Sunday, 18 April 2010

Bradgate Park

Saturday we decided to forgo the usual shopping arrangements and go for a bike ride instead. The destination was the Deer Barn tea-shop in Bradgate Park in the rolling hills of the Charnwood forest, Leicestershire.

Our ride took us through the charming villages of South Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire - Plumtree, Keyworth, Wysall, the delightfully named Thorpe-in-the-Glebe (which sounds to me like something out of Jabberwocky), Wymeswold - where we stopped at a smart pub, 'The Windmill' for a reasonably priced lunch, Burton-on-the-Wolds, Barrow-on-Soar, Quorn and Woodhouse.

The ride from Wysall to Wymeswold was an olfactory experience. The road is small and quiet, and, apart from the odd agricultural building little housing. Along the way the air was filled with occasional pungent wafts of sweet and sickly silage, then fish smells, then warm, fresh manure and damp hay, fresh cut grass, then silage again. On the horizon appeared the wooded hills of the Charnwood forest.

A short distance after Quorn we stopped on the bridge crossing the GCR railway line to take a few photos of Quorn and Woodhouse station and any trains that might be passing.

After Quorn the journey became noticeably more hilly, but it was only a short distance from there to our destination. Here we enjoyed a slice of cake and a cup of tea by the Cropston reservoir at the Deer Barn cafe.

On the way home we called at Rothley station - another station on the GCR line and were lucky enough to see a couple of historic Diesels running.

Downhill for most of the way we had enough time to stop at Wysall for a pot of tea before the last leg back through Tollerton and home.