March 15

Dorstone to Craven Arms 57km

Wet drizzle welcomed us this morning. Feeling weary after our long ride yesterday we ate a leisurely breakfast discussing horses, boats and school exclusions with our energetic Polish hostess.

The weather forecast was promising so we knew the rain would soon be over. The first task was to climb over the hilly ridge to the River Wye.

With a gradient of 25% we walked up the hill. Slowly.

The terrain after then was fairly flat for a few hours and the rain disappeared. We were in Herefordshire, a place of mistletoe. We saw lots of it. At this time of the year when there are no leaves on the trees the distinctive round growths are obvious.

We passed orchards, some well maintained and some in ruins.

Travelling at a graceful bike speed you have time to see the country houses, timbered cottages and village greens. There is a huge range of architectural styles. These two were next to each other and display the differing tastes that abound

Which colour scheme do you prefer?

Sometimes we encountered unanswerable questions. Just how do they trim this? It is huge.

We reached Craven Arms at the end of the afternoon. The notable fact about Craven Arms is that it’s railway station is a 28 minute train journey from where I live. The weather forecast for tomorrow is for wind and heavy rain. The overall plan includes a rest day at home to plan the next part of the journey.

The question facing us was whether to nip back home on the train and spend a rest day indoors away from the wind and rain or stay in Craven Arms and cycle to my house tomorrow.

What would you do?