There were seven cyclists at the Hatfield start and we were joined by two more, as we met Steve and Jackie coming in the opposite direction down Green Lanes. We took a roundabout route to our elevenses stop at Whitwell via Ayot St Lawrence, Codicote and Nup End, arriving at Whitwell at 10.55. Adrian, Tracey and Geoff were waiting for us there. Tracey had been living it up in Bracknell the night before, so had not fancied the early start at Hatfield.
It was cold in that barn
Inevitably, the crowds at Whitwell meant we took longer than usual to be served and finish our refreshments, so we had a delayed start for our lunch destination of Mangrove Green. We initially headed north to Great Offley and then back south down Lilley Bottom, before turning west towards Mangrove Green via Breachwood Green, where we took a short cut to go direct to the pub.
I was a little worried the pub would grouse about our higher than normal numbers, when we had not phoned to warn them. However, they did not have many customers and quickly provided us with reasonably priced baguettes. The King William has recently been refurbished and is now being marketed as more of a hotel (perhaps because of its closeness to Luton airport). Nevertheless, it remains a good pub destination for cyclists.