Ironbridge & Bridgnorth
Situated 20 miles apart these two bridge towns in Shropshire define quaint Britishness. The Iron Bridge in the village it's named after is much smaller than I expected. So the world's first iron bridge is pretty and accessible, rather than grand.
What delights me is the street running alongside it is full of little local businesses. Most of them being old school cafes and it was difficult to choose which one to have a coffee in! (In the event, we chose wrong. Next time we'll try the one attached the hotel at one end of the street) It was strange to see some of the shops shut over the bank holiday we visited but I can imagine it being quite different on a warmer sunny day. We even managed to park in the little car park (that's only really recommended for tiny cars) along the parade of shops.
Bridgnorth is altogether different. A decent sized town centre with plenty of shops cafes and sights to see. I was pretty taken with the funicular - I always want to call these little railways finickety - that seems to have been there since the railway was invented. I was surprised to see we were so high up (as you'll see from the photo of the Low Town) as there was no climb to get there!
Despite not having to endure a clime, we treated ourselves to ice creams after taking a good ten minutes to decide on flavours. We stood on the street enjoying them while dog watching. You can always get a sense of the town from the happy dogs, although I appreciate most of these were probably on day trips too!
I'm looking forward to going back, especially to visit the Victorian museum in Ironbridge.