display | more...

Ah, Bridgnorth. The town without an E.

A pre-medieval crossing point for the River Severn in south-east Shropshire UK, it is built on two levels; Victorian Low Town to the east of the river and Medieval High Town to the west. It has a population of around 30,000.

High Town is spectacular when approached from the south-east. It rises majestically with a sheer cliff face some 100 metres straight up, a ruined Castle on the top together with a Victorian church, and further back is the High Street with more half-timbered buildings than you can shake some wattle and daub at. A myriad of twisty turny passageways lined with a million steps lead up, down and around the promentary.

The best way to get from Low Town to High Town is to take the Cliff Railway. Talking of rail, there's also the Severn Valley Railway, a privately-owned steam railway catering mainly for tourists which connects to the national rail network at Kidderminster.

Bridgnorth is full of middle-class people leading middle-class lives. There's hardly any crime. It has a rural feel with a cattle market and an enormous street market on Saturdays which really makes the town bustle with life.

Like any market town, it takes on a strange air on Friday and Saturday nights after the pubs close. With poor public transport and little to do except one small shabby nightclub after 11pm, the town has groups of drunk youngsters wandering around in the small hours being loud and nauseous until they either pass out in the street (or, more often, the castle grounds) or manage to persuade someone to drive them home. Relax. It's just farm workers and middle-class kids letting off steam.

Bridgenorth, the town with an E, is in Canada.