Bluebells & Lavender
In Chestnut Coppice we found a blue oasis within the woods. The river beckoned us to trace its roots upstream.
Take the B4373 Broseley Road out of Bridgnorth, then first right, signposted Bridgnorth Golf Club. Continue past the golf course, uphill, to park beside a wooden bridleway signpost, at a stand of trees. Your walk begins by passing through the gate and down the left of the field to another gate into the coppice.
We had picked the right season - end of April, almost into May - to visit Chestnut Coppice. A carpet of bluebells streched out before us as we followed the bridleway towards the River Severn. The shadow of a buzzard, soaring overhead, made us look up into the pine trees. It was then we spotted the squirrels, and as we followed the river parallel to the old Severn Valley Railway line, we saw so much more - cormorants, grey wagtails and even kingfishers.
The sunlight danced on the leaves of the beech trees and the colours of the coppice amazed us, so many different greens and the soft sandstone caves behind.
Around a bend on the opposite bank of the river we could see the grey Grinshill stone of Apley Park. Built in 1811, the house was used a hospital during the Second World War, later becomming a boys' boarding school.
Then further upstream we reached Apley Forge and the wooden suspension bridge built for the squire of Apley's son as a 21st birthday present just so he could go hunting on this side of the river!
Back at the car we took a different route home through Astley Abbotts, where a lavender farm sits next to the church.