|Approaching the towering presence of Worcester Cathedral|
We left Martin Brookes' yard with our repaired rudder a couple of days ago and headed (once more) for Stourport. Then after a re-stock at the canalside Lidl and a scull round the town's charity shops – of which there are nearly a dozen – we headed out onto the River Severn, heading for Gloucester.
|Heading through Stourport Basin en route for the river|
|Bye bye Stourport and its funfair as we head off onto the river|
It's a largely rural waterway: just a scattering of remote riverside pubs mark the way. Oh, and a sprawl of ugly caravan sites and chalets every now and then. More appealling, in a hill-billy sort of way, are the riverbank timber shacks in varying stages of repair or otherwise, ekeing out a risky existence along the flood prone banks.
There was just one sparkling gem along our route today - Thomas Telford's supremely elegant iron bridge across the river at Holt. A mile or two downstream we passed the entrance to the Droitwich Canal – another time for that one – and headed into our third and final lock of the day. Bevere, like the others, is a big beast but all the work is done by lock-keepers so no worries for us there.
|The elegant arch of Telford's Holt Bridge|
It's an easy and enjoyable walk down the river towards Diglis Lock where the Worcester & Birmingham canal meets the river. We passed the Watergate where a small ferry has traditionally taken people across the river from the cathedral. It still operates, though trade was slack today and the ferryman was relaxing in the sun reading a book. The Watergate wall, incidentally, has a series of plaques marking flood levels over the years. Scary evidence of the river's power.
|"It was this high". Yours truly marks the 2014 flood line|
|The stunning boat-like shape of Kings School Boathouse|
A bit more wandering in Worcester tomorrow then on downriver to Gloucester.