It promised to be a fine day for our final visit to Chirk of the year and when we arrived at the café there was a good group to meet us. Six of us (John, Jim, Dave H, Chris, Brian Macca and myself) were interested in a moderate ride but no-one had a ride prepared. So I looked through the past rides on my Garmin and came up with 41-miler. It looked vaguely oval with Chirk at one end and the village of Baschurch at the other. But ‘what is the pub for our lunch stop?’ came the question. ‘Haven’t a clue’ I answered and no-one else could recall a pub we had been to in Baschurch either.
|Photos by Macca|
And so our ride became a bit of a mystery tour and we set off blindly following a thin red line on a tiny screen. The route out of Chirk took us down to the canal and across Telford’s viaduct, dodging the pedestrians along the towpath. Then we were dodging the traffic as we crossed the A5 roundabout before we reached the relative safety of the Shropshire lanes. We headed south through the villages of Hindford, Tetchill, Hordley & Bagley and approached Baschurch with lunch on our minds. However it soon became apparent that we weren’t going to pass a pub in Baschurch. So I expanded the map on my Garmin and discovered that the next village was Ruyton-XI-Towns. Mystery solved – our lunch stop was to be the Talbot Inn.
The last time I visited the Talbot it was under new management. It appears that the new landlords are intent on the place becoming a bit up-market from the village pub that it used to be and this was reflected in the cost of a lime & soda – a whopping £2.40!!! However the sandwiches proved to be good value and we each tucked into one as we sat out in the sunshine.
Our return journey started with the short sharp climb up towards Wykey which got our legs working again. We passed through West Felton and Maesbury criss-crossing the A5 three times to enter the outskirts of Oswestry. We avoided the town centre and headed up past the old hill fort, then following the contours to Weston Rhyn. Finally we dropped down to Chirk Bank to re-join the canal where we retraced our route back into Chirk. Another great day’s cycling – good weather, good countryside and, above all, good company.