Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 23, 2021

Golden Wedding Tour – part 2

Monday 24th May 2021

The morning was dry but cool as we left Culceth and headed south into Warrington, mainly on cycleways to cross a number of main roads. We got a little confused but eventually found our way to the Manchester road when we talked with a man on an e-bike going in a similar direction. Here there was a reasonable crossing and we picked up a route along the river Mersey, crossing it at Westy and then through a nice estate and across the Manchester ship canal.

second breakfast stop

By now the weather had warmed up and we found a nice picnic area to stop and have second breakfast. The route was reasonably flat for this morning ride into Kelsall. From here, to the east of Chester, we kept to quite countryside roads and small Cheshire towns and villages until we came to NCN70 the Cheshire cycle way as we headed west and then south on NCN45, the Mercian way to cross the Shropshire Union Canal.

Then we diverged away towards Tattenhall and crossed the main Whitchurch road twice before making a ‘detour’ until we got to the campsite at the Durham Heifer which used to be a pub. The owners took it over as a cafe just before the first lockdown but have managed to keep going although only opening for food on a weekend.

Tuesday 25th May 2021

From Broxton, we again followed the Mercian way along the Shrewsbury road until we came to our first flood across the road. It wasn’t to be our last due to all the rain that has fallen during early May in the north.

flooded roads

To be honest, I was a bit nervous of going through it but after DH went through , I just got on with it. The sun got higher in the sky and warmer and we came into Whitchurch to restock at a local shopping centre. Carrying on we came to an English Heritage property which I was able to visit briefly.

Moreton Corbett Castle

It is thought that there was a fortified structure here as far back as 1086 in Anglo-Saxon times. Then it was replaced by a stone built castle and during the civil war, it changed hands a number of times and was badly damaged. It continued to deteriorate and fell into disuse in the 18th C. It is still owned by the Corbett family but managed by English Heritage. It is free to visit.

We continued on through Shawbury and into Shrewsbury where we had another small campsite, Coton Hill Farm. It was very central but is no longer a farm. They were able to provide us with a hook-up to charge our batteries.

Wednesday 26th May 2021.

This was to prove to be the most difficult day of the trip being over 60 miles and over 4600 ft of climbing. It was a lovely morning as we set out. We knew we were going to a cycle touring friend in Ledbury and so had a place to pitch in his garden.

So we set off to cross the Shropshire Hills area of outstanding natural beauty and it was. The climbing was tough and not long after Broadstone, DH got a puncture in his trailer tyre. This gave me opportunity to take a few photos as he changed to tube and I did a repair.

puncture repair one

The trailers do not have Schwalbe Marathon tyres and we should probably invest in some for puncture protection. Anyway, it was onwards and upwards, rising and falling our way across beautiful countryside with Birmingham east of us and Ludlow to the West.

Nearing Knowbury, after a steep climb , we came to a church where we sat outside for lunch.

lunchtime

Then I walked a little way down the road to take this view

Shropshire Hills

Then it was down through Witton and Tenbury Wells before finding our way through Bromyard. Its strange how we get expectations of places. It was a lovely little market town that I had been expecting to be much more industrial.

I dont know exactly where this awful track was but Komoot took us down here. It wasnt too bad at first but then deteriorated to this. It was a real challenge but we made it through onto a proper track.

Then there was a much less hilly route into Ledbury where we found Geoff our CTF friend and camped in his garden. He made us a wonderful vegan chickpea curry.

camp in the garden Ledbury

Thursday 27th May 2021

We had a shorter day planned as we wanted to go to an LDS history site called Gadfield Elm. It was a beautiful sunny day and the first time, it was warm enough to wear the tops i had made for us.

It was amazing how wearing these tops, connected us with other cyclist, motorcyclist and vehicle drivers who all passed by with whoops and cheers and congratulations. To keep us on quiet roads our route took us north easterly from Ledbury but then swung south through Eastnor and then across a bridge over the M50 and down to Gadfield Elm. Unfortuantely , due to Covid , the place was locked but we could see inside.

In about 1840, Wilford Woodruff was sent to preach the restored gospel in England and at Gadfield Elm , he found a congregation of 600 United brethren. He was invited to preach to them, and almost all joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and thus the chapel was used. Then in 1842, the chapel was sold and the people emigrated to the United States to begin the journey west.

In about 1994, the old by now dilapidated chapel came on the market and some members in the Cheltenham and surrounding areas decided to buy it and renovate it as it was the first LDS chapel in the world – before any in the US. After the renovation , it was gifted to the church as a museum piece.

Gadfield Elm Chapel
entrance way
interior of the chapel

I was able to take these photos by putting the camera on a through glass setting and putting it right up against the glass.

It should have been a short ride to the campsite , Little Brangwells outside of Redmarley D’Abitot. What a job we had finding it and we clocked up 10 miles just finding the place. It was a quiet little farm site ad despite talking to people in the village, no-one seemed to know of its existence. Such seems to be the case with these little tiny sites.

There was a chap working in the area who talked for ages but this is the fun of being on the small sites.

Friday 28th May 2021

It was another beautiful day as we left the campsite and headed south towards Gloucester on part of the Newent cycling loop but then headed east and had to ride on the main road for a short while and then picked up NCN45 to the west of Gloucester. We contiued on through Epney and Frampton upon Severn until we came to the Sharpness Canal towpath which was not good towing my trailer. I did have a fall and the trailer went over as there were so many deep ruts- well more like channels in the towpath with grass on the top of each. I decided to walk along as I didnt want another fall.

a better bit of towpath Sharpness Canal

About 2/3rds of the way to Bristol , when we came across a really big flood.

flood to big to ride through.

We had ridden through a few fords and small floods but this was just too deep and unknown. It was a small road and then a Range Rover came up behind us. We had to really squeeze up into the hedge so that they could pass. We asked the driver if he knew how far and how deep it was but he had no idea. He did however, shout back that it was at last another 30 feet around the corner. We could also see it came half way up his wheels, so there was nothing else to do but turn back.

We found a sign for the 18 Filton link cycle route and followed it to cross the M5 and then head back through Tytherington. It was school leaving time and I have to report , this was probably the worst driver lack of awareness I saw on the entire journey. It was downright scary at times with high speed and close passes.

Then it was through the sprawling suburbs of Bristol to find our friend Libby’s house , to the south of the centre.


Responses

  1. I agree with you about school run drivers. They seem to have a lot on their mind when it comes to passing cyclists.

    • to true but these were the worst we encountered


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