As I surveyed the swimming pool, crazy golf, bowling alley and playground, I wondered if cycling this time would be an optional pursuit for the 23 children and young adults who were brought by their parents for a tour of the Cotswolds. In reality it wasn't, but the thought of a heated indoor pool with flume made getting home just a little bit quicker.
Saturday brought a trip to the Cotswolds east of Cirencester, past the airfield at Fairford and onto a teastop at Lechlade. Heading north we passed through the delightful countryside through Southrop to the picture postcard views of Eastleach Turville. Like little sniffer dogs the children found the playground allowing some of the adults to snooze in the sun. Onto Bibury where some of us snuck away for a cream tea at the Bibury Manor Hotel - fabulous.
Sunday took us north and west to Tetbury, once again in sunshine. It was apparent that families were cycling at different paces today, so we split into three groups. After Tetbury (Charles and Camilla's local town) we split into 3, I took a group for a 40 mile (total, not additional!) ride via Westonbirt to Tetbury, Tony took a group via the Cat and Custard pot pub for 34 miles and another group returned to the site direct. There really is no obligation to cycle the whole route. At Malmesbury we picniced at the abbey and tried to see just how many children we could squeeze into the old stone coffin outside the front. It was a speedy return to the site and another trip to the pool.
Monday meant pack up early by 1000 followed by a ride to Siddington. Another playground and teastop after which we took route 45 along the old railway path which was wonderful as we passed lakes either side with New England style clappboard houses along their banks.
The weather was grand, the terrain was kind and it's time now to think of next year. Herefordshire??