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15 May: Hertford to Saffron Walden

posted 22 May 2011, 02:45 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Oct 2015, 23:39 ]
Nine of us left Hertford on a bright and breezy May morning. We were going to a new venue for elevenses and I wasn't sure how long it would take to get there so I decided to take a direct route. We went to Ware and then took the steep hill up New Road (I received several complaints about this!). Onto Bakers End and Wareside where we joined the B road to Widford. After Widford we cut across to Perry Green and Green Tye passing one of our other haunts the Prince of Wales PH. From Green Tye we rejoined the B road that we had previously left and then followed this to Bishops Stortford. We found the cafe quite easily and were quickly served. The cafe proved to be one of noisiest I have ever been in - must be something to do with the acoustics - so I am not sure whether we will be returning there in future!

After elevenses Steve and Carol left us as they had pressing domestic commitments. The remaining seven pressed on northwards out of the town. There were some ominous looking clouds hurtling across the sky to meet us from our left however no rain materialised from them. We took some back lanes around Stansted Mountfitchet and crossed the old A11 into Ugley Green and then Elsenham. Here we turned north again and a few miles up the road I took a right turn up a very minor lane signposted to Little Henham. This lane didn't go anywhere, it just looped round and brought us back out further up the lane we had come off however it was a very pleasant diversion.
We continued north a bit further but then took another right turn to Widdington, which involved a long drag up to the village. From here, we cut across to the Debden road and then went left at the crossroads to go to Saffron Walden.
 This sign was erected to mark the year 2000
At the pub stop, I found I was the only one without sandwiches (usually its the other way round!). I didn't fancy going into the Wetherspoons on my own so whilst everyone else went off to find a suitable picnic stop I went across the road to Mochas cafe (a known haunt of the North Herts section). The service here is fantastic, I ordered a baguette at the counter and it was almost at my table before I was!
Picnic in Saffron Walden

I was joined later by the group, who came in for coffee. After leaving the cafe, we had a quick ride around the town to admire the buildings that it has to offer and then we left heading towards Audley End. The dark clouds were gathering again but the rain was holding off apart from a few spots in the wind.
We were now heading into the wind as we went through Wendons Ambo and then took the long climb to Arkesden. From here, we went onto Clavering and then took the quieter back roads towards the two post mills. We joined the Newport-Buntingford road for a short stretch and then turned off to Stocking and then Furneaux Pelham and the well-ridden route to Braughing where we joined by another Stevenage rider, David.
The usual tea and cakes were enjoyed and then we left for home via Puckeridge, Levens Green and Dane End where I left the group to return to Stevenage.