vague general familiarity with the works of Charlotte and Emily. I don’t know much about Anne, however.

It felt wrong to leave the area without going to Haworth, where the Brontë sisters lived from childhood to their deaths, if it was as close by as I’d been told. But with public transportation being so frustrating to sort out in the UK, I kept on putting it off. Well, the other day, as I was walking home from the village, I saw a bus pass in front of my house marked “Brontë bus.” Intrigued, I made a note of the number and the company and headed off to Google.

As it turned out, that bus going in the other direction would take me straight to Haworth in just under a half hour! The stop is literally in front of my house. Talk about convenient!

I thought I’d have the day off, but a small job came in late last night that I could only have if I got the files to my clients by about 8AM their time, which was my late afternoon. So I got up way too early based on the time I went to bed and got it out fast enough to be on “schedule” to grab the 11:15 bus.

Soon we were climbing high up above the valley to give me my first taste of Yorkshire moors. They rather look like a damper version of home…

The road was super narrow and twisty, especially as we meandered through the town of Oxenhope and took super tight turns. The idea of driving in the UK in general, especially something as big as a bus, boggles and frankly intimidates me.  I had a spark of genius last week that was too late to implement here, but that I will investigate it in my next stop, Shrewsbury — I’m going to learn to drive on the left properly, with a driving instructor in a car clearly marked learner. I hope the rates are comparable to here, where I could have have five one-hour lessons for just £55.

At any rate, here’s a rather lovely bus stop in Oxenhope:

I’d bought a day return ticket to Haworth and back (£4.20) and this is where the driver dropped me and told me to get back on to go home.

I understood why when I realised I was at the bottom of the steep Main Street that leads up to the parsonage that was the Brontë home.

I bet Main Street hasn’t really changed that much.

I’m always so happy to see a burst of colour in a rather drab world.

My friend Croft must be a very important man in this country. Every town seems to have a street named after him. 😉

This is the infamous Black Bull pub, right in front of the church, where Branwell Brontë, the only brother, likely drank himself to death.

Here’s the church.

Back of the church, by the cemetery that is between the church and the parsonage.

Looking towards the parsonage on the left. To the right is a school built by Patrick Brontë (the father) for the children of Haworth.   Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne all taught here and Charlotte’s wedding reception was held here in 1854.

Standing by the parsonage looking back to the church.

I decided to have lunch before touring the museum and heading out to “Wuthering Heights,” the place that inspired the locale of the novel. Almost everything in the village was closed today, but I had looked at the menus of places that were open and the Fleece Inn had the most appealing menu as well as reasonable prices. This was going to be a treat meal, out of the “special excursions” rather than “food” budget, so I focused on getting an experience rather than the cheapest meal.

A sign on the wall offering the chance to sample three local craft beers for the price of a pint caught my attention. I selected these beauties, a lager, stout, and bitter. I find it amusing that folks that don’t really know beer would expect the stout and bitter to be super strong tasting, but they were actually smoother than the lager. All three were delicious, but I think I’m really a bitters person!

I ordered the bacon, brie, and cranberry sandwich on ciabatta, which came with a salad. The soup of the day was leek, so I had to try that! The server goofed and brought me a full portion instead of the half that comes with a sandwich, but I knew I’d be working it off. Everything was so yummy! I love that thick-cut British bacon. The meal was only £14 or 23CAD! The soup was a pricy add-on since I had to pay for the full portion at £4 rather than the add-on price of £2, but it wasn’t worth quibbling over. And, of course, you don’t need to tip. I was really surprised by this bill since the beers were only £3.30. Cheapest pint I’ve had yet!

It was almost one when I was done with lunch and I wanted to at least attempt the hike to “Wuthering Heights,” which is about 10KM round trip. With nightfall being around five and the hike expected to take about three hours given the terrain, I had a half hour to get through the museum. I knew that would be plenty and also that the museum is really pricey at £8.50. That’s actually great for locals as you can use the ticket for readmission over the next year, but it sucks for someone who is just travelling through!

Standing in the garden at the front of the parsonage.

The front door of the parsonage is the entrance of the museum. That extension on the right was added after the Brontës.

Throughout the museum, you can see the costumes that were used in the Sally Wainwright production of “To Walk Invisible” about the Brontë siblings. Considering how much a fan I am of her series “Happy Valley” and that one of the stars (Charlie Murphy) and my favourite character of that series is in “To Walk Invisible,” I’m going to hunt down a copy!

So this is “the dining table at which Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were written, making it one of the “most significant literary artefacts of the 19th century.” Wow! You can’t see the marks of daily use, like ink stains, from that distance, unfortunately.

Next up is Mr. Brontë’s study, where he carried out parish business and gave his children lessons. Emily and Anne were the main players of the cabinet piano.

The front hall finally cleared enough for me to photograph its “pretty dove-coloured tint, as per a description of the parsonage by a family friend of the Brontës.

Now on to the kitchen, which was demolished during the renovations to add the extension. It has been restored with period appropriate furnishings, including the range.

