The historic market town of Tewkesbury, situated in Gloucestershire, at the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon, was the destination for our Autumn weekend. With it's magnificent Abbey, Medieval and Tudor buildings, it made a perfect base for rides out to neighbouring Worcester and the Malverns. It was also the site of The Battle of Tewkesbury, which took place on 4 May 1471, one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses. Rather apt as our weekly rides often straddle the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.
With riders arriving at various times on the Thursday and Friday, our first ride was a short afternoon trip to Upton-upon-Severn. The route we had in mind was to head out via Twyning, except we had to revise our plans when the road suddenly stopped at the River Severn, with no means of crossing. We detoured via Bredon, Eckington and Defford before dropping down into Upton-upon-Severn, briefly stopping at the Marina, and a drink at the Kings Head on the banks of the Severn.
One of our members is participating in the British Cycle Quest (BCQ), where six clues are located in each county in the UK, so we used this as a basis for a longer ride on Saturday. Heading out via Upton-upon-Severn again, but carrying on into the Malvern Hils, past several fields full of camper vans attending 'Busfest 2019' the worlds largest VW Transporter festival which was occurring the same weekend.
Climbing up to Little Malvern we stopped at the British Camp, the location for our first clue. The site was also the location of an Iron Age Hill Fort, The original earthworks constructed between 700BC and 200BC, and still visible as a series of large grassy defensive banks and ditches.
Continuing around Little Malvern we dropped down to Great Malvern, and then on to Worcester for our second clue of the day, and lunch outside the the Guildhall.
Leaving Worcester, we passed through Pershore and on to Evesham for our final clue near the stocks, before returning to Tewkesbury for the evening.
Again using the BCQ clues to plan our route, Sunday's ride was to Mitcheldean. We couldn't find a cafe stop in Mitcheldean, so had a picnic lunch opposite the Parish Church, which was also the site for our first clue.
Newent was our final clue stop, which proved difficult to find, until we discovered the required blue plaque buried in the undergrowth.
After tea and toasted teacakes at a local cafe, we again made our way back to Tewkesbury.
The plan for Monday, was a ride out to Ledbury to see the historic Corn Market, but it was a wet morning, so we delayed our start with a look around the fabulous Tewkesbury Abbey. It still wasn't showing any signs of drying up, so, as there were only four of us, we jumped in the car and drove out instead.
On our return, it was mostly dry, so we had a walk along the Severn, and around the 'Severn Ham'. It was quite nice to actually see the place we were visiting, as usually it's just a base for our rides out.