This is the track that leads from Seighford to the fields and the west coast mainline. It’s used by track workers and the dairy farms nearby. I’ve posted about this beautiful little lane on several occasions over the years.
The lane climbs from the ford, hemmed in by hawthorn hedges. It turns along a steep ridge which lies above the valley of the river Sow. Strolling up the lane this morning, listening to the bells of nearby St Chad’s strike the hour we could have been in any of the last five centuries so little has obviously changed.
Yet, the M6 runs just over a mile to the east and the West Coast Mainline runs in the valley. Even the more local roads – A34 and A519 – are busy routes used by lorries and couriers.
At the end of the track is a short slope down to a brick bridge over the railway. A ridge can be seen beyond a field full of cows sunning themselves. Just over that ridge of sand and gravel and nettles and rabbit burrows is this view….
It’s a beautiful spot known locally as Shaky Bridges (but more of Shaky Bridges tomorrow). We sat on the grassy bank, dangling our feet in the river, minnows darting from the brown-green rocks slick with weed. It’s sandy, but shallow here and so tranquil. It’s not hard to imagine Izaak Walton, 17th century author of The Compleat Angler, fishing just a few miles upstream at his cottage in Shallowford (below).