Thursday, 24 May 2012

24 May: Thursday ride to Waresley and Old Warden

Edward writes: Today was the day we had been waiting for - warm, little wind and a promise from the forecasters of sun and high temperatures, such a change from the cold and cheerless days since the sunny weather of March. At Haslingfield eleven riders assembled, including Tony H one of the four who last week successfully completed the trip from St David’s in Wales to Lowestoft.

We set off by going over Chapel Hill and into Barrington, always a good start to get the blood circulating. From Barrington Green we turned right and made our way up to Orwell and through to the A603, and quickly turning into the road that leads up to Wimpole Hall. We rode along the rather messy track through the grounds and out at the other end to bring us into Arrington. By now the sun was out in force and the views over the surrounding, mainly yellow, fields were very special. After Arrington we went through Croydon and eventually the stiff climb up the hill to take us on the road to the Hatleys.

Croydon Hill

After both of the Hatleys we were soon in Gamlingay, followed by the short run down to Waresley Garden Centre for coffee. This not being a Tuesday meant we had to pay for our coffee! The garden centre is being extended and building works are in progress but there was still room for us outside making for a very pleasant break. At Waresley we were joined by eight others bringing our total to nineteen, although not everyone came with us for the ride down to Old Warden.

Arriving at Waresley

Coffee at Waresley

We left Waresley at 11.45 and made our way back towards Gamlingay before turning off to head through Everton and then on to Sandy. Just after we joined the cycle route through Sandy David had a puncture in his front tyre which he fixed in no time at all and we were soon on our way again.

Sandy: puncture repair

The cycle route took us round Sandy and led us on to the former railway for a mile or so and on to the road to Moggerhanger. Through here to Old Warden is lovely country and made for great ride through Northill and Ickwell with its maypole and cricket ground, making it a very English setting. Not only are the villages very pretty but the blossoms are still out and the smell from the hawthorn was very evident. And if that wasn’t enough there are all the wild flowers in the roadside, including buttercups, vivid blue speedwell and some oxeye daisies. At 1 pm we arrived at the Shuttleworth Collection and, of course, were able to sit outside to enjoy our lunch and watch the activities of the airfield.

We left Shuttleworth at 2 pm and made our way east by way of the quarries near to Broome and then on to Langford before making the long, steady climb up to the water tower where we crossed the A1 which took us into Hinxworth and back on to more rural roads for the four mile trip to Ashwell where we arrived at just before 3 pm. Ashwell, of course, required a stop for cake and a cup of tea/coffee and a sit down under the tree opposite the museum. After a break of twenty minutes or so we left Ashwell and set off for the final leg of our journey which took us through Steeple Morden, Littlington and Bassingbourn. The girls, Averil and Sarah, really got the bit between their teeth and accelerated away quickly and it was in no time at all before we were again climbing Chappel Hill and the final descent into Haslingfield where the ride ended at about 4.15pm having travelled 55 miles. It was a long wait for a day like today but it was worth it. Edward Elmer

View this route on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Really glad your enjoyed your visit...
    Our new coffee shop should be opening mid september.

    Waresley Park Garden Centre.