Today we return to London. The process of getting ready to go includes packing: use it, pack it. When ready, we will ask the hotel to look after our bags so that we can go out for a final bus ride and walk.
In my experience, all hotels will store your luggage for you for a few hours on your final day but not all have adequate facilities – they may suggest you leave it in the lounge or some other public area. Premier Inn, both when we arrived and today cheerfully accepted our bags and locked them away. This was just one way in which this hotel has been helpful during our stay.
Where should we go for our last brief outing before taking the train home? We had passed through the town of Wellington several times on the train on the way to Shrewsbury and thought we would now take a look at it and have breakfast there.
Unlike the train, the 55 bus takes about 45 minutes to reach Wellington bus station from Telford station. We walked around the streets, taking photos and keeping a weather eye out for breakfast.
Getting breakfast turned out to be more difficult than expected. Most cafes were still closed or serving snacks only. We found a cafe in the market advertising a vegetarian breakfast but when we asked for this, they responded in a very off-hand manner, saying they couldn’t serve us as they had run out of vegetarian sausages. In a way, it was a relief as the place had an unpleasant smell to it.
In the end, we found Masti, which presents as a coffee bar cum cafe during the day and turns into an Indian restaurant in the evening. We have noticed that a lot of eateries these days pursue a similar dual existence. For example, we have eaten in a cafe near Waterloo that is a cafe during the day and a Thai restaurant in the evening. If this formula works and helps them survive, good luck to them.
Wellington has narrow streets like a medieval town and a market with covered and open sections but it stops short of being picturesque or of having a character of its own. Tigger described it as a "twenty-minute town", i.e. one that takes 20 minutes to explore and to which you never return.
We caught the bus back to Telford, allowing plenty of time. After yesterday’s adventures we wanted today to go smoothly. We found ourselves back at the hotel with a little over an hour before our train, so we repaired to the Beefeater next door to pass the time with coffee and the books about the region that Tigger had bought during our stay.
Aboard the train, as we had promised ourselves, we upgraded to first class. At weekend rates this is affordable as a treat. The buffet staff remembered us from our trip to Telford and made us feel welcome. The Wrexham & Shropshire is a rather nice railway service: all rail travel should be like this!
For the sheer number of places visited and the relative ease of getting about, this has been a successful trip. While I cannot imagine anyone coming to Telford for the sake of Telford itself (I’m sorry if that hurts anyone’s feelings but I think it is fair), it does provide a good springboard for visiting places of beauty and interest in the region, including North Wales.
Telford is well supplied with bus routes and the railway station, though small and at first sight limited, provides easy access to the wider network.
The rail rover ticket that we bought this time gave wide coverage but had Telford as its southern limit, barring us from some routes that would have made our travel more efficient on some journeys, though it did give us access to Wales. Next time – and we do think there will be a next time – we will buy a ticket that covers southern part of the region as well – though without Wales – as this will make travelling around easier.
Visiting Wales reminded us of the delights of that country too, prompting us to plan a trip to Wales in the near future.
I think my favourite outing was to the Blists Hill Victorian Village. There seems to be something that draws me to that period and culture. I certainly hope that we can visit this beautifully constructed and continually developing living museum again.