Tattershall - Eastern England - CycleBlaze

May 18, 2018


camping at The Lakes Park for two nights

A tussle with jet-lag is fought and lost for a few days and nights and during one of these days I get Dave’s GT mountain bike set up to suit me better by changing the handlebars for some which offer a slightly higher hand position. A pair of old SPDs get put on that, along with bits and bobs and some cycling clothing, have been stashed away in a box since my last UK trip. A Cannondale bar-bag and a vintage saddlebag both get attached while my waterproof panniers simply clip on the rear rack. I'm all set.

Dave's GT that he's letting me borrow
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My daughter’s house is about 15km away and I ride there to see how it feels. The frame is too small, but it’ll do. We're off camping on Friday.

It’s a bit late when I set off because I've had a few things to post that got sold on eBay, but as the camp site is only about 30km away my guess is it's likely an easy two-hour-ish ride over flat countryside to get there - this part of Lincolnshire is similar to Holland: there are few hills and it's rural. 

From Dave's house it's just a case of cruising down to the B 1190 that goes southeast and following it for a handful of miles to a junction that has an abandoned pub and small group of houses collectively named Potterhanworth Booths. The sun is quite low when I get there and it’s already gone five. 

The sky has been blue all day, but now it’s overcast. Google Maps show a track which goes directly east and I find its start, but the thing has tall grass growing along it and it’s impossible to ride. My bike gets pushed and this pushing and struggling lasts for a couple of kilometers and time is wasted before I get to a farm track and head past the wonderfully named place of Wasps Nest.

Then I get lost.

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A grassy path takes me past a farm house and I carry the bike over a wooden stile and ride through a herd of a dozen cows that moo and stare and inquisitively follow me a locked wooden gate. Once my bike is over, it's a case of repeating the same action at a second gate before bouncing along a bumpy dirt track, not knowing where it's actually heading. 

My compass tells me east-ish and two frustrating hours have passed, but there’s still some way to go. My daughter will be wondering where I am. 

The track is so rough that I walk for a while, with large puddles here and there and it seems this is the middle of nowhere, until eventually a remote house appears and a Range Rover drives towards me. The woman at the wheel tells me I’m going the wrong way for the village of Martin, but at least I figure out my location and soon get to a road and head to Kirkstead, where a lane runs beside a river.

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There's no one about as the single track lane winds along beside the water for around 7km before I get to a bridge near Tattershall, where after going left and riding up the A 153 for a while, the campsite's entrance appears. 

It’s really a caravan park and there are hundreds of the things positioned in curving rows and it proves to be hard work finding the park's reception center. When I do, the woman there can’t tell me the location of my daughter’s tent, so I sit and wait for some information as the clock ticks towards nine, which is when the adjacent restaurant will stop serving food. I'm famished.

Frustrated, I eventually set off for a pub back on the A 153, close to the entrance, and as luck would have it I pass Ruby on the way. She’s out looking for me. Her tent is nearby.

A curry and a pint of IPA go down well, as does some crumble for pudding. Back at Ruby's huge tent there are chairs and camping stuff, but my sleeping bag isn't really up to the cool temperature and I'm chilled at 3:00, making it hard to get a decent sleep. The jet-lag doesn't help and it'll be nice to have a rest day tomorrow before riding to Boston, on the Lincolnshire coast.

In the morning of Day 2
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Today's ride: 35 km (22 miles)
Total: 35 km (22 miles)

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