The route out was to cover 27 miles, with about 13 after lunch. We headed towards Clutton and into Tilston. From here we shimmied into Threapwood and then south eastwards to Fenn’s Bank before picking up the Alkington Road into Whitchurch. I would normally describe the surfaces as very muddy in parts, but after last week’s experience I’ve redefined what ‘muddy’ means. Our aim was to pass straight through Whitchurch, avoiding the one-way street by the Black Bear which we often take from the wrong side. We explored the side roads and footpaths of Whitchurch, but still ended up travelling the wrong way up this road!
Marbury was reached by 1pm. I read from the Swan’s website that “Marbury has 11 National Heritage listed black and white Medieval/Tudor buildings, including the Swan’s own outbuildings. And a 16th-century church that overlooks the splendid Big Mere”. As we settled down for our meal, we considered the more exotic items on the menu – eg thyme & sea salt beer bread, Delamere goats cheese salad, crispy bon bons, beetroot & candied walnuts – though the most common choice was the fish finger bap. Topics of conversation covered the worst weather conditions in which we’d been cycling, maybe for contrast with the benign conditions today. Views were positive about The Swan, so we expect to return here in the future.
After lunch we settled into our route back. The morning had been quite mild, but the afternoon was almost warm and snatches of sunshine were to be seen. The wind that had been against us in our southward progress, now speeded us on our way. Lots of flying insects testified to the unseasonal temperatures. Our route took us to Bickley, Bickerton, Brown Knoll and Bolesworth, before returning to our start. Around 40 miles covered in good conditions, a decent pub stop, and good company – not bad for Steve’s first ride.
See route map and/or gpx file download