So it was that Andy B, Dave H and myself set off on familiar lanes through Hindford and Lower Frankton. Though the lanes were muddy and the snowy remnants of last week’s ‘Beast from the East’ were banked up on the verges, our spirits were lifted by blue skies, sunshine and fresh snow glistening on the distant Welsh hills. Soon we headed into new territory and joined a lovely long clear quiet and well surfaced lane running from Hordley to Baschurch. We continued through Little Ness until we came to our destination.
Nesscliffe used to sit across the A5 but has now been by-passed. You may know it for Nesscliffe Country Park with its sandstone caves and outcrops, or you may have seen the signs for the military base and ammunition dump. My memory of it comes from escaping Birmingham to investigate climbing on the sheer walls of its sandstone quarries and on nearby Pontesbury Hill. The Old Three Pigeons Inn dates back to the 15th Century. Seats beside the open fire were taken, and we ended up sitting near to a group of fellow cyclists from Shrewsbury. The pub offered us real ales and a range of food, though we chose the snack menu at £5.50 a portion.
Refreshed, but not looking forward to the return headwind, we left heading over more fresh territory towards West Felton and then into Oswestry. After passing Old Oswestry Hill Fort we made for Western Rhyn, which we left via the High Street and down a steep hill to the Ceiriog Valley, and then back to the start – a much better alternative than climbing Chirk Road hill.
We were relaxing after our 40 mile ride in the Tea Rooms as the brisk group arrived. Overall a very good ride over some new territory through very pleasant countryside, interesting villages and buildings. In spite of the early morning snow, there had been a clear promise of spring in the air.
See route map and/or gpx file download