Monday, 5 October 2009

4 Oct: Day ride to Newmarket, Lackford Lakes and Burwell

Mike Stapleton writes: Today's all-day ride was only supported by three riders, including a new rider who had previously tried riding with the Town and County C.C. and found them a bit fast.

In spite of the low numbers we had an excellent ride out to Lackford Lakes. We went out via the railway station and the Tins path to Cherry Hinton. The Tins path is much improved but is still narrow in places. The lake beside the path looked very nice in the Sunshine.

We carried on following the traditional route via Reach and Burwell to Newmarket. At Newmarket we stopped for coffee at the Horse Racing Museum, which has an excellent cafe, decorated with a large number of racing scenes painted on the walls.

After elevenses we escaped from the traffic in Newmarket and climbed the hill over the gallops to Moulton. The views over the hills in this area are fantastic. To make it even better we had a following wind. We soon passed through Kentford and headed over the low hills to Lackford.

This was the first time the club had been to Lackford Lakes. This is a nature reserve created from gravel workings besides the River Lark, a few miles north-west of Bury St Edminds. There are quite a number of lakes here that are invisible from the road. They are used partly as a bird reserve and partly for leisure. There is a visitor centre which doubles as a high class bird hide. It has limited catering, with tea, coffee and a few cakes available.

The staff are all volunteers and are really keen on promoting the area. The site had good cycle parking and benches where we could eat sandwiches. Cyclists are very welcome. There are a number of walks between the lakes which were the result of gravel excavations over the last forty years. There are lots of hides and one of the lakes has a sailing club. The walks are great with large boards explaining the site.

After lunch Averil and I headed west via Icklington and Tuddenham using a little road I've never tried before which was really quiet. Then we took the usual road through Fordham to Burwell where we met the huge afternoon ride. We had a really good day and would recommend the Lakes for a further ride. Mike Stapleton

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