Over the Bank Holiday Weekend I joined in a long weekend trip organised by John Maxim to Tunbridge Wells. There were 5 on the trip the other 3 being Phil and Mary Turner and Richard Boulton from Arun Adur Section.
Weather was great being dry but cloudy on the Saturday and warm and unbroken sunshine on Sunday and Monday.
We met at Shoreham Airport Cafe on the Saturday and rode over on byroads just north of the Downs and the southern section of the Ashdown Forest. Elevenses was at Rushfield Garden Centre, Poynings, lunch at the Plough Plumpton Green and Tea at St Ives Farm, Hartfield (found at the end of a couple of long remote lanes and nearly giving up but worth it for the beautiful gardens)
Sunday dawned with clear blue skies and a full English breakfast all round. Tunbridge Wells is just over the border into Kent from East Sussex and the plan was to do a circular route further east into the Garden of England via Tenterton and Bewl Water Reservoir.
The morning started with a bit of culture as we headed first for the ruins of Bayham Abbey. We arrived at 10.00 and the abbey was closed till 11.00. We opened the gate with the No admittance sign which we didn't really notice and cycled up the long driveway. We got a good view of the Abbey ruins from the car park. There was a bit of time for photographs as Phil struggled to get the timer on his Camera to work.
Next we headed a mile up the road to Scotney Castle. We cycled slowly up the entrance driveway and I was looking down at my Camera at the crucial moment when everybody in front slowed to decide on route. I swerved but not in time and caught the edge of Phil and Mary’s Tandem and came off. Luckily no bones were broken but lots of gravel rash on arm shoulder and leg. No damage to bikes and even the camera escaped unscathed.
Lots of wet wipes were used and elevenses was switched to outside the Castle shop while I recovered. We headed on via a few more hills to the ridge at Goudhurst. John suggested I must be feeling better after I got up a few of the hills ahead of everybody else. We stopped for lunch at the Bull in Benenden beside the village green and Cricket pitch.
We decided to miss out Tenterden and John found some lanes and lots more hills before we stopped for tea at Bewl Water cafe at the visitor centre. Mileage for the day was 50.7.
Return on Monday was across the Ashdown Forest and a great elevenses stop at Heaven Farm south of Danehill. Then on to lunch at the Duke of York, Sayers Common and Tea at Wiston.