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cotswolds

Ride around the Cotswolds, Cheltenham, Broadway, Burford and Bibury

November the 30th 2018, typical riding session along some great lanes, through picturesque towns and villages along the way.

New Horizons Motorcycling in the Cotswolds

Chasing the rainbow!

Nothing to do with drugs! Honest!

Went back to the area of a recent walk, in the vicinity of Burford –  Windrush and the Barringtons with my good friend Richard George.

Weather started off nice and sunny, then it chucked it down on the way home. Great! Never mind, made it rather refreshing.

Some nice villages around here; amazing what we miss if we don’t turn off the main roads! Just along from Great Barrington, after the rain, this fantastic rainbow appeared in the field next to us. It was almost touchable, or so it seemed. No gold though!

Gold must be here!
Gold must be here somewhere!

After going round in circles, we stumbled across Windrush. Another pretty little village with a village triangle next to the church of St Peter I believe.

Windrush and St Peter's church
Windrush and St Peter’s church

Off home, stopping en-route for coffee in Jesse Smith Farm Shop and Coffee House,  http://jessesmith.co.uk/farm-shop-coffee-house/ for a cappuccino in Cirencester.

Only a short ride out, but nice to do! Lots more exploring to be done though – can’t wait for the drier weather.

Map of the route:

Blowing away the cobwebs up the Fosse way!

Blimey, what a nice day today turned out to be. Sat indoors all morning and around midday, sun was out with clear blue sky, so what the hell, thought I’d go for a spin. First long-ish ride of the year. Just got back home and now its turning a bit dark and cloudy again.

Headed up to the Fosse Way all the way to Morton in Marsh. Turning right towards Oxford along the A44, and once at Chipping Norton, headed to Burford, Lechlade and home again to Cricklade.

What great riding! Long sweeping bends. Some tricky ones too in places. Sun was a bit low in the sky which made riding home a bit more interesting.

I’ve just notched this particular route up as one of my favourites, though a bit more exploring of the side roads is beckoning next time. And the really good thing is, there seemed to be plenty of stopping places for the obligatory coffee/tea break too!

Looking forward to doing it again once the weather warms up a bit. Hands got a bit nippy towards the end which makes typing this a bit tricky.

But, what great scenery we have. All around us are these fantastic views of rolling chalk hills – after all that is what the Cotswold hills are.

It didn’t take anywhere near as long as it suggests in the map above. Just over an hour; maybe an hour and a half perhaps. But mileage was spot on!  Happy days are here again!

Sunday spin – Minchinhampton Common

It looked dry! About time too! So, Richard G and I headed out for a spin – unplanned, just needed to get out on the bikes. It was about 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

We headed to Cirencester, and took the road to Stroud. Only turning left at Minchinhampton Common and headed back to Tetbury.

Nice route this one. Roads between Cirencester and Stroud are easy going with some nice vistas. After Minchinhampton they are a little more technical with some hairy bends. The good news is that the leaves that were laying on the road surface have mostly gone now.

Back through Avening, on through Tetbury Upton and into Tetbury itself. Parking up for a few minutes whilst we decided which route to take back, we admired some of the driving skills of cars going past – some were actually doing the speed limit – how unusual!

Anyway, we headed to Cirencester along the A433 which is a nice fast road. Relatively safe too. Sitting at the max legal limit we burbled through to Cirencester main square. Parking up in the centre of the road we had stopped right opposite a coffee shop. Stroke of luck :DD

By the time we left it was getting dark, so we headed back home.

Short ride this one, but a nice one all the same!

Route can be found via this link: http://www.rac.co.uk/route-planner/l/ierq

To Bath via Tetbury, and home via Chippenham – just KES and me

Great morning for a ride – just KES and me this time; slightly misty, dry, and cool. Early start at around 6.15am to get petrol and head on out to Bath before rush hour really gets going.

Anyway, up the A419 to Cirencester; KES was a bit lively around the 70mph mark so had to fight hard to keep the speed legal. Off towards Tesco for petrol. Then headed out on the A429 to Tetbury making sure not to turn left at the A429 to Malmesbury junction (it is sign posted left and straight on to M4 and Bristol); keep straight ahead to Tetbury on the A435. There are some great swooping bends along this stretch road, but watch out for the numerous farm and side turnings as they can come up on you quite unexpectedly.

Once in Tetbury, KES burbled through at a nice steady pace following signs for the M4 which is easily and obviously marked. This road heads out to Westonbirt Arboretum which is a great for looking at trees, and the occasional concert – we saw Scouting For Girls there a couple of years ago where I found out that “Posh girls go like the clappers”!

Tetbury is a quaint Cotswold market town; full of the typical types of shops to be found at such a country town. Many of the buildings are made from traditional Cotswold stone and I think it will be a place to visit for a cuppa tea one Sunday afternoon, especially in Summer when it is warmer.

Leaving Tetbury, on the A433 (which is also the Bath Road by strange coincidence) you will eventually come to a ‘T’ junction. Taking a left turn, and watching the dip for hidden vehicles, follow the signs to the M4.

At the M4 roundabout I sat in the left lane as I was going straight over to Bath. On the other side is a dual carriageway so be wary of other vehicles turning off with you.

Onto the A46, this is the last 10 miles into Bath. No sense in rushing, sit behind the car in front and zip along at a steady 50mph or so. Down the hill, stick to the left lane (be aware of the speed camera as you drop down this hill – sometimes there is also a Police speed check here too), and at the roundabout I turned left along London Road to the centre of Bath.

Now, this road at weekends and rush hours can be congested. So, do it early. Or come in via Lansdown road, which back on the A46, make a right turn at the only roundabout between the M4 and Bath; then turn left and follow your nose.

Meanwhile, back in Bath, I headed for the city centre, bus station and railway station. There are plenty of spaces in the city centre to park your bike (or car if you are in one, but it is expensive).

Bath is a great place to visit and look around; there is a lot of history here what with the Roman Baths and the Abbey to spend some time at. There is also a fine selection of eateries for all budgets. Bath can be busy with tourists at most times of the year so be patient and make sure you speak slowly and loudly to them!

Heading home, I followed the signs to Chippenham which took me along the A4 through Box.

At Chippenham it is a matter of following signs now for the M4 and Cirencester; then for me, once on the outskirts of Malmesbury, I take the B4040 back to Cricklade.

The first part of the ride I enjoyed most; getting round Chippenham I don’t find that inspiring but it is a still a reasonable journey home which also has the added advantage of avoiding the M4. Bath was easy to get round, but as with Cheltenham, the one way system can catch you out – but never mind, if you go wrong you do get to see more of this rather ancient and pleasant city!

For the route planner – I entered, Cirencester, Tetbury, Bath, Chippenham, Malmesbury, Cricklade. Total journey of approx 82 miles. Time to do – as long as you like!

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