After a leisurely breakfast we said our goodbyes, pushed the bikes up the steep busy hill out of town and northwards. It was easy cycling from there, the gradients were moderate and the gentle breeze behind us.
We passed an old stone toll house and picture postcard villages of neat gardens and houses of Cotswold stone, arriving in Malmesbury to picnic in the Abbey grounds. From there it wasn’t far to Cirencester, reaching the YHA hostel a few minutes before we could check in. The original plan incorporated several but the others were closed or available only for exclusive use because of the virus. The self catering kitchen was open so we shopped at the adjacent Tesco and cooked.
The hostel is in the former Cirencester brewery building and has been recently fitted out. We had a double ensuite room but with a porthole window which didn’t open. The room was very small and very warm. The manager gave us a fan which made a slight improvement. We toured the town, by which time it was dark and noticed that other rooms had opening windows. All the other rooms had been allocated so we couldn’t change, atrocious design for what was effectively a new build.
Today’s distance: 36.1 miles (58.1 km)
Today’s ascent: 511 metres
Cumulative: 301.4 miles (485.3 km), 6158 metres