Sunday, 7 September 2014

7 Sep: All-day ride to Wimpole, Biggleswade and Shepreth

Nigel writes: Despite the weather forecast promising a day of bright sunshine, today started rather grey and cloudy. I rode across to Brookside to find my companions for the first part of today's ride would be Joseph, John, Paul and John R our leader. We set off west out of Cambridge along the Barton Road cycleway to Barton, where we turned south onto the road to Haslingfield

Climbing the steep face of Chapel Hill, Haslingfield

When we reached Haslingfield climbed Chapel Hill before dropping back down on the other side to Barrington. We continued through Shepreth and when we reached Meldreth turned right onto the very quiet and narrow road that leads to Malton and Orwell.

Between Meldreth and Malton

Our coffee stop this morning would be at Wimpole Hall. However if we had gone there direct from Orwell we would have been much too early so when we reached the A603 just beyond Orwell we turned left and followed the main road west for a short loop through Wendy, Croydon and Arrington before entering the Wimpole Estate from the west.


The club has stopped for coffee many times at Wimpole Hall, always using the cafe in the stable block. However on this occasion we visited the rather larger Old Rectory restaurant a short distance away. I hadn't been here before, so was delighted to discover that it is a lovely place with a nice terrace outside and a pretty garden beyond. Much nicer.

Morning coffee at Wimpole Hall

Whilst we sat drinking our coffee and munching out first cakes of the day we were joined by various other members who had made their own way here: David W from Haslingfield, Richard from Bedford, Cheryl from Ely and Sharon and Belinda from Buckden.

After coffee Joseph, Paul and John said their goodbyes and headed back home leaving the rest of us to carry on to lunch near Biggleswade.

Setting off from Wimpole Hall

We set off west retracing our earlier route through the Wimpole Estate to Arrington and Croydon.

Wimpole Estate

We climbed Croydon Hill (steep but very short) and then continued through The Hatleys, Gamlingay and Everton to Sandy.

Through the Woods near Sandy

Since the afternoon leg of the ride was quite short, John had decided that we should have a late lunch and so led us on a loop through Moggerhanger, Northill, Southill and Broom before arriving at Jordan's Mill at about 1.30pm.

This was my first visit and I was rather impressed; the cafe here is quite large and has plenty of seating both inside as well as outside by the River Ivel. The food seemed to be of good quality (as you would expect given the Jordans branding) and the service was quick and efficient. By now the clouds had disappeared and we were able to sit outside in bright sunshine.

Lunch at Jordan's Mill, Biggleswade

After lunch we set off once more for the relatively short ride to our tea stop in Shepreth. It was about 2.30pm so John took us the most direct route, which took us into Biggleswade and then through Dunton, Guilden Morden and Litlington. We arrived at Teacake Cafe at about 3.40pm and after ordering, er, tea and cake we sat outside in the garden to await the others.

Afternoon tea at Teacake Cafe, Shepreth

A few minutes later we were joined by Julia and Florian and after a further while John F and the afternoon rode arrived. We had finished our tea so we offered them our seats and set off for home. Various people headed in various directions; I rode back with Cheryl, taking the direct route via Barrington, Haslingfield and Barton back to Cambridge. I arrived home at 5.30pm, having cycled 75 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map. Download GPS track (GPX).

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