17 April 2011

17 Apr 2011: Hatfield to Nuthampstead

Nine of us met and set off from Hatfield on a bright sunny morning, perfect for cycling.  After Codicote, we turned off the main high street onto winding picturesque country lanes.  The Bluebells were out in full magnificent display as we cycled up Hitchwood Lane and on to Preston.
Welcome shade in Ayot Green
Bluebells in Hitchwood Lane

We continued across to Great Wymondley, where we passed Hornbeam Court, a row of five thatched early 19th C cottages, named after Henry VIII first five wives (shame there wasn’t a sixth cottage for Katherine Parr).  Taking the back route into Baldock, we had fun extricating Judy’s Trice from a determined cycle barrier.  
 Hornbeam Court, Great Wymondley
Baldock barrier

At Cafe Plus we were greeted by another old faithful, Roger! who had travelled to elevenses on an intriguing bike he has been working on.  Not sure if it was electric, motorised or push, or combination of all three! But it looked good fun!  I wonder, does he get a point for arriving on this?
Roger's VeloSolex (as ridden by Steve McQueen)
Approaching Nuthampstead

After a hearty breakfast we headed out in a NE direction over the bypass and out to Wallington, Sandon and Buckland. For once on this route there was no head or side wind, which gave us a pleasant undulating ride with great views across vast open, green and yellow countryside, with rape fields coming into flower.  We crossed over the A10 to Barkway then Nuthampstead to our lunch stop, the Woodman pub.
Memorial to the 398th at Nuthampstead
Quiet lane from Nuthampstead to Anstey

Luckily, the service was prompt and friendly at the Woodman and we departed at 2pm.  Our route to afternoon tea took us on a lovely route via Anstey, Wyddial, Buntingford, Aspenden, Westmill, Nasty, Great Munden and Dane End.  After climbing White Hill we were all ready for cake!  We ate al fresco overlooking the golf course.  Well satisfied, we left in three different groups to return home.

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