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30 May: St Albans to Beaconsfield

posted 2 Jun 2010, 02:56 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Oct 2015, 22:05 ]
Richard writes: Our destination today was the oldest pub in England (one of the many, including Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans).  This is the Royal Standard of England near Penn, first visited by us last year when we were meant to be heading for Hedgerley and, passing the Standard sign, on a whim decided we could not be bothered to go any further - it was a hot day.

Today, there were ten of us setting off from St Albans, including Steve from Harrow for the first time with our group.  Through Flaunden and up the scary, narrow steep hill to Chesham Bois and to the Masterchef cafe in Amersham - a first class, friendly, good value cafe - much used by cyclists, so it must be OK.  Here we met Jon already eyeing up the breakfasts.  Some ate a hearty meal, even though lunch was not too many miles. 

 Descending to Little Missenden
 Uphill to Penn
Then on to Hyde Heath, Little Missenden, Holmer Green, Penn Bottom, Penn and on to the pub for the lunch stop down the narrow, descending lane from Penn.  Some of the most attractive, if hilly, parts of the Chilterns and looking at their best at this time of year.

The Royal Standard lived up to its reputation: a fascinating establishment with nice food, possibly a bit pricey, lovely setting and an amazing choice of beers.

The Royal Standard has some quirky features:
 Winged skull
 Stained glass window

Then for the return leg, we dodged around Beaconsfield to Flaunden Church Hall for tea and home made cakes.
Flaunden Church
 Planning routes home from Flaunden

After this we headed off in various directions, some for north London, others for parts of Herts.  Not one of my longer rides, I'd done 58 miles when I got home, but a great day out.

Jon adds: after tea Craig headed for Radlett and, using his local knowledge, led me and Bill on a useful but intricate route that avoided major climbs and made good use of cycle routes through Watford.  We followed Rousebarn lane, crossed the Grand Union canal into Cassiobury Park, used the cycle route along Watford High Street and emerged to follow the River Colne to Otterspool.  Despite going direct to Amersham in the morning, I’d done a rewarding 79 mile circuit on getting back to north London.