After the Brontë sisters’ mother died, their Aunt Branwell took over as the female head of household. After she died, Emily acted as housekeeper and Charlotte and Anne went away to work as governesses. “Baking bread or ironing allowed Emily the mental freedom to focus on her writing and she was always happiest at home.” I can really identify with that. Even when I’m travelling, I need to be able to be “domestic” to feel complete.

The next room I visited on the ground floor was the study of Charlotte’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, who had come in 1844 to help Patrick curate the church. The room was originally a storeroom that was only accessible from outside. Charlotte decorated the room in grey and green, a fashionable colour combination in the 1850s.

The marriage was short, but happy. Charlotte died within a year of marriage when she was pregnant. Now’s a good time to point out that I was disappointed that the museum glossed over the sad facts of their lives and especially that their home, with its non-potable water supply, played a role in the sisters dying so young. I also found that the museum only catered to people who know the Brontë history really well as there is very little context given as to who is who. Several people told me there was an event going on for “Branwell” with the assumption being that I would know who that was, but I had to piece it together for myself.

I then headed upstairs to the bedrooms.

I love the story behind this clock, that Mr. Brontë would lock his front door at 9PM every night and call to his daughters in the dining room not to stay up too late. Then, he would come wind up the clock.

A portrait of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte. They had two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, who died when they were 11 and 10 respectively when they died of complications of typhus they contracted while at school.

Looking down to the front hall.

Looking up, we can see the entrance to “Charlotte’s room” (at an angle), flanked by the children’s study on the left and the servant’s room on the right.

The Brontës normally had one servant, who had quite a cosy room.

I used quotation marks above for Charlotte’s room because it was originally that of the parents. When Mrs. Brontë died in 1821, her sister Elizabeth Branwell took over. Charlotte didn’t get this room until she married Arthur Bell Nicholls… and it was here that she died. The room is filled with Charlotte’s effects.

I thought it was odd that this costume was in a box when the others weren’t but now I realise that that’s just because there’s no way to keep it away from curious fingers the way there was downstairs with only a small sliver of the rooms being available to walk through.

I loved her collection of shoes! Some are very dainty and barely worn, showing that they were for special occasions.

She bought these moccasins on a trip to the beach.

Her writing desk, spectacles, and quill cutter, which is what made her impossibly teeny handwriting possible.

Next, I went to Mr. Brontë’s bedroom. He moved here after his wife died. It was furnished from replicas thanks to a drawing by Branwell, who was often kept in this room under his father’s supervision because of his alcoholism. He died here in 1848 at age 31.

With the crowd thinning out, I was able to peek into the children’s study, where Emily may have slept. It is so small because room was taken from it to enlarge Charlotte’s room.

The little red arrows point to faint pencil marks on the walls that were likely made by the sisters.

Branwell’s studio was very messy! I was impressed that it was portrayed so realistically.

From his study, we move into the extension, which has a lot more background information. If you’re really into the Brontës and want to get more information about the parsonage, you can virtually visit the rooms on the Brontë Parsonage Museum website.

I learned about the Clergy Daughters’ School in Cowan Bridge, where Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Emily went. The school regime was harsh and the two elder girls were sent home in ill health in 1825 and died soon thereafter. “Charlotte’s sense of loss stayed with her for the rest of her life, and she later immortalized Cowan Bridge as the infamous Lowood School in her novel Jane Eyre.”

Charlotte’s writing really was teeny!

That’s a fragment from her “Roe Head journal.” There were a lot of interesting artefacts in that case, including an accounts book for the family where she worked as a governess that showed her final payout before leaving the job.

Here is a trunk that Charlotte bought in Brussels, where she was trying to improve her language skills.

Patrick Branwell outlived all his children and lived to the surprising age of 84, in 1861, five years after Charlotte died. As I wrote above, Branwell died in 1848, aged 31. Emily and Anne became ill soon thereafter. Emily died three months after her brother from tuberculosis, aged 30. Anne tried a sea cure and went to Scarborough with Charlotte and a family friend, only to die there on 28th May, 1849, age 29. “To spare her father the anguish of another family funeral, Charlotte had her sister buried in Scarborough, then she returned to Haworth alone.” In 1854, Charlotte accepted Nicholls’ proposal and they married, but she died on 31st March 1855 in the early stages of pregnancy. Nicholls took care of his father-in-law for six years at the parsonage.

Here is Branwell’s drawing of death visiting him in his father’s room. He called it “A Parody.”

It was then time to head off to “Wuthering Heights.” It was 1:30, sunset was at five, and I was told to allow 3.5 hours, which meant three hours for me. That only gave me 30 minutes of wiggle room. So I was hyper aware of distances and times as I walked and hiked as I did not want to be out on the moor in the dark!

The walk starts behind the parsonage. I got so lucky with the weather!

A look back at the parsonage and the gift shop.

I immediately felt at ease with the landscape. It was really not that different from my experience hiking in the Highlands, which I remember in vivid detail thanks to my journal. Most of this is private land and there are rights of way for walkers. Follow the path and close any gate you open.

Sheep here instead of “hairy coos.”

