Ian M will be leading this ride on Sunday and writes:
I had a good recce today of a route for Sunday’s ride.
I set off from Hunsbury at the usual time for a Sunday and reached Sulgrave Manor just as it was opening. Same times on Sunday!
I then pedalled slowly to Middleton Cheney, thinking that that would be a better stop for lunch than Banbury. And it has lovely Morris & Co stained glass in the church – a complete set from 1862. But The New Inn is closed until next year and The Dolphin is just, well, closed!
So I pedalled on to Banbury, enticed by several signposts indicating I was on the Oxfordshire Cycleway. I was led into enormous roadworks and a completely pedestrianised town centre. Avoiding Debenhams tea room and a Pizza Express, I found the Banbury Cross – and a pub called “The Banbury Cross”. Open but no food. Will you have food over the Bank Holiday weekend? No, mate – there’s no call for it here!
I struggled out of Banbury and pedalled back on a different route to Middleton Cheney. The Dolphin was still closed. I then pedalled a different route north and came across the Cherwell Edge Golf Club. An A-board at the road advertised carvery lunches on Sundays! At the entrance to the club house, bar meals were advertised! A quick bacon butty later and I had learned that while the carvery might require booking for Sunday, the bar meals did not. Seemed good!
I did have a tea stop in the afternoon at Canons Ashby.
If I’m not selling this route to you, may I say that the cycling is delightful and through many wonderful villages we don’t normally pedal through. The villages are quite close together so that there’s always a feeling of moving on. Helmdon was voted Best Northamptonshire Village in 2011. So here’s the route for Sunday in terms of villages (with my timings from today):
Leave Overslade Close, Hunsbury (0940)
Marston St Lawrence
(edge of) Thenford
Lunch at Cherwell Edge Golf Club
Canons Ashby (1440-1455)
Back at Overslade Close, Hunsbury, at 1555.
That route is really delightful!
I haven’t reserved a table for the carvery at the Golf Club. I’m assuming that on a warm August day (sunny day with isolated showers, high of 21 degrees C) colleagues would prefer a lighter bar meal. We can always top up with tea at Canons Ashby – or not!
So, meet at Overslade Close, Hunsbury at 0930 for a splendid day. We’ll go at a simple pace and so I can’t absolutely promise to be back for 1555. Just over 50 miles.
I hope to see you there!