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20 Feb: Hatfield to Bennington

posted 21 Feb 2011, 02:44 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 02:30 ]
A happy little gang met at Asda, Hatfield.  The weather was a bit on the temperamental side: overcast, misty, cold and humid at the same time.  Steve and Carol had already texted earlier that they would meet us at Bennington, so off we set towards Panshanger via Welwyn.  This is a well trodden route for us as there don't really seem to be many ways out of Hatfield in the direction that we were going.  After 20 mins or so, I made a left onto the B1000 (whenever I get to this point I'm always tempted to see if you can go through Tewinbury farm), then took our first right onto Churchfield road which led us into Tewin. 

As the morning progressed, so did the mist and some threatening spots of rain; in light of this the countryside was oddly quiet and had a smoky atmosphere to it.  I took a short cut via Tewin Hill then followed the Winding Shott into Bramfield, and from there it was a straight push on towards our break.  This was at The Rose Café, Railway Street, Hertford, a fab cafe frequented by walkers, cyclists and adventurers of all creeds.  As with every popular place, this one is as cheap as chips and the service is GOOD.  Here Tracey joined us, with stories of spending the previous week basking on a Cornish beach!
The Rose Cafe, Hertford
Sacombe Park

From there we made our way up Port Hill and joined the Sacombe Road, which leads through Stony Hills then into Sacombe Park.  This place was shrouded in mist, and the beasts in the distance revealed themselves to be horses.  Now at this point Judy decided to display a hidden and rare talent as horse scarer extraordinaire.  Her plan was simple; she rode behind some of us (in a vain attempt to conceal her flag waving recumbent) and, as we came upon two horses, she did nothing.  But they panicked like hell, we had to stop riding so that they could pass, and after all that excitement she then decided to do it again with very similar results, but this time there was one rider leading another horse and one of them made a bolt for it.  It has to be said that the rider displayed a considerable amount of rodeo skill as he kept hold of both horses and brought them back under control.

From this point we made our way around Whitehill Golf Club, through Dane End, Whempstead and Burns Green (if you have bad eyesight it looks like Bum's Green on the map), then onto Bennington.
Carol's Mozzarella Toastie

The pub we had chosen was the Bell and it was very nice.  Here we were joined by Steve and Carol and we all had snacky things and drink, Richard and Carol opted for the uber stringy Mozzarella-filled toasted sandwich.  The pub was filling up fast as it was snowdrop weekend at Bennington Lordship.
Bennington Lordship
Snowdops at Bennington

Then it was off to Aston, Datchworth, Tewin and back home.  I DIDN'T GET LOST ONCE

I was very happy with the ride, it was shortish for us, but as leader that made it manageable for me.
Neil: 20/02/2011