Ladywell Downe and Fickleshole

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Nine of us at Ladywell Fields cafe – only just opening as we leave, so no opportunity for a quick coffee. Beautiful sunny day and few cars as we cruised to Hayes via Bellingham and the lovely section of Greenway along the Ravensbourne River. Soon out into the country the main ‘traffic’ being returning early rising club cyclists. Steady climbing up to Downe and a well deserved stop for teas in Xmas Tree farm where the excessively feathery chickens attracted much interest! Onward through Cudham with its fearsome incline,  then gentle climbing to the crest of the North Downs at the South end of Beddlestead Lane with terrific views of Canary Wharf and the City, accompanied by some very tasty cherry and lemon cake courtesy of Jane. Heading North now we were soon at the White Bear in Fickleshole which has a big bike friendly garden with plenty of tables and terrific pizzas! National Cycle Network Route 21 conveniently passes the pub, so this was to be the route home. Showing its idiosyncratic side with a muddy off-road section to start, then a wiggly route through New Addington (strangely uninviting) it wasn’t long before we were in the typical South London suburbs of Shirley. Next came the picturesque South Norwood Country Park, then easy riding alongside the pretty Pool and Ravensbourne rivers back to Ladywell. Thanks to all for making it a great day.

Tim C.