I had an enjoyable ride yesterday afternoon.  I rode out towards Earls Barton and met up with friends Cyril and Nigel for an afternoon ride.  It was a pretty hot day with temperatures touching 30C at times.

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We rode out through Cogenhoe and Great Houghton, both with pretty stiff climbs in them and then on from Great Houghton and cross country to Blisworth we then joined the road that goes over the top of the  Blisworth Tunnel and past one of the ‘breather holes’ and then round to Stoke Bruerne at the other end of the tunnel.   We headed for the cafe at the locks there and found ourselves a seat despite the amount of people milling around there as it is school holiday time. The attraction being the waterborne activity, boat trips an old pub, a cafe and the waterways museum all very popular on a sunny afternoon.

Stoke Bruerne top lock - Grand Union Canal

Stoke Bruerne Canal Lock Gates

We consumed a couple of cups of tea and had bit of banter among ourselves before heading off again to our next stop at Castle Ashby.

This route took us past Salcey Forest and another possible cafe stop but we resisted that one.  On arrival at Castle Ashby courtyard cafe a charming and friendly young waitress came to take our order and she also volunteered to bring us a big jug of iced water and three glasses to cool us down while we waited which was gratefully accepted on a hot afternoon.  Lots of bonus points for that gesture !!

After this second refreshment break we head in our different directions, Cyril and Nigel to Wellingborough and me back home to Olney.  Thus ended a pleasant ride on a pleasant day with good company.

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