Thursday, 21 June 2018

Three cyclists go to Hatton 27

The three met up at Graham's house in Leamington and decided to head north west (into a fair breeze) and go to Wootton Wawen near Henley in Arden to a popular farm cafe there.

Leaving Leamington for Warwick, went through the Pump Room Gardens in the centre of town and was surprised to find the Victorian Bandstand had gone!  This was the first landmark that I had  photographed after starting this personal blog back in August 2012 and it was quite a shock to see it missing.  Graham, still a local, assured the others that it was being renovated and will be returned.  Phew.


This is how it should look as taken 6 years ago.


From Warwick, went out through Leek Wootton, Beausale ( we we had to divert a couple of miles around a closed road for bridge repairs) and out towards Shrewley before turning off through Little Shrewley and Hatton.  The diversion made the Wootton Wawen idea impractical, going to Balsall Common  (for big fat Eccles cakes) meant Mick would go past his home to get back to Leamington so the choice of Hatton Locks Cafe was an easy one.  The obligatory tea and toasted tea cakes went down very well apart the ambience was spoiled by a yappy dog.  Should never be allowed in eating houses.  This photo should have been me handing over 'the token' to Mick as it is his turn to pay next. Unfortunately it had been left back in Weston super Mare.

We decided to get back to Leamington travelling along the Grand Union Canal, the main arterial route between London and Birmingham before the railways.  21 locks lead down to Warwick from Hatton, so a fairly easy downhill stretch, especially with the wind behind.  This is Graham adjusting his toe clips, two barges in the background.  There were plenty of those about today negotiating the locks on this stretch.


Myself and Graham going over the aqueduct at the point where the canal goes over the River Avon. A little further on, there is another where the canal is carried over the main Birmingham/London line.  Parts of the canal were a little overgrown and the surface of the towpath was 95% good.  There was one point where I nearly went in the canal after wobbling when the front wheel went into a rut.  Lived to tell the tale though and stayed dry.


All agreed, it was good ride today, about 27 miles were covered.  The three split up near Leamington town centre and won't be meeting up for a few weeks.

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