Ben Bentley continues his month-long campaign to highlight the area’s top visitor attractions. Today it’s the turn of the Severn Valley Railway in Bridgnorth.
Where is it? Start your journey from the station at Bridgnorth (Hollybush Road, WV16 5DT), Hampton Loade, Highley or Arley, for Shropshire stations.
What is it? The SVR dates back to 1862 and is a full-size standard-gauge railway line running regular steam-hauled passenger trains between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire, a distance of 16 miles.
What's great about it? Sit back and enjoy a ride through the golden age of steam. The journey is a fascinating jaunt following the meandering course of the River Severn for most of the way on its journey between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. One highlight of the trip is the crossing of the River Severn by means of the Victoria Bridge - a massive 200-foot single span, high above the water which, incidentally, features in the film The Thirty-nine Steps with Robert Powell.
With few roads in the Severn Valley, some of the views are only visible from the railway. The scenery is varied and largely unspoiled, punctuated by the quaint ‘olde worlde’ charm of country stations, each one giving ready access to local villages and riverside walks.
Passengers can hop off at any of the stations and explore the countryside, enjoy a pub lunch or a picnic on the banks of the River Severn at Hampton Loade, perhaps cross the river on the last foot ferry in England and walk to Dudmaston Hall.
Get off at Highley to visit the Engine Room, with its collection of steam locomotives, or at Arley and take the footbridge to Arley Arboretum.
How much is it? Return freedom of the line tickets are £16.50 for adults, £15 for senior citizens and £8.50 for children. They permit unlimited travel on the day of your visit and include free admission to The Engine House and the SVR Visitor Centre at Highley. Shorter tickets are available.
Interesting fact - Volunteers are the stars of the railway. At weekends throughout the year, some 200 volunteers perform tasks including repairing and repainting stations, reconstruction of viaducts and bridges, and rebuilding locomotives and rolling stock – not to mention the operation of the trains themselves.
Opening times - See online timetables for specific journey times.
Verdict - A fabulous whistle-stop ride into the past - and being able to get on and get off means the SVR is a gateway to a unique Shropshire day out with no two journeys the same.
For more information - Visit www.svr.co.uk