June 2nd – A visit to Draycott is always a good opportunity to do Marchington, Woodroffes and the Needwood Valley through Newborough and Hoar Cross. This time I returned through Rowley Park, the Ridwares and Armitage, which made a change.
At Marchington, the frankly ugly 1740 church is still a remarkable piece of architecture, complete with the curious, over-door war memorial. The church at Woodroffes is also still beautiful, sat in splendid isolation under Marchington Cliff.
The ride ended with a spectacular sunset enjoyed on the old Hit Bridge at Armitage.
Another 50 miler, and a great weekend’s riding.
June 17th – From Amerton, I went for a long afternoon and evening ride around old haunts; Drointon, Blithfield, Newborough, Hoar Cross, Woodmill. A lovely ride, gorgeous golden hour on one of the warmest, most beautiful days of the year.
Newborough’s elegant, Francophile church is one of the finest in the UK, and certainly gives Staffordshire’s other gem, Clifton Campville a run for it’s money.
So sad to see the Meynell Ingram pub at Hoar Cross is still closed. That could be such a good pub in the right hands.
May 22nd – Another good riding day, but I was a bit tired, and didn’t go as far as I’d hoped, topping out at 55 miles. The sun was lovely, but a sudden gusty wind between about 2:30 and 3:30 was puzzling and difficult. I went up around Blithfield Reservoir, called into Abbots Bromley for tea and remarkable cake, then up to Newborough and back through the Needwood Valley.
The stunning work of Oldrid Scott on that amazing church never ceases to amaze.
The views and hedgerows are beautiful right now – but does anyone know what the pink-flowered tree is? It’s like a horse chestnut tree, but different. It’s absolutely lovely.
September 11th – Then there was Staffordshire itself: just trying on it’s autumn coat, it was beautifully languid, with surprisingly vivid colour. The church at Newborough remains stunning, but oh, how red were those apples?
A great 60 miler on quiet roads and backlanes it what must surely be this summer’s last breath.
June 14th – I wanted to visit Newborough to see that elegant, French-inspired Church I’d photographed across the valley the week before. This time, I went from Lichfield, up the east side of the Trent to Walton, over to Barton, and on to Tutbury. From there, Fauld, Draycott and Newborough, before returning via Far Hoar Cross, Woodmill, Yoxall and Lichfield. About 55 miles in all.
There was a punishing headwind on the way to Tutbury, but having the wind behind me on the way back was a boon.
The church with that remarkable needle spire – All Saints – was by Oldrid Scott in 1901, and stands on the site of an old pub. It’s a remarkable building. Striking, imposing, and probably the most expressive of Scott’s churches.
It’s nice to see that Newborough – in the floor of a beautiful, quiet valley – is still busy enough to retain a pub and tea shop. It’s a lovely, virtually unknown village.
Stafforshire is a remarkable county.