Monday, 16 February 2015

The Trotting Mare at Knolton (near Overton)

The day after Valentines day, and time for another Sunday ride.  Sunshine, always a nice start to the day!

(need to crop this!)
We were due to pick up three en route, so set off down Bridge Street and out along Lache Lane.  

Sadly the sun could not stay with us; February lanes can appear too dreary so not many pics.

We headed up Marford Hill,then around the back to Borras Head, dropping down to the new roads and Waterways Garden Centre.

The bike parking was hard to access, as they have put display sheds up in front, and large pots.  Bit of a scramble to get in.

And they had closed off the access at the side only the previous weekend, so we had to go all the way through the centre, past reptiles, plants and ponds!

Herons on guard duty!

Baby tortoises! soo cute.
Turtles were sweet too.

We took over half of the cafe - but they were not that busy.

We bade farewell to Gill and Richard, who were going to seek inspiration for kitchens from various show homes in Farndon.

The rest of us carried on around Wrexham industrial estate, carefully avoiding the half marathon village bakery event on the same day

Coming along the A525, I was trying to picture the roads last year, on the same date, when the floods were high.  The main road was reported to be underwater by Bangor on Dee, but no-one took any photos!

We left Bangor past the racecourse, and carried on to Overton.

After Overton we carried on the A road for a while, as there was no option.  I took a little side road to get us off the main road for a little bit, this was lovely - and closed so no cars!  Apart from a few large holes easily navigated (and a lot of mud) it was no problem, although we still had a little bit of main road before arriving at The Trotting Mare.  
Ray's not Roast dinner

We were warmly welcomed and there were two large tables set out ready for us (unlike last ride to Lady Heyes when I believe there were not tables set aside even though Dave had phoned ahead).  Roast dinners were the order of the day (although a few other dishes slipped through!).

I found some lovey hearts table decorations, so set them out; and shared some love heart sweets too!  The red roses were already out.

Time for a selfie before we left...

...and then back into the lanes towards Penley.  I had to cut out a loop I had planned down to Ellesmere because of the time, but the lanes were great and very quiet.

Then Ray occasionally shoots ahead to take photos as we cycle past.....

The next thing I know I am recognising the lane as we drop to Sarn Bridge, to pass the Queens Head, where we came exactly a year ago!  and the climb back up from the Wych brook.

Hoping for a coffee and some cake at Bellis's, we were slightly disappointed that they had shut early; but not to worry.  I had noticed as we came past the Cross that Hildegard's lights were on, so she was obviously back from her week in Germany.  So some of us retraced and were welcomed in, with cake on offer.

As we unlocked and turned lights on, we bade farewell to people heading for the other side of the river - Holt-Farndon bridge is the first public crossing of the Dee upstream of Chester, so to cross again you either have to come all the way back, or you can duck off through Rossett.

Till next ride!

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