"A delightful Village in the Midlands"
I was on an extended holiday in Europe and after seeing the sights of Stratford-upon-Avon I came to nearby Bidford to pay a short visit to friends. After a few drinks at their local pub (The Golden Cross in Ardens Grafton) I was persuaded to help set up a business here. Ten years later I finally packed my bags and headed back home to Australia.
The Middle Ages was a time of bridge building, this being regarded as a religious duty, often sponsored by monastic foundations. The bridge at Bidford is the finest in this area but is wide enough only for one-way traffic. lt is wider than a pack-horse bridge, suggesting that Bidford was an important river crossing. The bridge dates from the early 15th century but has been repaired many times; in the 16th century stone from Alcester's demolished priory was used. There are eight arches, with cut-waters on the upper side. In l644 Charles I broke the bridge to cover his retreat from 'Worcester to Oxford - this was repaired in 1650 by Quarter Sessions, for whom Bidford Bridge was a 'county bridge' under its control.
I found this area of the Midlands excellent for walks in the countryside, and I did lots in my limited spare time. The land is very flat, the trails well marked, the scenery varies from farmland to riverbank to bush and small forests - and the walking is easy and un-crowded.