Bewdley is more than basic ex-Banks pubs; it’s like a Georgian Barmouth by the Severn. On 2016’s summer day, the riverside was packed with daytripping Black Country folk enjoying chips and beer by the river.
On the walk to the Rising Sun an old couple stopped us on a junction to enquire about a good fish and chip shop. We reeled off three we’d passed, none of which met their approval for odd reasons. Very particular about their chippies here.
I’ve never actually seen the town flooded, but it’s still a regular occurrence. So I wasn’t taking any chances with the tent,and booked into one the few Wetherspoons Hotels (£39 a night) that isn’t fully booked these days. Fans of 1am Prosecco-fuelled arguments and 6am delivery vans will love this place, as did I.
Staying in the centre reminds you how small it really is, just a handsome High Street and a gaggle of streets leading off in all directions into the hills and forests. The number of pubs may suggest a town of 9,000 but the shops don’t. The pubs seem to be surviving as well, though the loss of the Woodcolliers to residential use still came as a blow.
When I first came here on a whim (or steam train) in 1994 it seemed a different world; some of that ancient feel has gone, epitomised by the posher feel of the two pubs on Severn Side North.
Those two still look the business, but WhatPub emphasises the food more than I remember, and the Mug House’s lentil moussaka wasn’t going to compete with dhansak at the Rajah after the Banks and Bathams.
We did squeeze in a half in the Great Western, my favourite Bewdley pub in years past. The almost chapel like interior is much modernised, but still provides the upper storey from which to enjoy Everitt-style pub observation. As a year ago, a half of Worcestshire Way was perfectly pleasant, as was the pub.
Spoons porridge this morning,then the real Worcestershire Way, taking in Blackstone Rock and pretty Ribbesford hamlet.
Plenty more great pubs on the way back to the Spoons too.
QUIZ TIME – What’s the Stockport connection ?
A very photogenic place, only lacking a
craft bar cheese shop and a 15th Century ruined castle.