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13 Mar: Hatfield to Dane End

posted 14 Mar 2011, 04:23 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 02:58 ]
I arrived at the start in Hatfield at 9.15am and Simon, Neil, Jon and Judy where already there waiting.  The weather forecast wasn't great so I had planned a quite direct, yet hilly route to breakfast to give us a good workout!  We headed south out of Hatfield through the University and under the A1 to Bullens Green (avoiding the omnipresent broken glass).  We then turned up to Water End and onto Hawkshead Lane then Little Heath and Potters Bar.

Avoiding the direct route, we then turned left in Northaw and it started to rain!  Undeterred we all sped down a very steep hill (great fun)!  But as we all know, if you go down a steep hill, you usually have to go up one!  By the time we had climbed up the other side of Hemp Hill, we were well warmed up!  We then went to Cuffley and down some more fun hills through Tolmers Housing estate, followed by a long climb up to in-ex Garden Centre for Breakfast where Geoff joined us.  The café here had doubled in size since our last visit and waitresses delivered our orders.
We left Goffs Oak suitably refreshed and cycled out to Bread and Cheese Lane and down to Wormley West End.  

Bread & Cheese Lane

We looped back to check on Lenny the Lion at Paradise Park. Just two of Lenny’s harem were keeping watch from their platform, looking very bored despite the prospect of meals on wheels as we cycled past.  At this point, the heavens opened and they looked very unimpressed with the weather and us as we stopped to put on our waterproofs.  We carried on to Brickendon and Hertford, up to Bengeo, Stoney Hills and through Sacombe Park past the isolated church and down to Dane End.  

Descending to Sacombe

Our listed lunch stop in Watton was not doing food today, so I decided our new destination was to be The Boot at Dane End, which had recently been refurbished and promised hot food and baguettes on Sundays.  On arriving at the Boot, we found a hot radiator at the entrance, where we hung up our wet coats on a nice big rack.  Inside, we found a village pub that had now been converted rather incongruously into a ‘modernised’ bar, full of youngish blokes swilling larger.  However, we pushed our way to the bar to order and the lunch proved to be very tasty, filling and reasonably priced.
Thus fortified, we all cycled home via: Whempstead, Watton-at-Stone, Datchworth, Tewin and, at Welwyn Garden City, we went our separate ways.

Tewin village sign
 

Although it had rained hard today I enjoyed the ride, the country lanes, the hills, the food and the company!

Tracey 13/11/2011
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