Posted on Thursday 18 May 2017 by Charles Harvey
I’m not much of a gardener but when I am looking for ideas on rides to lead in the summer the first place I look is the National Gardens Scheme website. This guarantees an attractive destination and a good variety of cakes.
For once Network Rail failed to disrupt the ride and, to my surprise, all the riders arrived on the expected train. As the garden did not open until 14.00 we could afford to take our time. We set off for elevenses at Charlie’s in Wheathampstead and then went on to lunch at Emily’s at Whitwell, both well-known cyclists’ watering holes. At Emily’s we met up with three members of Barnet Cyclists also heading for the gardens.
St Paul’s Walden Bury, our destination, was the childhood home of the Queen Mother and is still in hands of the Bowes Lyon family. The grounds are bigger and shaggier than some of the gardens I’ve visited. The efforts of the gardeners have gone into producing fine vistas rather than manicured flower beds.
We rode back through attractive small roads past Easthall Farm, Rustling End, Crouch Green, Kimpton Mill, Ayot St Lawrence and Wheathampstead before returning to St Albans.