Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 26, 2021

Golden Wedding Tour – Part 5

Saturday 5th June 2021

Before setting off on this trip , I had done a bit of research on crossing the Thames , as I didn’t want to ride through London. The government website showed that the crossing can be crossed by bicycle – in vans that they will be take you through in. I had contacted them and they told me to ring the day before they would be needed. If you just have a bicycle its just turn up, but with our luggage a prior warning was needed.

So after the wet Friday, it was pleasant to set off in sunshine. After using Komoot in the touring mode , which took us on some unsuitable off road paths, I switched it to road riding and we were off heading north.

The route took us to the east of East Grinstead and then through open countryside to pick up the Yew Tree way and up through Edenbridge and then a climb up to Sundridge where we stopped on a corner to have 2nd breakfast. There were plenty of other cyclists about too on such a beautiful day.

By now we had cycled a little over 20 miles and so were ready for the break in such hot sunshine.

The roads were fairly quiet despite being not too far off the M25 and after crossing it, these were the photos I took.

It didn’t seem too long before we were on the run into the Dartford crossing.

………………..
Dartford crossing – bridge and tunnel

The traffic was nose to tail all the way but the cycle track was clean sailing. We were pleased to shelter from the hot sun under a bus shelter where we could phone to tell them we had arrived.

Dartford crossing phone

We were told they wouldn’t be long and they weren’t. When they realised that we had so much luggage another van turned up to disgorge 2 cyclists who were riding the M25 route – well on the nearest roads to it. Apparently about 180 miles plus in the day. phew in that heat!

So our gear was loaded into one van with us and the other took our bikes and another cyclist too and soon we were whisked through the tunnel to the other side where we were unloaded.

luggage
other van with bikes

The shuttle left us in West Thurrock and we were soon on a cycle track as soon as we had oriented ourselves.

There was a lot of crossing roads to keep on the correct cycle way but we eventually found Chapel Farm in Orsett that I had contacted the previous day. Owner Margaret could not have been more helpful. I asked about a washing machine and she supplied us with powder and conditioner too. DH asked if they sold eggs. They didnt , as they just bought from the local shop but she brought us 6 from her own kitchen – all with out extra charge!!!

During the evening , we saw a few paraglider type things with a fan behind. Must have a proper name but I don’t know it.

blurred but you get the idea.

Sunday 6th June 2021.

our destination for this day was near Hatfield so we could visit another old kayaking friend. I had contacted Premier inn and booked a room for the night in Welwyn Garden City. So our route took us north and then swung us west to skirt around greater London. This took us through places I have heard of Brentwood, Kelvedon Hatch and Chipping Ongar. When we got to a little place with a lovely village pond, Matching Green, we stopped to eat.

Matching Green

From here, for the most part , we were on a marked cycleway all the way to out hotel. We asked about the price of a taxi into Hatfield and were told about £5. So we booked and it was actually £21 each way!! The hotel chap was shocked when we told him later adn he too felt we had been ripped off. Still we got to see AM who last year had a spinal op, was discharged into a nursing home and caught Covid and almost died. She is now a long covid sufferer. We stayed just over an hour so as not to tire her too much but she said how good it was to see us.

Monday 7th June 2021

We had decided to book a Camping and Caravanning club site at Cambridge and so we were headed north east from Welwyn. The previous day , a lady trying to take a photo of us, fell over my trailer and snapped my flag. We couldn’t get the remains of the flag out and these kind chaps drilled it out for us , so we could put the flag in again. This was near Baldock.

helpful guys at Baldock
some weird web

As we were climbing a hill , we came across this tree covered in what appeared from a distance to be covered in white blossom. Getting closer it looked like some sort of fleece but I believe it is some sort of spider webs. On amother day we saw another example of this too.

?Steeple Morden church
rolling countryside.

So , it was onward to Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth and Shepreth and then crossed the M11 and on a lovely cycle way to the campsite. We got a nice welcome from Bob who showed us to a pitch with a hook up so we could charge everything up.

Tuesday 8th June 2021

This was another early start on another sunny day which was great for us – not so good for the fields and gardens though. We headed out north easterly to cross the Newmarket road ad on to NCN51 through Bottisham and Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Bulbeck before leaving the NCN route and continuing NE. We padded Mildenhall before riding through Thetford. I don’t seem to have taken any photos of this day as it was a long day. We carried on through Attleborough and Wymondham and into Norwich. It was after 6pm when we arrived and we werent expected. Neil , the assistant manager , had been left for the night to keep the site ticking over. Still, he found us a pitch with hook up and then couldn’t work computer so I ended up phoning two days later to square up with them.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021

I was tired so we decided to take a more direct route to the club site at Sandringham. They could only offer us a jumbo pitch with electric , so we took it.

Although a more direct route , it was still 50 miles heading up through Dereham and the lovely little village of Great Massingham.

