Imagine gliding along in a gentle backstroke past weeping willows; sand martins swooping overhead catching insects on the wing before disappearing into their holes in the riverbank; children paddling in the shallows and catching minnows in jars. Perhaps even the local coracle maker shimmies past in a freshly made craft, leaving ripples in his wake.
This is a typical scene on a summer’s day on the River Teme in Leintwardine, a lively village close to the Shropshire border in the Welsh Marches that boasts an award-winning fish-and-chip shop and two excellent pubs, The Lion and the Sun Inn.
Swimming in the River Teme
The deep pool just upstream of the packhorse bridge is a good place to swim. Further upstream are lots of shallow stretches for paddling, fun rapids for riding on with bodyboards, and pebble beaches to lay out your picnic blanket.
If there’s time, you can squeeze in a walk before you dip – an easy 3.5-mile loop that takes in a stretch of the River Clun (which joins the Teme in Leintwardine), sheep pastures and views of the Wigmore Rolls.
3.5 miles / 5.5km | 1.5 hours | easy
Start your walk on Mill Lane at the southern end of the village. Cross the second footbridge that you come to, then follow the designated path along the edge of the sheep field. You’ll come to another bridge.
2. Through pasture
Don’t cross the bridge – instead continue straight then head west to pass through another pasture until you come to a stile on to a lane.
3. Golden finish
Turn left on this lane towards Buckton, then turn left at the T-junction and continue until you reach the footbridge and Mill Lane, where you started, calling in at The Lion for a pint of Ludlow Gold in the riverside beer garden.
Words: Abigail Whyte