3rd June 2016
Miles today 46
Cumulative 394 miles
Dad looked after us really well and we set off rested, fed and clean … it won’t last. The cycling felt much easier for the rest. We stopped off in Gloucester to buy stuff for lunch- a good move as Gayle had plotted us such a quiet rural coarse that we didn’t pass a shop all day.
Leaving Gloucester was on a really nice off road sustrans track- good surface and no traffic but soon we were on quiet country lanes , the first half of the day was fairly flat but the hills appeared in the afternoon.
We stopped off at a pub for a cup of tea in Much Marcle- opposite a rather traditional looking garage displaying a huge selection of trophies for historic motor racing.
Lunch was in a field gateway, the banner doubles as a seating mat, enjoying the uninterrupted sun.
We passed an extraordinary looking old church and had to stop- the church was St Mary at Upleadon, the thing that struck us was the half timbered tower – unique , but a late addition in the 15th century , the main part of the church is Norman with some saxon parts as well.
We wound our way through very quiet lanes in Herefordshire, such lovely countryside, lush green and rolling hills and woods (Gayle’s fantastic planning again using open street map). We passed a couple of vineyards- looking rather incongrous next to green fields with sheep.
Eventually we arrived at Leominster- a fantastic town with a huge number of historic buildings from half timbered onwards. The youth hostel is an old building that has been a workhouse in the past. It is next to the Minster , a beautiful building with well preserved carvings and the original town ducking stool- the last one used in England as punishment- as late as 1809- a woman Jenny Pipes was ducked for using offensive language , however it is recorded that on surfacing she continued to swear just as much- reoffending is not a new problem. Contrary to what I was taught at school it was not just for nagging wives- tradesmen who short changed customers or sold adulterated food were ducked- barbaric but perhaps an effective enforcement of Trading Standards
We are staying at Leominster YHA as the Spire Cycle club is here for the next week so its good to call and see Tony Adams who is organising the trip