That strip of Transport for Wales stations down the left hand side of the map was always going to be tricky. A series of small country stations that got a service ranging from "infrequent" to "very infrequent" and which were a fair distance apart. Normally I'd like to wipe them out in one go, a whole swathe of grey stations collected in one day. Instead I decided to chop it into manageable chunks: the top first, the bottom at a later date. Whitchurch, Wrenbury and Nantwich in one day - that'll do.
Whitchurch smelt of fire, which is always a good start. I don't want to sound like a pyromaniac but I love the thick smell of fireplace smoke hanging over a town. It's nostalgia, of course: my nan had a coal fire in her house in Hertford, and when we'd get out the car on arrival the scent of the neighbourhood's grates would wash over me. I'd position myself in front of the fireplace and feel the heat on my face, enjoying the smell, listening to the crackle. My brother and I would snap up bits of rubbish and detritus to throw on it - a bit of old cotton, a crisp packet - and gleefully watch it burn. Actually maybe I am a pyromaniac. The point is I immediately felt welcomed to Whitchurch, even if the station is a little lacking.
Wrenbury appeared to my right, mainly new build homes from this angle. I began to dream of the pint. I'd spotted, on the Ordnance Survey map, that there was a pub right next to the canal. Canalside pubs are always good, and I fancied maybe getting myself some lunch there too. A boatyard on the horizon signalled that the village was approaching.