The Gallery Café in Hawarden means Welsh hills. But among the members assembling on a fine morning, George had allowed a rebel thought to enter his head – wouldn’t it be a good idea to head into the Cheshire plain instead. Convincing Dave H and Steve to follow him, the trio slipped away from the pack, and headed through Dodleston to reach Pulford and the lanes to Farndon and Worthenbury. The furthest objective reached was Lower Wych, with a return through Malpas for a planned lunch at the Carden Arms in Tilston, which was reputed to have a good name.
After some delightful miles speeding through the lanes and up the odd hill, we arrived at an ominously quiet pub, lights off and doors locked. After a quick re-evaluation we decided that Farndon was a sure alternative, a busy village with two pubs to choose from. “The Farndon” looked promising with its fare described on boards outside, but alas, was closed for the day. Across the road stood The Greyhound, and it was open. We cycled round the back and met the landlady. She was more than happy to serve us – with drinks, but she didn’t do food! Reluctant to cross the Dee when our intended route stayed in England, we followed this triple disappointment with a fruitless search for a reputed Farndon café. Hunger and thirst getting the better of us, we then made what should have been the obvious choice: cross the Dee and make for the always open and always reliable Hildegard’s in Holt. We were not disappointed with good food and a warm welcome.
Photograph by Steve Haywood
The rest of the route took us through Churton, Tattenhall, Hargrave and Waverton, before a final stop at the Meadow Lea Café at the end of the Greenway after a little over 50 pleasant miles from Hawarden. From here George and Dave headed back to our start and Steve peeled off to Kelsall.