Tour of Britain and start of holiday in Croyde Devon

View from Kop Hill
View from Kop Hill

The tour of Britain was passing through the area and I had the day off so I thought I would go and have a look. After consulting the maps for the route I figured Kop Hill, a category 2 climb, would be the best place to see them as they would be going slower on the ascent. I figured that parking spaces would be at a premium in the area so I needed to have a plan. Looking at the ap there is a parking area about a mile away on a parallel road with a foot path leading to the whiteleaf car park.

Before heading out for the race I had and appointment with Roman Britain. There was an open day on Bishops field where an archaeology dig has been going on before a new housing estate is inserted into the space. There is an obvious track way across the field where the ditches which bordered the road showed up darker. The road was part of the Icknield way. They had some interesting finds on top of the usual bits of pot and animal ones they found a skeleton of a woman and in another spot the skeleton of a small child. I met up with Helen and parents to have a look around, and gave them a lift home on may way to Kop Hill.

Tour of Britain Bike Race 2014 on Kop Hill Buckinghamshire
Tour of Britain Bike Race 2014 on Kop Hill Buckinghamshire

On the way to to my parking spot, i had to negotiate many cyclists down the narrow country lanes. The parking area was about two thirds full probably unusual for a week day, so others had probably had a similar idea. The foot path was a familiar as I have walked in the area quite a few times in the past. It took about 25 minutes to get over to the whiteleaf parking area and I was glad that I parked else where as the car park was overflowing on the road leading to it. A short walk following the crowds that were gathering got me to the top of Kop hill where I walked down a few hundred yards to get to the steepest section, whch would make getting photographs easier as the cyclists would be going a bit slower.

It was not long before we saw some action, marshals and police on motor bikes and the odd official car drove ast and everyone cheered them by. There was not much room on the road due to spectators and it was not yet closed to traffic s the odd car tried to negotiate us who were spilling on to the tarmac. Eventually the motor bikes and cars got more frequent then word went out that there was a break away 6 minutes ahead of the bunch, and they were not far off. As if on queue they then appeared hauling them selves up the steepest part of the hill, then some minutes later the buch appeared passed and then the stragglers trying to keep ahead of the broom wagon passed followed by all the team cars and it was all over and very everyone started to disperse. I walked back to the car headed home again negotiating cyclists on the way, my next job was to pack for our holiday week in Croyde Devon.

Sky team car
Sky team car

Fairly early start on Saturday we picked up Helen’s parents and the dog and got away on schedule at 10:00, destination, Clevedon and Tyntesfield National Trust, which was just past half way on the journey and beyond Bristol a pinch point for M4/M5 travellers. We made good time and the roads although fairly busy kept moving all the way until we turned off towards Tyntesfield. Helen and I had been to Tyntesfield before when we had the good fortune to be able to say the weekend in the house when R who works for the National TRust was house sitting to give the property manager a weekend break.

We arrived at the house from a different direction the last time we visited from above the house on the Farm side, where they had built a large parking area. The place was pretty familiar as I had previously been for a run around the grounds. We headed straight to the cafe for a coffee and to get a slot to look around the house, we managed to get a 13:00-14:00 entrance slot which suited us perfectly. After coffee Helen loked after the dog while went with her parents around the house. The house was exactly as I remembered it not much had been moved, and I even got to see the bedrooomwe had used those years ago.

I managed to get a few panorama sets one f the chapel which although needs some further processing came out well, despite the low light, people in the way and having to hand hold the shots. We found Helen outside the cafe, and we left the property at 14:30 which would get us to Croyde for a bout 17:00. The going was good n the motorway but we got stuck behind a few lorries on the single carriage road, with very few overtaking opportunities. We arrived at the house just before 17:00 the sat nav took us down some very small roads for the last couple of miles.

I cooked a really tasty minestrone soup for tea the recipe came from the Guardian saturday cook section. It was mirepoix with tomatoes, green beans, grated courgette,canneloni beans, and spinach stirred in at the end, it was a very hearty soup with not much stock. I will most likely do the soup when we are home and freeze it for eating during the week.

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