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21 Nov: St Albans to Great Offley

posted 27 Nov 2010, 11:56 by South Herts   [ updated 31 Dec 2016, 23:12 ]
Another ride heading north found a good turnout of eleven people in St Albans. The route to coffee at Markyate could have been very short, so I planned a bit of a detour via Sandridge and Nomansland Common then passing through the edge of Batford to pick up the new cycle path from Harpenden towards Luton. A very good quality tarmac path allows cyclists to avoid the busy Lower Luton Road.
Where's the leader?
The Chiltern Cycleway at Harpenden

We then looped back to Kinsbourne Green (funny, I think I was here last week…) before descending to Markyate to use the Village Café.  Very good value and the bacon rolls went down a treat after 16 miles.  Harry joined us for coffee again; this time brandy less.
Leaving Markyate
Someries Castle

After coffee we headed up to Wood End, then crossed the M1 on a footbridge to enter Stockwood Park on the southern edge of Luton. After crossing the park we whizzed down a suburban road before using a clever new cycle route skirting Luton Parkway station to pick up the other end of the Luton to Harpenden path, this time heading back towards Harpenden.  Great views over to the Luton Hoo estate made this an enjoyable car-free section.  We then circumnavigated Luton airport, by the derelict Someries Castle, before climbing up to Great Offley. The Red Lion saw us proud as they were busy, but managed to supply our baguettes in a timely manner. A cosy warm pub - just right for a winter ride.

Fortunately the rain held off as we all took a direct ride home. We ended up clocking up about 47 miles round trip when we got back to St Albans.  Another interesting day showing we can still find some new roads to use after all the years we’ve been pedalling locally.