Colchester Cycling UK

Wickham St Pauls Ride Report

June 3, 2012

Six of us set off from Leisure World on a damp grey morning — Alan, Malcolm, Des, Paul, Caroline and Pam.

We rode into Sportsway, through Kings Meadow, and along Sheepen Road, then up through St Mary’s to Lexden Road, where we took Sustrans Route 1 from Norman Way, across Bluebottle Grove, into Stanway and out past Beacon End, along Church Lane towards Copford.

Alan mentioned that the new Western Bypass will cut across Church Lane and this is something that Colchester Cycling Campaign will be discussing at the next ‘Bike Drinks’ meeting on Monday 18 June at The New Inn (note new date and venue!).

We turned into London Road, and then right into Turkey Cock Lane, and were soon at Barnplants Garden Centre for an early elevenses. The staff here were very welcoming as always, and our orders were speedily delivered (we’d pushed a few small tables together and no-one seemed to mind). The cakes were declared excellent.

Our route then took us along Daisy Green Road to Aldham, and through the village to Great Tey, Chalkney Wood, then on via White Colne, and into Earls Colne, where many of the shops were festooned with bunting. We then headed towards Colne Engaine, but turned off to Halstead, then via Little Maplestead, Oak Road, right towards Bulmer and then right into Wickam St Pauls.

Our lunch stop was Spencers Farm Shop — “not a million miles away from Castle Hedingham”, according to Alan. The cafe had been recommended by Barry Mordin and was a great success. It was spacious and clean and again there was a warm welcome and no problem with us rearranging the furniture. The service was friendly, and our sandwiches, baguettes and paninis were all very good. For some of us, there was the added bonus of Nethergate Umbel Ale and Aspall Cyder! And I kept everyone waiting as I had to try out the lemon cheesecake — excellent!

Rather wet but still smiling outside Spencers

We turned right out of the Farm Shop, then first right along Old Road, crossing over the main road and into Twinstead village past the jubilee marquees, where there might have been lots going on had it not been for the weather. We skirted Pebmarsh, and rode on through Horne’s Green, Wakes Colne Green, Janke’s Green (scene of the famous pheasant incident!), Fordham and West Bergholt, where three sensible souls headed for home and three of us had a swift pint in The Bricklayers.

The 42 mile route was very enjoyable and we all returned home damp but not deflated.

By Pam Nelson