76 miles to Milton Keynes was too far for comfort so we split the journey. We passed the windmill at Great Bardfield, even that couldn’t escape the monarchy mania of the jubilee weekend and was dressed with a union jack like much of East Anglia. We reached Bicicletta cafe at noon, lots of cyclists sitting at the benches outside.We had vegan falafel toasties, coffee and cake then crossed the road to Waitrose for evening food since tonight’s accommodation was outside a town.
A long and very bumpy road took us to the A505 which we crossed. Traffic was very light on the unclassified roads, pleasant cycling with open views across the countryside and quite warm when the sun was out. After thirty miles we reached the corner with the elephant house and retraced our outward route through the Wimpole Estate and Sandy until breaking off to access Moggerhanger Park.
Moggerhanger House is a Grade 1 listed house designed by Sir John Soane in 1792 as the country home of the Governor of the Bank of England, Godfrey Thornton and set in a 33 acre park. The house is open to the public only on open days, normally you have to stay here and it was a privilege to be able to wander freely through the house and garden in the evening and we had them almost to ourselves.
All the basics were perfect: comfortable bed, good shower, no external noise, safe overnight storage for our bikes and friendly helpful staff. The house was the real star, so many country houses that become hotels are excessively renovated to luxury standard and lose their character in the process, I hope the current work doesn’t spoil this one.
81.6 km (51 miles), 758 m of ascent