Sunday, 26 October 2014


Fortunately for us cyclists, there are still lots of roads in the countryside mostly free from cars. These are byeways and lanes more likely to be used by farmers than speedy motorists. They offer huge varieties of landscapes and I enjoy discovering new places whether they are towns, villages, flat landscapes, rolling hills or moorland climbs. If my journey avoids supermarkets and giant DIY stores, it is half way to success. It is better still if I come across a friendly coffee shop in some unexpected location.

Such was my journey last week into Herefordshire and nudging into the Welsh borders. I took the train (more independent than a car) to Hereford where I met my cycling buddy, Andy and my map was The Hereford Cycle Map from Sustrans.

It was Autumn so the colours were stunning. The scenery contained a little of everything and our first lane took us to Leominster which we used as a base.

Known as Black and White Villages, there is an area of Herefordshire with timber framed houses so distinct that I yearn for more whenever I left one. The villages of Weobley and Eardisland were particularly beautiful.

Our longer day took us 25 miles to Knighton just inside Powis where the lanes took us over a few hills and alongside the River Teme. Turning left, there was a big climb up along NCN825.  This brought us up into mist but despite this there were huge views looking west towards the Cambrian Mountains and east from where we came. We continued through Presteigne to Titley where the byelanes took us on a gentle downhill alongside the River Arrow to home. The return journey from Knighton was 22 miles so made a good day's cycling. We found excellent coffee stops at Brampton Bryan and Knighton (and Weobley on the previous day).

We enjoyed this dramatic sky near to Leominster

And discovered this little gem nearby

How would I rate this ride? It is safe to say that I will be back