Tiverton to Bridgwater: through a green and pleasant land - Southwest England in April - CycleBlaze

April 21, 2014

Tiverton to Bridgwater: through a green and pleasant land

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550 metres (1800 feet) up, steepest uphill 14%, steepest downhill 18%


We were delighted to see blue skies this morning, and today's ride to Bridgwater turned out to be very pleasant, with many hills that were mostly rideable. Most of the route was on small lanes with nice views of the green countryside. There was a short stretch on an A-road before our lunch stop at the Licious Cafe in Wellington, the only town of any size..

While eating lunch we watched a very efficient traffic warden marching up and down the main street issuing parking tickets to most of the parked cars. She wore a vest with “Somerset Traffic Police” stenciled in large letters on the back. That's how we knew we had passed from Devon into Somerset county. Easter Monday is a statutory holiday, and we were surprised that parking wasn't free today. The waitress rolled her eyes and said that 30 minutes is the limit in this part of town and she and everyone she knew were always getting parking tickets.

Churches appear everywhere - even in seemingly out of the way places
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A quick rest stop with one of the few steep stretches of lane forking to the right ahead
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Fields with sheep (occasionally cows) commonly lined the route
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When there were no sheep, there were fields of yellow flowering canola and bales of hay
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We reached the Old Vicarage Hotel in Bridgwater at about 4:30 to find it locked up tight and no one around. There was a note on the door telling us to phone for any inquiries. Unfortunately we didn't have a mobile phone. We were about to go and look for a pay telephone, when a car drove up containing other guests who were kind enough to phone for us. The proprietor arrived fairly quickly and showed us to a nice room on the ground floor overlooking the garden. This was the first time we had had a room on the ground floor, making it much easier to haul our panniers inside. The main hotel building dates from the 14th century, but our room was in a newer annex.

We walked around the unprepossessing centre of Bridgwater and visited the 13th century Church of St. Mary before deciding on another Wetherspoons for dinner. Tonight we had chicken tika masala, okay, but not nearly as good as their dinner special yesterday in Tiverton.

Heading from the hotel in Bridgwater to the town centre a few blocks away
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It was pretty quiet in downtown Bridgwater on Easter Monday evening
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Another view of the centre of Bridgwater
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The steeple of the Church of St. Mary in the town centre
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Today's ride: 59 km (37 miles)
Total: 490 km (304 miles)

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