Walking under water is certainly an art and just over a year ago that would have been required to complete this quaint circular riverside walk in the City of Worcester in the UK.
Finding short un-demanding walks that suits visitors of all ages but also helps entertain and inform is good too.
This walk along both banks of the River Severn just to the south of the city provides all of the above, but most of it would have been certainly underwater in Feb 2014 and also in July 2007 two recent peaks of flooding that the area has had to endure and are marked on the wall around the cathedral to prove it.
Starting point for me was in an industrial estate off Weir Lane, perhaps not the pretty start one would have in mind but it does improve significantly once along the lane that leads to Diglis Bridge.
A striking contemporary modernist foot and cycle bridge takes you over the river to the lock that is often busy now with passenger barges, rather than industrial ones that would have been taking industrial revolution materials to the city of Birmingham some 30 miles north.
The basin that was once nearly always full of commercial barges is now rather empty but very tidy and ship shape. River and canal-side apartments that are very desirable places to live in 2015 have now replaced the buildings that once stood around it.
Heading north over a creaky wooden walkway you reach the junction to access the canal, which is simply called the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. That if you went that way would take to via 58 locks to the famous Gas Street Basin in the industrial heartland city of Birmingham.
However sticking to the river the cathedral comes into view so does the red stone arch bridge that spans the Severn in the centre of Worcester. The gentle walk on the tarmacked path is punctuated often by the more strenuous exertions of the rowers as they power their craft along the waterway alongside you.
Getting nearer to the 12th century cathedral it is well worth taking a little time to stop by the sandstone wall that has on it numerous flood level marker plaques that show just how fickle this river is when it decides to flood and in fact how often that has been too, although that never seems to bother the numerous swans that inhabit the river all year around.
Ducking off the riverside walk and into the city of Worcester itself for a tea or coffee where there are no shortages of places for that. The city was the location of the last battle of the civil war, it was the home of Worcester porcelain and where your ‘Bloody Mary’ would not be the same without the Worcester sauce that is made in the city!
Plenty of historical buildings but one very one the aptly named honey coloured clad ‘Hive’ houses the city library and is hard to miss.
Crossing the bridge for the return leg on the west side of the river where you are flanked by the cricket ground the home of Worcestershire Cricket Club and a hotel.
With fine views still of the cathedral as you head back south there are the chapter meadows to one side. A ferry-boat service is available at this point and then it’s not long before the sound of water cascading over the weir at Diglis becomes audible and then its back to where you started!
Still hopefully dry?