Northleach – for a pleasant evening ride out (apart from that rain shower!) – 48 miles or so.

Decided to have a burble on KES this evening. Thought we’d do a run up the Fosse Way to Northleach and back via Burford and Lechlade.

Northleach was once an important wool town of the area standing just off the crossroads of the old Roman road, the Fosse Way. Its Church of St Peter & St Paul’s will prove this with its collection of memorial brasses. The town itself is very traditional in it’s appearance with honey coloured Cotswold stone in abundance.

This route also provided me with some great long sweeping bends and a mix of small single lane riding. Challenging in many ways as I’m trying to ride correctly whilst admiring the scenery which two activities are not necessarily compatible.

Leaving Cricklade, we used the A419 to the Cirencester junction with the A429 (Fosse Way).

Turning right at the roundabout, then straight over at the next, and taking the left at the lights, we started a nice ride on the Fosse Way. Being a Roman road, this was nice and straight for the most part with some hidden dips – so be careful when overtaking. 9 miles later, we turned right at lights into Northleach.

This was my first time in Northleach and I can’t understand why I have never been here before. I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty Northleach was. The high street turned into a typical Cotswold main square. So much so I think I will have to bring the other Gentlemen Bikers here, Richard W and Richard G, very soon for a cuppa tea when we are en-route on one of our longer rides together.

Burbling through Northleach and following signs to Aldsworth, this turned into a “follow your nose” trip as the signs were not always obvious to me anyway. Luckily, following signs for Burford got us to Aldsworth, and then meandering through some little country lanes we ended up on the right road.

At the top of Burford, unfortunately we didn’t go through this pretty Cotsowld town, turned right to take the road to Lechlade. En-route we passed one of my favourite places, Cotswold Wildlife Park – I’ve been coming here since we moved to the area back in 1974! I now bring my children here at least once a year – whether they like it or not.

Then from Lechlade we headed towards Fairford along a nice road, then turned right at the petrol station along one of my least favourite local roads, due to its condition which is a shame as it passes through some very pleasant villages, to the A419 for a short stretch back to Cricklade.

All in all a rather nice evening jaunt with KES.

The route I used – Cricklade, Northleach, Aldsworth, Burford, Lechlade, Kempsford, Cricklade. There is plenty of opportunity to “go wrong” on this route so unless you are short of time, allow yourself to “go wrong” and take some side roads or lanes – just to see what is down there.

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