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From the camp site, it’s about ten miles into Shrewsbury down the A5. If you follow the town centre signs, just before you cross the river, there is a long stay car park next to the Shropshire Council / Shrewsbury Town Council offices and you can cross the river Severn via the footbridge. Car parking charges were a quite reasonable £4 for ten hours.

Crossing the foot bridge, you have to work your way through the Riverside Shopping Mall… then through Gallery Mall. I’m not sure where one ends and the other begins. Walking through the malls it was sightly depressing, every other shop seemed to be empty and in darkness. Sue and I were hoping that Shrewsbury was not going to be another town centre that seemed to be in terminal decline.

Emerging onto the pedestrian section between Mardol Head and Castle Street we were pleasantly surprised…. considering it was a cold Saturday morning, it was a thriving and bustling shopping street. Walking round the area, all the shops seemed to be busy. It was noted that Shrewsbury must be the place to come to for mobile phones. Every where you looked it seemed, there was a phone shop sorting one of the corporate colours or chain identities.

Walking down High Street, there is a small open air market full of craft and food stalls, one in particular had a whole roast hog and was selling hot roast pork sandwiches and it smelt wonderful in the cold morning air. Pity is was less than an hour since breakfast!

Wandering round, I always keep an eye out for “Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe” as I have a passion for sweets from my childhood, in particular Coltsfoot Rock and Cough Candy…. I missed it, but thankfully Sue didn’t! Poppy’s Sweet Shop on Princess Street has shelves full of the big glass jars full of sweets.

So far we have found traditional sweet shops in Canterbury, Lady Heyes and Barnard Castle…. it’s becoming a bit of a thing to find one of these shops. One of the overhead lockers always smells of cough candy every time you open it now. Whats even better about Poppy’s Sweet Shop is they have a web site any you can order on-line too! I’ll be able to keep a stock of coltsfoot rock now!

We eventually found ourselves back outside Starbucks…. I guess spending too much time in Boston with a Starbucks in our hand is a hard habit to break, so one grande latte with an extra shot a skinny latte with an extra shot, one cheese and ham panini and one roast chicken & tomato panini later… we headed for Waterstones, I can never pass a good bookshop.

After visiting Waitrose to pickup some bits and pieces for later, we walked back to the car park, navigating through the shopping maze that is the modern mall. It wasn’t too long before we were back at the campsite.

One of the caravans that had arrived on Friday just after us was a Crystal Moorea… almost the same as the one we had hired last year that started us off on this caravanning lark. Now, there can’t be many of these vans in the UK, especially a Crystall Moorea that is UK layout… the door on the near side, and funnily enough, the last site we were on, Chirk last December, there was also a Crystal Moorea parked next to us. The odds on that have to be low. Now what are the odds on a Crystal Moorea being at both sites that has a bunny in a hammock hanging in the window?

They are forecasting below freezing tonight again, but thankfully its nice and toasty in the van again this evening.

S