Remember that structure out on the lake. It’ll be worth an exclamation point later.

Status report on my boots about a mile in.

The sky looked ominous, but I didn’t get so much as a spatter of rain. The path was very mucky, though.

This man overtook me just before the waterfall. I was jealous of his trekking poles, seriously overdressed, but surefooted.

Charlotte wrote this about the waterfall on 29th November, 1854

“We set off, not intending to go far; but though wild and cloudy it was fine in the morning; when we got about half-a-mile on the moors, Arthur suggested the idea of the waterfall; after the melted snow, he said it would be fine. I had often wished to see it in its winter power, so we walked on. It was fine indeed; a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful!”

There obviously hasn’t been much rain this winter!

I then headed over this bridge, knowing that I would soon need to check the time.

I’d just come down so of course I had to go up.

Looking back down to the bridge.

Left towards “Wuthering Heights,” right back to the parsonage. The sky worried me. I was adding two miles to my trek if I went left. According to my clock, I had time. It takes me about 20 minutes to walk a mile in rough terrain, so if I wasn’t at the end of the trail in that time, I would turn back.

This lovely stone path did not last.

On the other side of this wall was was… muck.

This is a “stile.” I was bemused by the “please close the gate” sign seeing as there is no obvious “closed” position.

Oh, this was going to be fun.

I soon was hiking in what was more like a very shallow river.

I stepped into one puddle and ended up in water up past my ankles. Incredibly enough, while my jeans got soaked through, my boots didn’t. They earned their keep!

There’s the end of the trail at the distance. Can you see the building on top of the hill?


It had taken 20 minutes to get to this point, so it was time to turn around. I’m glad that I know my limits and speeds so well when hiking that I can make smart decisions. I wasn’t that disappointed since I knew that I’d just get more of this and this was more than I ever imagined seeing!

So I headed back in the muck.

In case there’s any doubt that I was doing some serious hiking. 😉

So much GREEN! This is where I wasn’t sure which direction to go as there was no obvious path. I felt like I was in a video game looking for the exit and trying to avoid obstacles. I spent way too much time and energy in this pasture trying to figure out how to keep moving towards Haworth. The hike is meant to be a loop and I didn’t want to go back the way I’d come.

Ah, the exit.

Which had a swimming pool at the bottom. Total real life video game. 😀

I made it around!

I have rarely in my life been so happy to see a proper road!

The sheep here are dyed, presumably to identify their owners.

Had a nice chat with this handsome fellow.

Remember that structure in the lake from earlier?! I was a bit shocked to find myself so far from it on the opposite side.

I ended up in a place called Stanbury. Huh. A nice lady confirmed that I just had to keep going straight to get to Haworth but that “it’s really far.” I knew I had about two miles to go so while I was definitely off the trail, I wasn’t out of my way.

Everything was going swimmingly to about a mile from Haworth as I’d been going downhill for ages, then I had to climb back up much of that distance. This staircase was fun. I particularly liked the barbed wire handrail.

I was shocked when I got to this intersection because on the way out, I’d had a brief section off the moor and on the road along the fork at the top. I really had done a perfect circle!

I was at the end of my strength so I just made my way straight to the bus stop. I had just enough time to check the time on my phone (40 minutes to the bus, gah) when my phone died. I thought on the way in to get a cream tea if I had such a long bus wait, but I hadn’t seen any tea shops or cafés open and I was way too foot sore to go exploring. So I sat on a bench across the street to wait.

This bus from another company went by. The Quebec ambulance yellow colour caught my eye.

I spent my time just watching the traffic (trying to “normalise” the driving on the left traffic patterns) and shivering as the temperature went from comfortable to frigid as the sun set. A lovely police community support officer who looked just like my favourite character on “Happy Valley” passed me and stopped to ask if I was okay. Nothing that a warm bus and a hot shower at home wouldn’t cure. And maybe a view ibuprofen tablets…

Final status report on my boots. The need a good cleaning once they dry and a coating or two of wax!

The bus finally arrived and it was crowded. Thankfully, I got one of the last seats and no more older people came on so I didn’t have to give it up. It was super dark and I knew there was no way I would recognise when to ask to get off. What I normally do in such circumstances is track my route on my phone. I finally found out what’s wrong with the stupid thing, its battery is on the point of failing, and I’ve discovered that I can sometimes revive it after its shut down. After we got through Oxenhope, across the moor, and started to head down, I tried to turn it on and it came to life. It conked out again promptly, but lasted just long enough to make up for a lot of its recent idiocy by doing so just as my stop was coming up. I was going to go tell the driver my stop when a lady signalled to get off. Based on what I’d seen on the map, she would either be the stop before mine, if there was one, or my stop. As it turned out, it was my stop!

I was so glad to have nothing more to do to get home than to cross the street and go down the stairs. I promptly hopped into a hot shower and fresh clothes.

It was an incredible day in Brontë country. I had perfect weather for it, learned a lot, and got some fresh air and exercise. I now feel that I’ve done all the touristy stuff I needed to do here and am ready to move on to my next location.