Saturday 8 March – promised to be a great day judging by Friday’s weather, but the early start was rather damp and overcast which made for slightly slippery roads.
We set off at 8am heading towards the still sleeping town of Wroughton to take the Devizes road out to Avebury. We preferred this route to going via Salthrop hill as that can be very damp and slippy on a day such as today.
The Wroughton to Devizes road is a great road, winding past the Science museum at the old airfield through some tight and technical bends – taken at speed is not for the faint hearted that’s for sure.
Passing the neolithic stones of Avebury circle, which is older than Stonehenge and also the largest stone circle in Europe, we headed onto Marlborough where we were to stop for a coffee.
Avebury manor is worth spending a few hours at if you get chance. It featured recently on a BBC programme telling the tale of its renovation. The house exhibition tells the tale of the manor from it’s early days through to modern times and, unusually for such a house, many of the exhibits are designed to be touched. The hobby horse in the dining room is my favourite – my two young boys enjoyed it immensely too.
Silbury Hill nearby also deserves a mention as it is the largest man made mound in Europe which is comparable to the height of the Egyptian pyramids. No-one seems to know why it was built, though it is thought that is was completed around 2400BC – which is a similar age to the pyramids.
Great coffee stop in Marlborough where we got chatting to a fellow biker on his way from Bournemouth to Gloucester on his KTM.
Back on our bikes we burbled (as KES seems to do) through Marlborough and past the Saturday market held in the high street.
Leaving Marlborough on the A4, we turned left towards Wootton Basset. What a great route this turned out to be! High on the downs overlooking some great views towards Wroughton and Swindon, we sped along drinking in the scenery. Stopping only once to confirm the route home we dropped down a snake bend hill and blitzed our way across to Broad Hinton and onto Basset. From here we took the usual route via Purton back to Cricklade.
Great ride with a great mate!
Hopefully next time will have both Richards with me to share this enjoyment!
Next ride – perhaps heading out to Cheltenham using the old roads rather than the new A419/A417.