The city of Nice seen from the surrounding hillside bathed in sunshine

Home Travel StoriesFarewell to England Tour 2021

Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 9 (And Some 8)

Ride Date 26 August 2021

By Rev. Mick!

I have enjoyed a pleasant evening with my great buddy Steve in Twickenham. One of those night's where ideas for trips to come mixed freely with adventures past over good food and wine. I caught the train back to Bath, I do love travelling by train. After a long time living in Ireland I am surprised just how good the service is nowadays.

Then on to my sister's where my brake shoes are waiting. They are fitted in the afternoon as well as general maintenance, chain adjustment, tightening things up, lubrication, checking and faffing about. Then off to the pub quiz to help shore up the honour of the family name. We came second, I felt the music round justified my selection.

Anyway next day up for early start for a trip of to Archer's Country up near Astwood Bank, reputedly where the long running radio agri-soap is set. Or maybe they just tell you that at every rural English village.

However the fates had conspired to make the set off from my sister's a challenge.

A works lorry and parked cars block the road as work continues in Bath

My sister lives in a very steep cul de sac and on this day the Electricity people were running power across the road to someone's shed. I waited as patiently as any man in full touring rain suit standing on a very steep slope in motorcycle boots while being anxious and nervous to be off on my way - can. My sister put up with it for a bit then getting fed up with me said "there's an over grown little footpath at the bottom of the hill, there's only a few steeps at the start".

So it was that the day started with half a mile of deep jungle off roading.

narrow gravel stairs, fence panels and an overgrown lane is the only escape route
weeds and foliage overgrow on the narrow footpath that mick is riding to get out of the lane

I did meet a man half way along who leapt into the bushes at the sight of me on my fully loaded cub.

From here I made my way back to the road and then up to Bath Race Course. From here I rode through some lovely countryside to pick up the A46. While not a B road it is fairly quiet and runs along the spine of the Cotswolds into Stroud. For those who do not know it there are big open views across the top of the Cotswolds. 

Golden big fat round hay bales on the dried grass of a field in Gloucestershire
A sign says Welcome To Gloucestershire by the road in the countryside on a sunny day

We are now into the countryside of my early drinking and early motorcycling adventures. In the town of Stroud I pick up the B4070 and follow this towards Cranham, which is important to me. On the way I call into Painswick, site of many a teen youth club disco and wild drinking sessions.

The pointy spired church and manicured lawns in Painswick

Finally using tiny lanes I drop down into the village of Cranham. The Black Horse here was one of our teenage centres of operations. In fact I could ride the whole 6 miles back to my house on a motorcycle with only about 100m on the road.

The pub in Cranham, a pretty stone built building in the sunshine

The Cub parked up I had a lovely lunch in what is still one of the cutest country pubs I know. This was the centre of so many teenage adventures. Before long I move on again to Coopers Hill, the site of the annual cheese roll, the biggest day in Brockworth's calendar. 

From the top of a steep hill we look down the hill and across the vast plane with a town

Then past Brockworth, where I used to live and on into Cheltenham. From here I start working my way up the flat Severn valley to Pershore. I remember many of these little lanes from the days we would move up and down the river looking for good fishing spots.

Pershore is a quaint little town on the river in Worcestershire. I think each week Toyah Wilcox and her hubby Robert Fripp (former King Crimson Guitarist) produce an odd ball video from this very town. I however sat in the lovely town square eating a punnet of fresh Worcestershire cherries and a cup of tea.

Then up the tiny lanes through Pinvin, North Piddle, Stock Green, Feckenham and finally Hunt End, to the former needle mill cottage where my college buddy Phil and his wife Jane live. It is great to see them again. The last time I saw them we were on top of The Long Myndd. This is truly lovely Worcestershire river valley countryside, all lovely small lanes, many orchards and even some cider farms. All in all a glorious sunny day. 

Nice food and fine real ale see us late into the evening.


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Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 1 Mick's first day is a simple affair. Load up the Innova, head out and ride.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 2 Rev.Mick! sums up his arrival back into Wales.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 3 Mick is having a ride out with a friend, into the wilderness of Bristol. Can a vintage Velocette and a 125 complete the epic crossing of the Severn River?
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 4 Mick receives the soaking of a lifetime before finding the wondrous beauty of Dorset. Beyond that he could tell you but he'd have to kill you.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 5 Mick finds his way around Dorset using every back road he can find. For himself and the Innova this is a perfect match made in heaven.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 6 (And 7 And 8) Mick is having one of "those" days as his tour of south west England continues. Not to worry, there's still much to see and think about before reaching the haven of family.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 9 (And Some 8) After trains and repairs Rev. Mick! is back on two wheels. He seems to be having a fabulous time returning to the haunts of his youth.
Farewell to England Tour 2021 - Day 10 (And 11) It looks as though Armageddon is on Rev. Mick!'s horizon and yet another fine day is to be found on the UK's roads. When you're touring Innova style there's nothing can stop you.

Reader's Comments

Ian Soady┬╣ said :-
Glad you enjoyed our Worcestershire countryside Mick. Astwood Bank is but a couple of miles from me. There's a lovely ridge top road going south from there that picks up Icknield Street for a swoop down to Saintbury and hence to Stow and points south.
13/10/2021 11:06:53 UTC

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