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26 Sept: Wheathampstead to Steeple Morden

posted 27 Sep 2010, 03:16 by South Herts   [ updated 31 Dec 2016, 01:21 ]
Stuart writes: There were four people waiting for me when I got to Wheathampstead and after a few minutes, Carol and Steve arrived. I think we had all seen different weather forecasts for today as we each had a different opinion on when the rain would arrive.  We didn't have to wait long for the rain as part way up the Codicote road we had to stop to don the waterproofs. The rain didn't amount to much and it was on and off all the way to elevenses.  We threaded our way through the lanes to Ayot St Lawrence and then dropped down to Codicote bottom. We then climbed back up to the B656 and then joined this for a short while before turning into Three Houses Lane.

After going through the lanes, we rejoined the B road up to Little Almshoe where we turned off and headed to Great Wymondley.  Just after here Tracey punctured and after this was sorted, I decided to shorten the ride as we were behind schedule, so we went to Baldock for elevenses instead of the planned stop at Hinxworth.  Cafe Plus, which is our usual haunt in Baldock, looked quite busy and would have been standing room only. Steve went off to find an alternative and this was found in the form of Baldock Sandwich bar.
Elevenses in Baldock

We were soon tucking into bacon sandwiches, beans on toast etc. This looks to be a good alternative to Cafe Plus; the only downside is that there is no loo!  We left Baldock on the A507 towards Stotfold. Near the Baldock services the rain started again quite heavily, so we stopped again to put jackets on. We continued through Newnham to Ashwell where we turned off to Hinxworth. The rain had now eased off and we headed up to Dunton and then Wrestlingworth where we turned right to Guilden Morden and then continued to Steeple Morden.  Bill, Peter and I headed off to the graveyard to eat our sandwiches while the rest of the group went into the pub.
Waggon & Horses, Steeple Morden
Picnic in the churchyard

Whilst eating our lunch we noticed that the wooden structure that had previously been bolted onto the front of the church has now been removed (was this the vicar's smoking shelter?). 
St Peter & St Paul, Steeple Morden

View route full screen

After lunch the rain returned, so I made a direct route back to Ashwell, Bygrave and then Baldock.  Fortunately the wind was now behind us, but by the time we got to Baldock the rain had become heavier and we were all wet and fed up.  Tracey went to the station to investigate trains back home whilst everyone else took a direct route back to Wheathampstead.  I think the mileage was around 60, my computer packed up at 53 due to the rain!