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Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

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Friday, 13 August 2021

12th August 2021: Melverley, Edgerley (mod)

Today’s ride started from the Castle Bistro in Chirk – always a welcome opportunity to get outside our usual Cheshire territory. There were seven moderate riders: Dave H, Dave P, Andy B, Alan, Steve T, Steve Hu and myself. I had in mind two possible destinations – The Old Hand and Diamond at Coedway and the Royal Hill at Edgerley. In truth both of them offered similar rides as the same route leads to them, you just need to travel a little further to Coedway. Incidentally, the proper address of the Royal Hill is Edgerley, though on the map, Pentre or Melverley seem the more obvious locations.

Photo by AO

Our way out was familiar: over the busy A5 roundabout, out to Hindford and then to Welsh Frankton. The Hindford to Welsh Frankton road has been awful for ages, but today we were mainly contending with thick gravel and potholes, and not the thick mud that you can meet there. Things seemed to be going fine as we descended from the junction with the A495, until we heard the unmistakable crunch of a bike hitting the tarmac. Alan had suffered a nearly calamitous jammed chain leading to him tumbling off his bike. Fortunately, Alan himself only had minor scratches and bruises, so we pulled into the driveway of a friendly local villager while we assessed damage to the bike. The main problem seemed to be that several links in his chain had become twisted, though not so badly that he couldn’t ride. We carried on cautiously

We arrived in Bagley where we took the turn to Stanwardine-in-the-Fields and travelled through some lovely countryside on quiet and smooth lanes.  After Stanwardine, came Baschurch, and then Little and Great Ness before we crossed over the A5. Here we could see a densely packed herd of sheep on the opposite hillside. Though as we approached their movements looked unnatural, and it was only as we got closer that we could see they were in fact a flock of white geese! We continued, passing by the army camp and arrived at our destination.  

The Royal Hill is in a delightful south-facing location on the banks of the River Severn looking towards the distinctive Breidden Hills on the far bank. Atop the main hill is Admiral Rodney’s Pillar, erected to commemorate his victories in the American War of Independence. Obviously, his battles went better than the rest of the war. 

Photo by SH

We sat on benches outside. It was warm, quiet and relaxing in the sun. The Severn was close by, though we had to look over a hedge to see it. A chap came over to talk and ask whether we were from Shrewsbury.  He had arranged to meet members of a cycle club there for lunch and was checking to see if we were them. We admired his car, a classic open-top maroon Mercedes. Food arrived quickly and was enjoyed. Before long it was time to leave.

Our return took us to Melverley, where previously Mike Gilbert (I think) had shown us to the church, an ancient half-timbered structure on the banks of the river.  Today, we passed by and made for Maesbrook, then Maesbury and into Oswestry from the east. Negotiating the back streets we emerged by Old Oswestry Hill Fort, and took the road to Weston Rhyn. Avoiding the busy main road, we dropped down to the Ceriog Valley and climbed back up to our starting point. 

We covered 43 miles in some lovely weather and pastoral scenery, and with good company.  An excellent ride.

See route map and/or gpx file download


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