Today was supposed to be the hottest day of the year and so it turned out to be. We set off at 9.30am and it was 23C and nearly 70% humidity. We chose the river path and then headed off through Stockton and rode route 14 up through Hartburn. There’s a bit of a dodgy crossing to negotiate just after here but then it’s on to a much quieter road through the village of Elton before a section of main road. The sign is easy to miss for the turning off this way as it seems to enter into some woods. Actually, it’s an old road passed farms so it’s a bit of a ropey surface but you soon come to the Whinnies nature reserveIt was lovely cycling through here and over the bridge into Darlington. I went to buy fabric at Pauline Hopes stall in the indoor market. We then cycled up to Cockerton and sat on the village green having lunch. This is a lovely oasis in the town. It used to be a village but has been swallowed up by the town. Dark clouds were rolling in and we felt a few drops of rain so decided to head back towards home. Back through the town and along the track and decided to go to Middleton One Row as by now the fun had returned. In fact it was so hot we stopped to by an ice lolly at the Post Office and sat above the river to eat them. We were also able to refill the water bottles at the old fashioned village pump. The last time we were there it was turned off due to the bad weather.
Shortly after leaving ,we came across a number of wild plum trees laden with natures bounty of little golden plums about the size of small tomatoes. We picked 6.5 lbs and it was fortunate I had bought the fabric as we then had a bag to put them in. There are a few hills between here and Yarm but I’m pleased to say I managed them all.
Preston Park was next on our route and it was packed with young families and it was great to see more people out cycling. We decided to go the long way round to get home and so we clocked up 46 miles.
I wasn’t able to get any of my photos to upload so will try later