Barbury post-CV19 Picnic

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  Southern Section diary

Well, here we were in the middle of July. Club events had been decimated by the restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions were however, now beginning to be lifted and it was time to get the Club up and running. But how? Some cafes and attractions were opening but trading hours and admission numbers were still restricted, so we decided that a picnic would be the answer - weather permitting!

Gathering at Middle Wallop
Return to events....
After some time poring over maps, checking route times on TomTom, studying Google Earth, and riding to possible locations (such a chore!) Barbury Castle, on the Ridgeway, just south of Swindon, was the destination we chose.
At the time of planning, meeting numbers were limited to a maximum of six, so we decided to limit the rideout to twelve people in two groups of six.
So, eight bikes and 11 people gathered at the meeting point in Middle Wallop. Everybody was ready for a good day – the sun was shining and it felt good to be meeting with friends again. In the interim, Covid-19 restrictions had changed, now allowing up to 30 people to meet outside allowing us to travel together.
We took a wandering route with a variety of A and B roads to Tidworth, past the Army firing ranges at Bulford, and then meandering through Burbage to Hungerford. Taking  the B4192 to Aldbourne before following more unclassified roads to Barbury Castle. The route took us  through a mixture of quaint villages and open countryside, with some beautiful scenery and enjoyable riding. Despite farm traffic, horse boxes and Sunday drivers we all arrived at our destination together.
The large car park at Barbury Castle was very full, but we managed to find space for all the bikes and the picnic tables were unoccupied so we were able to settle down for our picnic and a good chinwag. Everyone agreed that it was good to be out on the road in a group and to be able to meet in person again.

The ride home took us on a fast and flowing route past the White Horse at Hackpen, and on to Marlborough, Devizes, and then back across Salisbury Plain, through Upavon to Romsey.
Scenery worth the research
Thanks to Erica, Godders, Paul & Marion, Wendy & Martin, Paul & Adrian for joining us and special thanks to Mike for being tail-end Charlie.
Life is a picnic
Kennet & Avon Canal, Hungerford
View from the picnic site
Returning over Salisbury Plain