Friday, 27 September 2013

27th September 2013 Hampton Hop

Ride out to Hampton in Arden, including 6 miles on a train, to Hampton in Arden. Met Mick in Kenilworth and caught the train at Tile Hill. The train pulled in as we arrived and the ticket clerk said we could buy one on the train. It was only 6 miles to Hampton and we never saw a ticket collector so travelled free. Bargain. Strange to say, there was no disabled exit and we had to carry our bikes up and over a bridge to get out. Not sure how disabled passengers would manage.

Hampton Library

This cute little library is on the site of an old school in Fentham Road Hampton. There is more detail about this on the arched plaque over the door but can't read it in this picture, too contrasty! One review of the place states, "This is the cutest, smallest library by a country mile. It is also the most frustrating with some bonkers idiosyncrasies." The opening times do seem odd and add up to 14 hours a week. It does have access to a computer and the internet though.

Himalayan Basalm

Never spotted this till Mick pointed it out. This plant, with a pink flower, is the Himalayan Balsam (impatiens glandulifera) and was imported into Britain in 1839 and flourishes near streams and standing water. In some parts of the world, including the UK, it has become an invasive species weed. Its aggressive seed dispersal, coupled with a high nectar production often allows the plant to outcompete native plants. It is sometimes called the Policeman's Helmet because of the shape of the flower. As the latin name implies, it is a member of the same family as Bizzy Lizzy.

Packhorse Bridge

Leaving Hampton along Marsh Lane we travelled along a bridle path towards Balsall Common. Part the way along this path is a packhorse bridge.  This 15th century bridge is only 5' wide, and spans the River Blythe. On the southern side of the river, one of the parapets is marked H|B. This indicates the boundary between Hampton and Berkswell

Lincoln Farm Cafe

At the end of Marsh Lane, just before the main A452, is the Lincoln Farm Cafe, aimed at the haulage trade. Mick and I called in here last time we passed it and it is cheap. You do get what you pay for though. A notice outside the place welcomes walkers and states it is safe for them in here. It points out the cross on the corner of the building for some reason. We settled for the La Delicia tea rooms in Balsall Common instead and sat outside in the sun with our tea and toasted tea cake.

Good ride today, Indian summer weather seems here to stay. Taking off the 6 mile train journey, clocked 24 miles.

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