Marches by Bike   8 comments

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Day after we took the Prof back up north and a very uncertain forecast had us reaching for a two wheeled day out. The Marches of north Herefordshire and Shropshire were the target and a route that I hoped would avoid the steep hills around those parts.

We set off from Wigmore with a route that I’d scouted that stuck to smaller lanes as far as possible. We were late setting out and stopped early on at Bucknell for lunch on a picnic bench by a dried up stream in the middle of the village.

Had we pressed on a couple of miles we could have lunched at this much nicer spot next to Hopton Castle.

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There were benches and picnic tables and grand views out to the rest of the wooded hills that characterise the Marches.

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This castle was of particular interest. My parents have lived for many years on an estate with roads named after castles. Their’s is Hopton Drive and I’ve always been keen to see its inspiration.

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Whilst there isn’t much to see (and no battlements or spiral staircases) they have done a superb job of restoring what there is and as the sun came out it looked rather fine. It was built not as a defensive measure but as sign of power and wealth by some Welsh Power-monger. Interestingly all the others on my parents estate are much larger castles all within 20 miles of each other on the north Wales coast (Flint, Rhuddlan, Ewloe). Not suite sure what the connection is with this castle some 100 miles away.

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We pushed on through quiet lanes to reach Leintwardine on the farthest flung north corner of Herefordshire (our route had taken us in and out of Herefordshire and Shropshire as we went round).

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Its the river Teme here, a tributary of the Severn, rather than the Wye, ending at Worcester.

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We were scouting this as a possible swimming spot and the water did look deep and inviting. We did have our swimming stuff with us but it was a bit chilly (and busy as you’ll see)

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One of the best things about cycling in this part of the world is there are plenty of nice villages and even better country pubs to stop off at. This one (The Lion) was hosting some kind of vintage tractor rally, hence the area surrounding the river bank was somewhat busy to be stripping off!

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Such opportunities for a mid-ride/walk pint can’t be wasted with the cold winter approaching and we found a grand spot for a cold pint of cider (or lime and soda for TBF)

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Happiness is a riverside pint on a cycle ride.

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From there we finished out by following the Teme into the countryside before returning to Wigmore.

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Another 25 miles in the bag and a quiet and interesting route that will definitely be repeated, next time with a meal at the pub (the food looked great)

8 responses to “Marches by Bike

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  1. That looks a seriously nice (and well graded) cycle ride in lovely countryside (and on yet another nice day for you!). The castle is lovely – it used to have a really great upstairs didn’t it?

    In Skipton, we had a small area of the town where all the streets are named after famous poets – I like the idea of castles much better!

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    • I always loved castles as a kid – still do! Finding this one in such a great situation and condition was a real joy.
      Finding a route based on country lanes and not too many hills is the key to a good ride – and a nice pub of course 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not a great deal of breeze on that day, fab reflection photo of the bridge. How did you get on keeping up with the E-bike?

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    • I’ve only just noticed what a good reflection shot that is!
      Its really only on the big steep hills where the E-Bike is actually any quicker. The power cuts out over a certain speed (so it doesn’t get classed as a Motorbike!) and as its a big heavy beast its not all that quick on the flat. It’s more about smoothing out the hills and making cycling into a headwind a bit less tiresome. I took it out on my regular rides and its only saved a couple of minutes (in an hour) over my time on a conventional bike.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A river, a castle and a pub garden – that all looks rather magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

    beatingthebounds

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