Oxford Cathedral – SW Day 1

Had a great 120 mile ride today on first stage of my SW route!

Weather was lovely and warm and sunny a lot of the time, but not so much that I melted. 

Was pretty pleased with the route I picked which took me out from Oakham towards Market Harborough and then veered off through Foxton…

  
I then headed south to the west of Northampton via Naseby (and the various battle views) and Creaton with some lovely views of Hollowell Reservoir…

 
I had a quick rest on the green – with a bench aptly engraved with the words ‘Travellers Rest’ – of a quaint village called Gayton. A friendly cyclist called Rob Bedford rode up and then joined me for a few miles into Towcester…
   
    
 
After a spot of lunch I headed off taking in some gorgeous countryside, especially south of Silverstone around the Stowe area and then eventually over the M40 into Oxford….

   
   
 
Oxford is a beautiful city and it was uber busy with tourists, but I have to say that my visit to the cathedral was the most disappointing so far. 

Oxford Cathedral, or rather Christ Church is nestled within the grounds of Christ Church College. What I didn’t realise until I rolled up after 90 miles of cycling is that they close to the public between 4pm and 6pm and don’t allow you to enter the college, where the cathedral is…!

I can understand this, as the gates were awash with tourists wanting to see the ‘Harry Potter bits’ (as I overheard someone saying!). I guess it’s my fault for not checking properly, but usually you can stand in front of a cathedral without issue, so I hadn’t foreseen a problem.  

Anyway…… I settled for a pic from the Botanical Gardens with the cathedral in the background, kindly taken by a very enthusiastic Chinese photographer, and then headed for a coffee at Cafe Loco across the street….

   

   
It was about 5.30pm, so I decided to push on for another 30 miles across the Wessex Downs into Hungerford for the night….

 
 
I’m heading to Salisbury Cathedral in the morning where I’m meeting an old mate who is going to join me on a ride to Dorchester where he’s kindly putting me up for the night. 

The weather forecast is mega, so I’m really looking forward to the riding tomoz!

:-))))

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