No one had a route planned so I suggested a trip to the newly refurbished Bull and Dog at Coton near Whitchurch. As Clive can attest there are obvious dangers of trusting Morley with a map or indeed any sort of directions but the first part of the route was very straightforward – out through Chowley Oak, Clutton, Tilston, Malpas and the Wyches to Painters Green. All went swimmingly despite Dave Heath’s sabotage of the Pipes by having them heading off up a right turn that was not part of the route thereby causing the loss of any momentum they may have had for the approaching hill.
Once over the A495 the land is very flat and part of the NNR Mosses of Whixall and Fenns Bank – not terribly scenic on such an overcast day but good territory for making progress on two wheels. We crossed the canal and pressed on through Whixall arriving at Coton in good time. The Bull and Dog is now resplendent following its refit and we were shown by Max to a large oval table presided over by a portrait of Max’s Grandfather, Sonny, who was married to Liz’s mother’s best friend – it’s a small world. We achieved a hat trick of good food, service and beer and also Lime & Soda only £1.00 so a very good pub to put on the agenda to join those visited in the previous two weeks.
Time to leave and although no actual rain the atmosphere was very damp and what wind there was seemed against us whatever direction we were headed. Over to Prees and under the A49 thence over the A 41 to Ightfield and up via Royals Green to Aston and Wrenbury. I had elected then to have change from the Spurstow/Bunbury return route electing instead for the Cholmondeley and Egerton Green that would furnish us with a couple of decent hills to keep us warm in the increasing chill. Just leaving Wrenbury by the scenic route along the canal we lost Dave & Liz – on seeking them I found them both searching the grass verge - the Bike Computer had jumped off its mount bounced on the road and disappeared, sadly never to reappear! The rest of the journey up the back of Harthill passed uneventfully and we just made it back to Newton in time for a large pot of tea, courtesy of Liz and Martin and cake courtesy of Ivan – thanks for that you guys. A round trip of 51 miles that gave me a door to door mileage of 74 miles – a good grey day after all!
See route map and/or gpx file download.