Gt Massingham

We eventually got onto the Peddars Way but it wasn’t good for us and there was a flooded part so we ended up getting on to the main road for a while.. We did pass this stone marker though.

Peddars Way

So when we got there , another cycle tourist was booking in. Turns out it was another Cycle Touring Festival attendee and I recognised his bottle.

CTF friend
a restored post office 3 speed bike

We had a chat and I asked about his bike. It was a restored steel framed 3 speed post office bike and he was riding it , instead of his usual tourer just to make it different.

Thursday 10th June 2021.

It was a nice morning and we set off for Kings Lynn along a nice cycle route that was virtually traffic free. I wanted to see Andy who makes the templates for quilting. He made the templates for the lettering on our cycle tops that I made.

Andy of Crafty-UK quilt template maker
outskirts of Kings Lynn

Then , it was off through Kings Lynn itself and along the river Nene route to Tydd Gote, a lovely little welcoming camp site at the end of a country road. It was so sheltered that even most of the locals we asked didn’t know it was there. It was in the region of Wisbech. We did have to cross Sutton Bridge that we remembered from cycling the North Sea cycle route back in 2006.

Friday 11th June 2021

Our way ahead lay into Lincolnshire from East Anglia. I remembered the Heritage Centre in Bardney and phoned Barry to see if they still did B&B in the railway wagons. They don’t use the wagons in this way now but have made bedrooms in the old Engine House.

So onwards through the flat fenlands and to Holbeach where we stopped to by supplies. Then we followed NCN1 and crossed the Fosdyke and on into Boston with its stump of a church tower.

Boston Stump

As we rode across these fertile lands , we saw fields being planted in a modern way.

planting the fields

After Boston, we rode along the river Witham to Bardney and enjoyed a good night . Barry serves fish and chips on Friday and Saturday evenings and I have to say they were delicious. This is from someone who doesn’t care for this English speciality.

So we enjoyed a very comfortable evening at the Heritage Centre.

Saturday 12th June 2021

After a lovely breakfast cooked by Barry, we set off northwards through Wragby and on to Market Rasen. This town seems to have grown since we last rode through so stopped at a supermarket to restock. After this was a climb up onto the Licolnshire wolds , that we visited last year. This was on the western side though.

Then it was a nice downhill and and a couple stopped to chat.

thinking of taking a cycle tour
1000 miles

They had seen our tops and wanted to ask about the trip as they were thinking of cycle touring themselves.

We stayed on this other quirky campsite near the banks of the Hull estuary near New Holland.

Sunday 13th June 2021

Sunday was another beautiful day and the campsite manager told us a quite way to get to the Humber Bridge. Until recently, it had been closed to pedestrians and cyclists so we were glad it had reopened.

We rode into Barton on Humber and recognised the way to the bridge. I don’t know how many times we have crossed this bridge in both directions over the years. The first time we rode to Lincolnshire about 40 years ago, the bridge was still being constructed.

humber bridge

Once over the bridge, it was a fairly short ride to Beverley .

The window of a quilt teacher I know

As we left Beverley I spotted this house of a very good quilt teacher I know. We had to stop but she had gone to see her mother in a care home. The first time in over a year for her.

Then it was onwards on MCN through Cherry Burton but at Tibthorpe we got on a main road to Wetwang and then on to Sledmere. They have opened a coffee shop up now so we stopped and got some refreshments before heading up in the Wolds way cycle routeand passed Settrington Beacon.

Settrington Beacon.

Now on what I regard as home territory, I took some photos. I love these wolds.

Yorkshire Wolds

Then it was onwards to our friends in Rillington where we had a lovely meal. It was so good to meet up with kayaking friends we haven’t seen in a good few years. Friendships forged over years of helping each other to haul boats on rivers, canals and sea have been renewed on this trip.

Monday 14th June 2021

DH was so near home that he wanted to do it in one day. I agreed to try and I did it. All 73 miles of it. We rode through the Howardian Hills, another beautiful English countryside landscape. Once in Easingwold ,we stopped and enjoyed second breakfast in the market place. People stopped to chat when they noticed our tops.

So we were really on the homeward stretch and took the familiar route home through Asenby and Northallerton.

In total we rode 1132 miles on this trip. I could not have done it without my beautiful Koga traveller e-bike.


Responses

  1. A fantastic tour. Well done. I was very interested in your Dartford Crossing adventure.

  2. Well done I’m really proud of you both. Happy anniversary when it comes.

    • Thanks Jim. We will have to come and visit sometime. Its been a long time since we met up

  3. Amazing! Well done. Great planning to achieve such an extensive tour. I was born in Essex so knew the Dartford Tunnel very well. Looks so different now!

    • haha there wasn’t much planning except a rough idea of our destinations and then looking for campsites etc a day ahead. The tunnel was slow moving as there is just so much traffic going through


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