Clouds Hill -
Not What We'd Planned!

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  Southern Section diary

By Adrian Oldfield

On Sunday 10th April nine bikes met up at Loomies for a planned 10.30 ride out, which turned out to be anything but what we had planned. Fortunately by 10.30 things had warmed up considerably because when I got my bike out at home at 09.00, it was still only 1° C.
Loomies departure in the April sunshine
closed on Sunday due to staff shortages. This was unfortunate to say the least as we’d all paid in advance and booked our entry time slot. A pity we didn’t get more notice to give us time to plan an alternative, but, c’est la vie. Not to be beaten, we decided that we’d ride to our lunch stop in the New Forest and then make up our minds what to do in the afternoon.

Lunch was taken in the Sticky Bun Café in the Wolvercroft Garden Centre near Fordingbridge, where we sat outside in the sun and were joined by Mike and Lesley Smith in their car as they were temporarily sans bike.

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The Sticky Bun
The plan was to ride to Clouds Hill, the former home of Lawrence of Arabia, now owned and managed by the National Trust, but at 20.30 the previous evening I’d received a text message saying that Clouds Hill would be
During a very leisurely lunch and much chatter, we eventually discussed several ideas that were mooted for the afternoon, but as nothing was agreed we decided that each would do their own thing. I rode home making a detour through the New Forest and avoiding main roads as far as possible, so not what we expected, but as always, pleasant company, a nice ride out, lovely weather once it had warmed up, covering 170 miles by the time I got home. There are many worse ways to spend a Sunday!