So six of us were booked to go to Germany in early June but with the pandemic situation in which we find ourselves we had to change our plans.
In the end it was just the o/h and I that went to Hartpury in Gloucester last week which, as it turned out, was a fantastic base for biking day trips.
We were going to leave early Sunday morning and stop in Burford which is in the Cotswolds for breakfast but when we woke up it was raining. The forecast said it should stop by 10 so we held back a couple of hours.
Sure enough the rain did stop and we left about half ten so breakfast was now turning into brunch. We headed out of Aylesbury towards Bicester on the A41 and then picked up the A40 towards Burford. Unfortunately for us, a lot of other people had the same idea of going to Burford and I mean a lot of people. As we were nearing Burford the traffic was getting heavier and slower until finally it was at a standstill.
We cut off down another road in the hope of avoiding the jam but that too came to a halt. For those of you that don’t know Burford, it is a pretty little village in the Cotswolds and therefore the roads are not exactly wide.
Filtering was needed but filtering down a narrow road with cars coming the other way, as you know, is eventful and some strong language was coming from other motorists who were displeased with us. Oh well, hopefully they got over it!
We eventually got to the main High Street but that was at a standstill both ways. OMG all this just to get some breakfast! Needless to say we decided not to stop and filtered our way through the High Street and out of Burford and carried on to Bourton-on-the-Water which is kind of the next village on, still in the Cotswolds.
Bourton-on-the-Water was busy but we managed to park up and set off looking for a much needed coffee (or two) and some food.
After we’d finished eating we had a walk around the village, it has the River Windrush running through it and little bridges that you cross to get over ‘to the other side’.
We spotted a couple of Ducati’s parked up and were having a little drool before bumping into their owners and having a chat with them, as you do, or as I do anyway.
We came across an ice cream shop and thought it would be rude not to sample their delights and sat for a while people watching whilst eating our ice cream.
Back on the bikes we carried on the A40 and then picked up the A436 and then A417 onto Hartpury to find our accommodation for the week.
It was a converted stable block and it was literally in the middle of nowhere behind electric gates.
Perfect for the bikes, which I like to make sure are secure at night when we’re away.
There was a pub literally ten minutes walk away at the end of the road. Perfect for when you’ve been out on the bikes all day, come back shower, change and walk to the pub for dinner and a beer. This was going to be a good week 🙂
So Monday, the sun was shining so we jumped on the bikes and headed off. Now me, I don’t use a sat nav, I prefer to just know the general direction I want to go, follow a few road signs and see where I end up so that’s what we did today.
We headed towards Ledbury, and onto Malvern and carried on to Worcester. Worcester is a city and it has a kind of ring road going round the centre. Well we couldn’t find parking anywhere (or anywhere we were happy to leave the bikes) so we carried on to Tewkesbury.
Tewkesbury, as it turned out, was lovely and having parked the bikes we found a little cafe and sat outside in the sunshine for coffee (and maybe a cake).
After a wonder around we were back on the bikes and carried on riding and came upon Malvern again which was lovely and had some great scenery up in the Malvern Hills. We eventually came into Upton-Upon-Severn and decided that as it was lovely we would stop for a late lunch.
I do love this riding lark, you ride your bike through beautiful countryside on some great roads and keep stopping for coffee and food.
We rode back up through the Malvern Hills and stopped in Ledbury for dinner.
We went into this pub and honestly, the waitress in there had us in stitches – everything was too much trouble and customers were clearly an inconvenience, she kept tutting and rolling her eyes at everyone and everything. It was like something out of Fawlty Towers! Brilliant fun to watch!
Find out in Part 2 where the ‘for a thrill’ route on the sat nav took us ………