21 June 2015

21 Jun 2015: St Albans to Whiteleaf

On the day of the Women's Tour visiting The Chilterns, Carol led us around the same area on a longer  and possibly hillier route than they managed.  In all we covered 60 miles and climbed 3,450 feet (if you can believe Google Earth).

Group of seven cyclists

Here we are escaping from the A413 and about to climb the heights of Cobblershill Lane near Little Hampden.  

Ship's Figurehead

We paused while passing 'Pipers' in The Lee to admire this ship's figurehead of Admiral Lord Howe, taken from the Navy's last wooden warship, HMS Impregnable. The Lee has an interesting history, thanks largely to the influence of Arthur Liberty, who founded Liberty's store in Regent Street.  .  

At the pub

Here we are at our lunchtime destination, The Red Lion at Whiteleaf near Princes Risborough.  After lunch the cycling was much easier, as once we had climbed out of the valley it was down hill with a tail wind to Great Missenden.  Following our usual route through the churchyard, someone had the bright idea of following the cycle route signs through an underpass.  We soon encountered an incredibly steep climb up a narrow path, which got everyone off and walking.  Carol put us back on the road to Chesham and to Chenies Church for a well-earned tea and cake.  Here we glimpsed the Bedford Chapel, burial place of the Dukes of Bedford. Not normally open to the public, though visible through the glazed screen in the church, the Bedford Chapel, contains what the architectural historian Pevsner described as, "as rich a store of funeral monuments as any parish church of England".  Suitable cheered we headed home via Flaunden.


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