Witheridge - The seventh step - London to Edinburgh via Land's End and John o'Groats - CycleBlaze

June 6, 2019


It was pretty cold this morning but there was hardly a cloud in the sky.  It was great to be able to wake up to a dry morning and enjoy the forest in which we had camp.  But sure enough, the weather closed in as the morning went on although the sun did break out quite often.  This has been the pattern over the last while.  Fortunately we only had one short shower about ten kilometers from our final destination for the day.

The ride started off with a nice bit of cycle path on an old railway line before climbing up to the village Highhampton and then climbed a bit more.  After that we had a great downhill run to the town of Hatherleigh, the first of the Leighs for the day.  At this point we hit a stiff climb up to a lovely  high point where looking southwards the Dartmoors where in clear view.

The view over the Dartmoor. We stopped just a bit further on to enjoy a second breakfast of bread and jam.
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This plinth was near where we viewed the Dartmoor.
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The plinth was raised by the brother of someone who had died in the Crimean War.
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This wasn't the highest point though.  We seemed to spend most of the day climbing and very little of it descending.  Some of the climbs were awfully steep but most were ridable.  In particular the last fifteen kilometers or so to Witheridge was a pleasant gently climb although it was preceded by the toughest climb of the day, much of which I walked.

The bridge over the River Taw. A few kilometers after this we started the stiffest climb of the day.
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On the way we seemed to pass through an inordinate number of villages with "Leigh" in their names starting with Hatherleigh and carrying on to Winkleigh, Leigh Cross, Chawleigh, Chulmleigh etc.  It would be interesting to know of the import of the word.  We spent a while in Winkleigh buying groceries and lunch and deciding where to spend the night.  It seemed like ages before we got going and we finally left at about two thirty heading for the village of Witheridge about twenty five kilometers away.

Lots of stuff about Leigh.
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She's trying to wink.
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Once at Witheridge we dropped down into the town to buy some beer and snacks for the evening before heading out to a campsite a few kilometers out of town.  When we got there we got news they had closed for the week to prepare for a wedding on the weekend but thankfully allowed to camp.  It has got pretty cold and tomorrow is forecast to be a bit of a rotter.  In fact, one of the tabloids had described this week as having weather from hell, although that seems a bit over the top to me.  Hopefully it will improve in the new week.

Today's ride: 50 km (31 miles)
Total: 712 km (442 miles)

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