A select band of Bryan, Andy, George, Clive, Steve T, Dave & Liz P and Dave M gathered at Hildegard’s in Holt. Missing were Dave Heath (en vacance a Provence) and Keith (waiting for a shed in Runcorn). Andy offered to take us to Ellesmere using a 6th May 2010 route starting ‘by the usual route’ to Bangor on Dee. Thus suitably refreshed, we set out along Wrexham Road. The only thing missing was a bit of sunshine….and Dave M, who ducked out of the ride, citing ‘grandchildren and a bad back’ as the reason for not joining us. We meandered down through Bangor-on-Dee and were soon in the country lanes of Shropshire, which are delightfully free of the traffic often found in the similar lanes of Cheshire. Crossing the A495 and then the Llangollen branch of the Shropshire and Union Canal at Lower Frankton, we crested the memorable hump back bridge and looped through Hordley and Tetchill to arrive in Ellesmere in good time for lunch. A discussion about which pub to go to ended when Clive suggested the Red Lion. This turned out to be an excellent choice, as their ‘over 60s’ two-course lunch for £5.45 proved to be of good quality and even better value for money.
Photograph by Clive Albany (with apologies to Andy)
After lunch, Clive suggested that we try an alternative route back via Colemere and Tarts Hill. With Clive leading we left Ellesmere on the A 495 alongside The Mere, but soon turned off on to the lanes towards Colemere. From here we followed Clive north on a collection of lovely lanes unfamiliar to many of us, through Welshampton, Breaden Heath and Tarts Hill. We then continued north eventually passing through Worthenbury and the usual route back to Holt. At Crewe-by-Farndon Clive headed off to Chester while the remaining six, led by the tandem, took the “short cut” into Farndon by the back way past the Church. Andy and George disappeared while the tandem, Steve T and Bryan made it back to Hildegard’s for coffee.
A great day out, enjoyed by all, with Clive’s return route further enhancing Andy’s choice of outward route. Cool and dry all day with 46 miles done or 60+ for those heading back to Chester.
ST & BW