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20 Dec: St Albans to Hatfield

posted 24 Dec 2015, 11:19 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Apr 2016, 08:52 ]
Our destination, the new JD Wetherspoon pub named Harpsfield Hall, bears no resemblance whatsoever to the former mansion after which it is named.  The Hall that dated from the 16th century had been converted into a farmhouse in the 19th century and that had been demolished in the 1930s, when Hatfield Aerodrome was developed. Indeed, the industrial theme used in the pub is based on the aerodrome and the de Havilland factory.  There are aerial photos and some interesting bench seats made from aircraft engine cowlings.  Quite why it was given the name of a mediaeval manor house is a mystery. 

Waterend Barn
Sunny stop

We could have gone straight along the Alban Way, but Carol is not known for taking the easy route, so a convoluted path was traced out as eleven of us headed north out of St Albans to Wheathampstead, then Ayot St Lawrence and Ayot St Peter, before turning south towards Hatfield.  Here we met John and Russ, who had gone there directly.

Dinner time

This was our Christmas Lunch ride, and we’ve used various Wetherspoons for this before, but this one was new and wasn’t doing turkey dinners.  Never mind, there was plenty on the menu to satisfy and we weren’t too bothered about missing out on the silly paper hats.  A heavy shower delayed our departure, but all the riding was in the dry, which made a welcome change for the thirteen who had ventured out in this decidedly wet December.