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04 April: Day ride to Stotfold, Pirton & Whitwell

posted 5 Apr 2010, 02:36 by South Herts   [ updated 25 Nov 2015, 23:42 ]
Stuart writes: A light rain was falling as I left for the start however this petered out after a few miles and as I got nearer to Wheathampstead the sun started to appear.  At the start Richard, Jon C, Vish, Neil and Tracey were waiting for me and then Peter arrived.

4 April 2010

See 4 April 2010 on a larger map.
We set off northwards into a cold headwind through Gustard Wood and on to Kimpton where I took the back lane past The Holt to get to Whitwell. We went on via Preston and then dropped down to Little Almshoe and then onto Great Wymondley, Willian and Baldock.
As it was nearing eleven I then took the main route via Norton to get to Stotfold using the cycle track at the side of the road.

We were concerned that the elevenses stop would not be open given that it was Easter Sunday and Tracey had brought a bread pudding with her just in case it wasn't.  Fortunately it was open (although I think we were the only customers he had had all morning). Neil later commented that Stotfold had quite a lot of similarities to Royston Vasey (League of Gentlemen)!
 Stotfold Deli
After elevenses we used the cycle track to get to Arlesey and then Henlow. We carried on the road to Clifton where I pointed out Byercycles. After this we turned south and picked up a tailwind to Meppershall, Shillington and then to lunch at the Motte & Bailey in Pirton where the baguettes are to be recommended.
Spot the Motte & Bailey at Pirton?
After lunch we went to look for the actual Motte & Bailey and then we carried on towards the Hitchin road. Here we turned right for a couple of miles and then took the track through the Wellburys and onto Great Offley.
The track is now part of a cycle route, is quite easily rideable and affords some great views across to Hitchin as you near Offley.

From Offley we continued through the lanes via Ley Green & Frogmore, passing the water cress beds to get to Emily's at Whitwell for tea.
 Water cress farm at Whitwell
  Emily's Tea Room at Whitwell
Tracey shared out the bread pudding that we didn't need for elevenses and everyone agreed this was delicious! Thanks Tracey!

After tea we continued towards Codicote. At the turn for Kimpton Mill I separated from the group to go back to Stevenage with everyone else heading south back to the start completing a 50 mile circuit.