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22 Jan: St Albans to Wildhill

posted 28 Jan 2012, 00:23 by South Herts   [ updated 17 Feb 2017, 23:11 ]
It was a fine but breezy, very breezy, morning when we met up at the War Memorial in St Albans. There was a good attendance of riders and we were glad to see some new faces included along with the old faces. The lunch stop today was going to be quite close to home, so the longest part of the trip would be to the coffee stop in Crews Hill. We set off through St Albans fringes and then Colney Heath to Welham Green. The wind was so far helping our progress. Then, heading south parallel to the A1, we used the underpass under the M25 to emerge at Dancers Hill. A very handy cut through and part of the Sustrans route. Now heading east, the route runs nicely on the ridge overlooking Enfield Chase and Trent Park with fine views over the countryside. Eventually arriving at the fringes of Enfield we soon took the bridleway to Rectory Farm - mostly a good concrete surface, with only a short muddy bit to walk round - and soon the garden centres at Crews Hill were in sight. The one we used this time, the Blackberry Cafe, was definitely better than some of the others. Something to remember for future rides in this direction. 
Entering Theobalds Lane

In the cafe there were 4 more riders waiting for us, so after refreshments it was a good sized group that headed off round Theobalds Park, then the fringes of Goffs Oak to Bread & Cheese Lane. 
Up Bread & Cheese Lane

22 Jan 2012

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Very lumpy all this was and we were having a strong head wind too. Soon we passed the Woodman pub at Wormley West End, now refurbished and ominously renamed the Woodman and Olive (will it still be our kind of place?). On to Little Berkhamsted and soon arriving at the Woodman Wild Hill. A first class and busy pub with a back room reserved for us to eat our sarnies. What more could you want? After lunch people dispersed for their own routes home.
Crossing Lieutenant Ellis Way (see footnote)
Sandwiches in the back room of the pub

A really good, shorter winter ride.
Richard 22/01/2012

Footnote: Lieutenant Ellis Way was named in 1995 on the 50th anniversary of VE day, in memory of the captain of a B24 Liberator bomber flying from Wendling in Norfolk.  It crashed there, possibly following a mid air collision with a B17 Fortress from Nuthampstead.  Many believe that Lieutenant Ellis sacrificed his chance to bale out in order to steer his bomber away from Cheshunt. Read more...