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22 Apr: Hertford to Essex

posted 28 Apr 2012, 05:25 by South Herts   [ updated 2 Feb 2017, 23:18 ]
As I made my way to the start of our ride at Hertford, it was cold again, but bright and sunny, though another of the regular doses of heavy rain/hail/wind was forecast for later in the day.  What a weird spell of spring weather we've been having.  Amid some gloomy muttering about the likely weather conditions coming up, we set off from the centre of Hertford heading for our coffee stop at Clavering Lakes.  This would be the longest leg of our planned day's ride.  Passing through Ware and along a bit of the old A10, we were soon bowling along the lane to Cold Christmas with its pleasing views across the Rib valley.  Not a car to be seen - a favourite route.  Continuing through the lanes we arrived in Much Hadham, surely one of the most handsome villages in Herts. 
Finding the way to Clavering Lakes##
Ominous clouds

Here we turned north along the Ash valley.  A long straight route brought us to Stocking Pelham, with its burned down pub (a former venue of ours) still undeveloped.  This is not the only local pub to have been burned down in recent years - is the beer that bad?  A left in the village took us into Essex and the small hamlet of Starling's Green.  This was a very quiet back lane.  Then climbing past the two windmills, we soon descended to the cafe and fishing centre at Clavering Lakes, a highly recommended place to stop.
Overlooking Clavering Lakes##
Elevenses on the veranda

Sitting by the lakes for refreshments, the clouds were building ominously, and the mood of the meeting was that we should head for home sooner rather than later.  So instead of going to the planned lunch at Sawbridgeworth (a very nice welcoming pub, which we must try and get to later), we headed back down the upper part of the Stort, then turning through Farnham, we rejoined our outward route through Little Hadham.  By now lunchtime was calling and passing the Old Crown in Much Hadham, we answered the call.  This is a friendly and obliging pub, with reasonably priced sarneys for those who want them.  
Lunch at Much Hadham##

22 Apr 2012

Curtailed route

A pleasant interlude, but the weather really was looking as though it was about to do something horrible, so from here we headed for our various homes, or for me where I had left my car.  A very pleasant ride, if not as originally planned, and it didn't throw it down 'till after we got back.