With a sunny dry day forecast a goodly number of members met at Hildegard’s for morning tea and coffee. We were joined by newcomer Lyn Arnold who was out to build his fitness after some years out of the saddle. Clive offered a 56 mile ride going east to Bradfield Green while others favoured an easier paced ride heading south.
After some discussion, and the promise of help from Dave H, I led off the moderate ride with Ye Olde Boote Inn at Whittington as the provisional destination. Crossing the Dee and up through Farndon the group comprising Dave H, Keith, George, Dave & Liz P on the tandem, Lyn and myself kept up a steady pace as we headed south through Shocklach and Worthenbury to Holly Bush. At this point Lyn left us to return home via a different route while we continued south to Dudleston Heath where we entered a network of lovely narrow lanes through New Crickett, Crickett and Old Marton with Dave H more than fulfilling his promise of help with the route finding.
At Hindford immediately after crossing a branch of the Shropshire Union Canal we stopped to check directions and noticed the entrance to what looked like an interesting old pub we hadn’t visited before: the Jack Mytton Inn. Although only a mile and a half short of Whittington curiosity got the better of us and we turned in to grounds of the Jack Mytton Inn a converted Victorian farm building with extensive grounds. With Stonehouse and Six Bells ales on tap and a good menu we were soon ensconced in the conservatory. The food proved to be both substantial and well above the average pub quality with prices perhaps a tad higher than some are used to. All in all, well worth another visit.
The plan for the return journey was to pull in some more of the delightful lanes before heading back through Overton and Bangor on Dee. From Hindford we set off westwards before swinging north to the edge of St Martins. Here we joined more of the lanes following an arc until we turned north at Dudleston to Shelbrook Hill where we joined the road to Overton, then past the racecourse to Bangor on Dee. The smell of Hildegard’s coffee got the better of some at this point and the group fragmented as we made our way through the familiar back lanes to Holt.
With everyone back by 16:00 there was plenty of time to chat over coffee and cake before wending our respective ways home.
A great day out in lovely weather with excellent company and with 40 miles done or 60 for those Chester bound.