26 March 2017

26 Mar 2017: Panshanger to Gilston

Ok, well it wasn't really Panshanger to Gilston in the end as when I rang the planned lunch-pub the day before they told me they were  fully booked for Mothers' Day and would not serve food in the garden. Apparently the summer season has not yet started in Essex!

Anyway eight bleary eyed people were assembled at the start after remembering to set their alarms for the arrival of BST. Steve H was leading and we went via Tewin, Bramfield and Stapleford before taking a scenic quiet route past the ancient St Leonard's church in Hertford then following the river path to Ware and the ever efficient Esem Express cafe. There was a distinct lack of customers when we arrived so we got served quickly. Tracey and Bill left to go home for MD celebrations and we were joined by Bob who had cycled up from Enfield.

Although the forecast was dry and fine it was really hard work cycling into the strong east wind.  After coffee we headed north to Much Hadham then headed south to the edge of Harlow where we passed the marina on the river Stort. We managed to find a quiet route into the north edge of Harlow where Carol had found an alternate lunch stop.
River Stort Marina
The prettily named Willow pub looked a reasonable bet when viewed on google maps as its patio backed onto some playing fields, but the reality was Harlow council had allowed the playing fields to be completely built over with housing. The food was cheap and the Steves complimented the pub on the quality of its beer. All the pubs in Harlow were originally named after butterflies and this pub used to be called the Willow Beauty after the butterfly. As you can see neither the butterfly 
Willow beauty butterfly
or the pub lived up to the name!  After lunch we headed back to Hertford and the Rose cafe for a quick tea stop via Roydon and Hoddesdon, before bowling back to the start helped by the now strong tailwind. about 48 miles in all. Route below:

No comments:

Post a Comment