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A brief stop in Shrewsbury

It wasn’t too bad getting to Port Meirion from Malvern on a Friday. Although it was a  very long journey,  there was a choice of trains and if the connections had gone badly wrong there were alternatives. But it was another matter coming home again on the Sunday. There was only one train that would have got me back to Malvern at a reasonable hour, and any delays could have left me stranded. There is little point going away on a relaxing weekend break, if you then get home tired, late and grumpy!

So it made sense to take an extra day’s leave, break my journey home at a sensible mid-point, and not tempt fate by trying too challenging a journey on the Sunday. There are far more trains back to Malvern on a Monday, and I wouldn’t be held hostage to the trains running on time to meet tight connections. Plus, if you get an open return you can break your journey on the return leg without additional cost, which gives a lot more flexibility.  With that in mind, I looked for places to stop overnight on the rail route between Minffordd and Malvern. Shrewsbury seemed the obvious place – an interesting historic town centre, lots to see to keep me busy for a few hours, and a choice of routes home on the Monday (either via Hereford or via Birmingham, so plenty of options).

Shrewsbury Castle

I stayed in an old coaching inn, which Charles Darwin set off from on the journey when he visited the Galapagos, subsequently coming up with the theory of evolution. I then spent Monday morning ambling around Shrewsbury. I’d stayed there years ago with Christopher, so didn’t feel the need to do it thoroughly. But there were a few sites that we’d missed last time, like the castle – originally Norman, then turned into a fortified stately home, and now a regimental museum. That was surprisingly interesting.

Altogether a much better option than trying to get home in one step from the far side of Snowdonia!