Wetherby – Beningbrough, Saturday 8th August 2022, 45 miles

Five Wheelers joined today’s ride: Pete C, Fred, Glyn, Bob L and me, Mark. It was a lovely sunny morning with a moderate breeze and no rain forecast for the foreseeable future.

The destination was Beningbrough, specifically the Home Farm Cafe, which is relatively infrequently visited by the Wheelers as it isn’t really on the way to anywhere. The route out was very familiar: up through Kirk Deighton, right through Cowthorpe and then left in Tockwith. The roads were quiet and the wind was at our backs so good progress was made. From Tockwith we crossed the bridge at Cattal, with only a slight delay at the lights, and rode north, crossing the railway and the A59 to Whixley. A right at the cricket club took us past Queen Ethelburga’s and the attractive church at Little Ouseburn before our arrival at the Aldwark bridge over the Ouse. At this point, Beningbrough is signed to the right but we turned left to take a loop up through Aldwark village and Tollerton to enter the grounds of Beningbrough Hall from the north. Unfortunately, the single-track road for the last couple of miles was the busiest road we encountered but otherwise the “extra” miles passed nicely.

The farm shop cafe was surprisingly quiet and we chose to sit outside despite being warned about the dangers of the local wasp population. Coffee and hot chocolate were the preferred beverages, with a selection of snacks. Bob risked being mobbed by the wasps by ordering jam with his tea cake; Glyn played safe by choosing a cheese scone instead. The conversation meandered around football, border controls and hot chocolate makers. Plus an amusing incident at the Bradford City match which I’ve since viewed (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh-dWF9nPw8), showing childish cheating getting appropriate treatment.

Suitably refreshed, we headed back, taking the tiny empty road into Newton-on-Ouse instead of riding against the one-way system on the entry road to the Hall. From here we passed through Linton and back onto our outward route. Crossing the A59 was the only obstacle, which had become very busy. The A1 was at a standstill when I crossed it later, which may have been related. Fred left us at Tockwith and the rest of us split in Boston Spa, having covered about 45 very pleasant miles at a nice pace.