Today’s been transition day. Sorting out a few final work bits at home for me whilst Dawn’s been busy with packing and paperwork, then finally getting in the car to escape for a week in the first holiday we’ve had together since Covid pandemic turned the whole world upside down. As much as we’d have loved to have got away for longer than a week and escaped the UK for somewhere warmer (drier) and more exotic, we felt that in these turbulent times it just wasn’t worth the aggro and uncertainty. Instead, we plumped for a part of the UK which I consider a hidden gem and one that Dawn’s never really visited. Shropshire. We managed to get a very good deal on a self-catering apartment in a farm conversion between Shrewsbury and Telford, which puts us within striking distance of many of the counties best sights.

Mind you, getting here was a right royal pain in the backside. Friday afternoon’s never a great day to be driving anywhere but when you have to traverse the ‘cobbled motorway’ (aka the M62), the M6 and then head cross-country, it was never going to be fun. It lived down to expectations. Before we’d even reached the M62 we were delayed by a stalled HGV blocking the crossroads in the centre of Rishworth. The motorway itself was chokka, with several speed limits imposed due to the numbers on the road. Obviously, no-one had told them they didn’t really exist because no-one was travelling anymore as ‘everyone works from home nowadays’ (© Hs2 antis)…

To add to the joy as we approached the mish-mash of Manchester motorways known as the M60/62 our satnav informed us that a vehicle had broken down on the M6 South, causing an hour-long tailback. ‘Bugger that for a game of soldiers’ we thought, so struck out across country. This meant that we explored parts of Cheshire I’d not seen for donkey’s years and Dawn had never visited, like lovely Lymm, which has a very pretty town centre boasting some lovely half-timbered buildings, a canal and even a duck pond. After a brief dalliance with the M56 we made it on to the A49 which was going to take us South to Shrewsbury. Yet again we were frustrated by sclerotic roads due to heavy traffic and carriageway repairs. By this point we’d become resigned to our fate so broke out the emergency humbugs!

Finally we broke free of the chaos and actually had an hour of decent motoring across country on winding roads before we arrived at our new home for the next week, the delightful Rose Cottage, a farm building conversion in the village of Charlton, between Shrewsbury and Telford. Here’s how it looks.

The main bedroom, obviously!

The living room and dining table, with the kitchen and entrance to the ground floor property around the corner to the left. The main bedroom is behind me with a second bedroom and bathroom off to the left.

The kitchen area with the front door behind me.

I’m sure we’ll get used to slumming it like this after a couple of days! The weather’s going to be mixed to say the least but we’re not going to let that bother us. Instead, we’ve got a full programme planned that includes the Royal Airforce museum at Cosford, walking on the Long Mynd and Caer Caradoc at Church Stretton, a visit to Ironbridge and also a tour of historic towns like Ludlow and Shrewsbury. Sorry, did I say this was a holiday?

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