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20 Mar: St Albans to Wilstone

posted 13 Apr 2011, 02:44 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 03:01 ]
A clear sunny day saw a select group of eight people meet at the War memorial in St Albans.  It was like the first sighting of a spring cuckoo as Giles, who hadn’t been seen since early last summer, arrived on a retro home-assembled bicycle.

We went via Bedmond then down past the Ovaltine factory (now luxury flats) before climbing from Hunton Bridge to Sarratt. Someone spotted a new coffee shop for our list before I pointed out it was the remains of a film set... probably Midsomer Murders. I wonder how many other cyclists have been fooled by the ‘Curlew cafe’; after all, some of the cafes that are trading have equally grim signage!
The former Ovaltine factory
Curlew Cafe

After several more climbs and descents we arrived late in Chesham only to find the planned cafe stop already filled with a different cycling group. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we went to the newly refurbished Poppins where Giles demonstrated he hadn’t lost his touch for devouring a ‘full English’.
Giles with his full English

Cycling quietly through Little Pednor

Afterwards we climbed again (this is the Chilterns) and wound our way up through Little Pednor where it feels like a private gateway before wiggling via the Lee and down Dancers Hill to Aston Clinton then Wilstone to the pub. 

We found Jon and Judy there and realised they had missed us at coffee as we’d been in a different cafe. The pub was a typical unmodernised old village pub with very good sandwiches; so well filled that I kept half of mine for next day’s lunch.

It seemed a long way back via Tring Station, Aldbury, Gaddesden and Piccotts End and, after such a hilly ride, my evening bath was welcome.

Carol
20/03/2011




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