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06 Jan: Hatfield to Whitwell

posted 9 Jan 2013, 02:40 by South Herts   [ updated 12 Jan 2017, 22:31 ]
The lovely thing about riding in the mist is that everything seems to be asleep, there’s hardly any sound from traffic and you can hear some of the more vocal birds. In fact for me mist lends a very serene feel to everything.  So it was on a damp and misty Sunday morning that 6 of us met outside ASDA in Hatfield.  With it being the first ride of the month I had planned a straightforward ride and just as well, because the weather didn't seem all that promising.
Four riders approaching
Stephen leading on the Codicote Road

We soon made our way over to Green Lanes then along to Lemsford.  From here it was straight up the hill to the turn-off for the Ayots.  As we were finding our way through this area, shrouded in mist it did strike me as to why Hammer decided to make films in this area, everywhere was very atmospheric.

Descending towards Codicote we spied a deep ford in the dip, which is never normally flooded, so took a small trip around to Kimpton Mill and on to Whitwell.  For those who were paying attention, yes that was the lunch stop in the distance.  From here it is a nice straightforward assent up through St Paul’s Walden and onto Hitchin. This is a great little road that doesn’t seem to get boring, but I might just be easily pleased.

So nicely relaxed we all meet up at the Hitchin kitchen, a well-used stop for us.  It was here that we re-met Jon & Judy; we also bumped into Steve and Jackie, then a bit later Steve and Carol.

After break it was back to Whitwell for us, and after a small detour lead by Peter (I’m not good at getting out of Hitchin), we found ourselves on the undulating B road heading in the direction of Hexton.   On the map it looked easy - just straight there, but in reality this road proved to have its challenges, although little traffic.  At Hexton we took a left and made our speedy way up Butts Hill; well one of us made their speedy way up and it wasn't me.

From the rise of this hill you could see misty Hertfordshire and the way down was delightful.  We passed through Lilly and then onto Whitwell and The Maiden’s Head. This was a new venue for us and very homely it was too, there is a bar and a lounge and a very relaxed atmosphere, they were in the process of pulling down the Xmas decorations and happily fitted us in for lunch.  The lounge is more like someone’s front room with bits and bob’s everywhere, really living up to the name of Public House.

After lunch we retraced our steps back to Hatfield, which happened to be the quickest way.  The route looks a bit like a balloon, it was a good days ride and we covered 42 miles in all.