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21 Aug: St Albans to Cublington

posted 26 Aug 2011, 08:33 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 09:43 ]
Nine of us met on a lovely autumn morning, and after the usual morning chatter I quickly herded the group in the general direction of Dunstable.  I say general direction as many of this group have experienced my complete lack of understanding when it comes to left and right.

We headed off to the National Trust Centre on Dunstable Downs via Gaddesden Row and Kensworth; the only problem encountered on this leg of the route was at a junction where I confidently told people we were going right, then promptly stuck out my left arm, causing much confusion.  Carol leapt to the rescue and found to her surprise that I did know where we were going, and that the route I had chosen was in fact a good one.  As the morning wore on it got colder as the sun kept trying to do a vanishing act on us. At the N.T centre we were met by Adrian and Phillip, who instead of meeting us for a quick chat joined us for the rest of the day.
National Trust Centre
Dunstable Downs

On leaving the centre I gave a choice of routes to take, (1) straight down Whipsnade Road or (2) down the foot path that follows the edge of the downs.  I led the later and have to say for me this was the highlight of the day.  This footpath offers some of the best views of the downs and, as for cycling down it, well it’s just plain fun.  We all met up again at the roundabout at the bottom and Carol came to my rescue.  The road I had chosen was a very busy one, but using Carol’s knowledge a similar route to the one I had planned was soon put into place.  Throughout the later part of the morning we played a game of chase that blue bit of sky.  It so happened that we were on the edge of a weather front with it being either hot or cold, wet or dry. Soon we were accompanied by a small rain shower.  But we made lunch before we even had a chance to get wet.  Lunch was, well, a bit of a let-down.  The Unicorn no longer do sandwiches on a Sunday and instead do over-priced starters and snacks, but this is a lovely spot for a picnic.
The Unicorn at Cublington

As the afternoon progressed the weather brightened up considerably and almost became summer at some points.  The ride to Cholesbury was very pleasant and we tackled that hill called the Crong.  Looking up the meaning of this word I found that it is old English for Cringe, quite apt really when you think about it.  Afternoon tea was at Cholesbury village hall, where we were met by hoards of mad dog owners, I guess that had something to do with it being Chilterns dog rescue day. Tea and a round of sandwiches for 2 pound. That’s lunch and what a price!  It was lovely sitting on the green and basking in the late afternoon sun. But all good things come to an end and we headed off home, with parts of the group peeling off near to their abodes.
Cholesbury Village Hall

All in all a great day, with great company and thanks to Carol for her help and knowledge of maps and the area.

Neil 21/08/2011