Cycling on holiday enables you to find interesting places which are not necessarily in the guide books. Our approach to bromptoneering is exactly that find a route and cycle it… if there is a major tourist attraction, we might stop to take a photo, if I’m lucky. But this approach also enables us to stop the moment we see something interesting. In Oxford it was the below sign which stopped us in our tracks.
It had all the right elements to attract Kym – “bakes here daily”, and good font. Kym managed to snaffle the last apple and custard buns (yeah us!) and they had filtered coffee (rare to find).
We later learnt the bread was made from stone ground flour milled locally. They make their own jams, as well as sourcing items they use from local producers. The taste was fabulous. We enjoyed the buns and had a great chat with the owner Hugo who was passionate about using local sources and their products. He suggested we return the next day for breakfast.. to try their bread as we would not regret it.
The next day… yes we returned..! Ah the smell of a bakery is fabulous in a morning.
We enjoyed a shared breakfast and a cardamon bun, and a cinnamon bun – delightful! We even bought a jar of their jam (let’s hope it makes it home). If we lived here we would be regulars.
If you find yourself in Oxford (thurs-sun) do your stomach a favour hop on bus (if you don’t have a bike) and go there… you will be happy!
It’s cold here in Birmingham. – just in case you are sitting in sunny Australia and thinking you are not looking forward to summer.
Well here in England, I would not be looking forward to winter. Thankfully I’m only here for another week.
Yesterday at this time it was a warm 2 degrees – and the wind is cold! While it is cold – at least it’s not raining. To stay warm while cycling yesterday I was wearing seven layers of clothing – and two of the shirts were heatech clothing (Japanese brand of thermal, I should of pack the ‘extra warm’ shirt), a puffy vest (the down was obtained responsibly), and a jacket. I understand now why Europeans have very warm jackets and wear tshirts underneath. Clearly I’m not used to living in this climate!
Taking advantage of the good weather, and in search of old historic houses we decided on the final destination to be Burton Agnes Hall. However, to get to the start required a train trip. Please ask Kym about transport costs, it will be a rewarding conversation.
Why Burton Agnes Hall?
It’s an old Elizabethan stately home (constructed 1598-1610)
filled with variety of tapestries, art and ceramics
English garden and woodland (although end of season)
Good pub stop on the route.
Starting out at Driffield, had us going through the centre of the town. It was also market day – so we had a look around the stalls which comprised of bread, pork pies, tarts, olives, Turkish delight, cheap clothes, shoes, toys, concrete garden objects and plants.
Getting out of Driffield was pretty simple (oh … love small towns), and we were soon on the country roads. Surprisingly we did encounter traffic lights near roads works and building development on the edge of town.
The country roads are truely a pleasure to cycle. They may be one lane in both directions, but the drivers so far have been respectful. Once you get even further out from the little towns the roads are really only wide enough for one and a half cars. The below picture is a prime example. There were hardly any cars, and the most traffic we encounter on this day one these types of roads were two cars, a tractor, a couple of cyclists.
As you expected Kym had found the perfect stop for lunch at St Quintins Arms – menu below.
While the menu looked good – we both went for the lamb specials (apologies non meat eaters – on the bright side these people knew how they were looked after, where they came from etc). The taste was incredible, and match with sitting outside we were not disappointed by the entire experience at this place. If you are in Yorkshire – GO HERE.
While we enjoyed sitting outside we had to get going… back on the bike to the hall.
Railway Crossings Yorkshire Style
Along the route there were two occasions where we had to cross railway tracks through gates. These required checking to ensure no train was coming before going across the tracks. We were saying “I bet they hardly ever get used… “ when we crossed we saw lights down the track.. just to prove us wrong. These are only used by locals based on the signage.
Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens
In addition to the house, there is also an old church and and Norman building (at least I think that is what it was). The art works are of a broad range, as the family collects art and fine furniture. They even commissioned famous English tapestry designer Kaffe Fasset (yes Vivienne!) do create an original for their house >> see below.
The grounds are large and have a walled vegetable section – with maze. We only got lost once. In addition there is a children’s outside playground and woodland correct with wooden carvings. Like many of these places you can also grab a bite to eat and purchase plants. We had a quick food stop before catching the bus home – yeah for folding bikes! After 4pm it gets cold quickly and its best to be on the way home.
Today’s bike storage is pretty good – standard luggage storage – with carpet!
Our plan on this fine day is to cycle from Driffield (where we ended on day 1) to Burton Agnes Hall via a pub for lunch. Weather is due to be a lovely blue sky day of 15 degrees. Here is to a good ride – will let you know!