The Section Tour to Cholderton was supported by twenty cyclists, including Norman and Ruth from Leicestershire, who were invited by Graham Black. The first three days of the tour were blessed with fine weather, and under Dave Newman's able leadership we were able to enjoy an extensive exploration of the Salisbury plains. The cycling proved to be a welcome change from relentless Devon hills with its almost no flat bits, and we were all pleasantly surprised by the gently rolling hills around Cholderton and the vibrant Spring countryside. Many thanks to Dave who rekkied the terrain and managed the rides over the weekend.
Report by Anna Bryant:
Before putting my name down for the YH trip I made sure Sue was going , as I am past fast and furious cycling and Sue does not mind going my speed.
On Friday the whole group left the cars at Amesbury cycled to Salisbury, Larry offered to take the passengers direct to Colderton, he promised not to leave me behind, my maps were in the car!! He stayed behind me all the way, thanks Larry.
Saturday started with blue sky and we decided to head for Mottisford Abbey. We went the direct way to Stockbridge foe coffee, soo0n to be caught up by the main group.
We left them again and cycled the beautiful Test valley to Mottisford Abbey, where we could have spent all day. The grounds are vast, we concentrated on the house and the walled garden, where some of their collection of roses were flowering, but we were just a bit too early for the majority.
On the way back we took the advise a local gentleman and followed a different route then I had inked on my map. We went a bit back on ourselves and then followed the Wallop Brook to Broughton and Nether Wallop on very minor roads with no traffic and very pretty.
In Nether Wallop we looked at the 11th century church, luckily there were instructions how to open the door. It was very solid and heavy and without them we would have assumed the church was closed.
From there we followed a little lane parallel to an air field back to the road we had come in the morning but now we had about 8 miles with strong wind dead against us, a real struggle. We clocked 37 miles, more then I have done for some while.
On Sunday we decided to look for an arts and craft fair in a village hall we had seen yesterday advertised. After doing a little circle on yellow lanes and nearly getting mixed up in a sponsored cycle ride we arrived at the hall in Quarley and went straight for coffee and home-made cakes before having a look round .Sue bought a lovely leather bag.
Just to show willing to do some more miles we decided on another circle of lanes, but we did not get very far. We found an open day at the Project Workshop of artists and craft men, so we stopped and watched glass blower at work, saw an amazing array of paintings, furniture and sculptures, one of them being commissioned for a war memorial in Belgium. It showed all the steps of casting.
By the time we seen all of it, it was well passed lunchtime and although we had sandwiches, we returned to the village hall to the home made food and had a delicious salmon salad.
We cycled back home along a little ridge road with margins full of cow’s parley and brilliant views.
At the farm we spent over an hour looking at the rare breeds, especially been taken by the two day old goats.
All in all a very pleasant long week-end.
Thanks to Niccy and Dave for all their hard work.