September 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm #15187
Battle of the twins! Ducati and BMW basking in the imperious shadow of the magnificent Ludlow Castle
Just Thumper and me headed out for the ride today and what a peach of a day we enjoyed…good weather, stunning scenery and backdrops, great architecture all around us and two cracking bikes to enjoy them all on. The best day I have enjoyed on the bike since getting back from the Pyrenees in July without a doubt.
We set out from Kidderminster on one of my standard, but nonetheless enjoyable routes as we headed out past Bewdley through Far Forest and Cleobury Mortimer and over the stunning Clee Hill. The vista from there today was just so impressive that we decided to pull over just so we could take it in. Up that high and the classic patchwork of rolling hills, woodland and farmland spread out before you for miles. It is almost enough to bring a lump to your throat. We are not far from Elgar’s birthplace and I swear that you could almost hear his music on the wind; awe inspiring. This was echoed by the performance of my Ducati on the sweeping undulating roads we had ridden to get there. I am really getting in tune with it now, and it is so easy to chuck about and hurtle across country as the twin Termi pipes howl out their spine tingling battle cry..What a buzz!
Once in the beautiful ancient town of Ludlow itself we parked in the market place directly outside the gates to the castle. The line of bikes already there indicated what a perfect biking day this was proving to be already. The streets of the town are lined with old timber framed buildings that in many cases date back hundreds of years, for example the amazing pub The Feathers, rated by many as the finest of its type anywhere
The Feathers, Ludlow
All this riding intermingled with culture tends to build the appetite…A light salad was in order and the little tea room in the shadow of the castle entrance seemed the ideal venue! Once this was eagerly consumed we returned to the bikes and just as we getting ready to set off the peace of the town was disturbed by the raucous buzz of a mass of two stroke engines….about 20 or so classic scooters rolled in and parked up! We got chatting with the riders and had a bit of banter with the lads as they dismounted. Then there came an altogether more thunderous roar…and about 20+ full dress Harley Davidson bikes rolled in…You couldn’t make it up! It was time to move on!
Riding through Shropshire into Herefordshire and onto Goodrich Castle was a pure joy. The area is just beautiful, largely unspoilt and quiet. The roads were good, the traffic light. Every now and again a day comes along when things just drop perfectly into place, and this was one of them. As I have written before, at its’ best England is a truly wonderful country and a fantastic place to live.
Even an impromptu break in a church car park to bump start the BMW after Thumper stalled it (it needs a new battery) added to the day as members of the congregation came out to help offering drinks and somewhere to sit….There were almost too helpful and I think Thumper was worried that we had drifted into the clutches of some sort of a cult! Funny.
This section of the run was mainly on the open and sweeping A49, not as much fun as the roads to Ludlow, but still a decent road and sweeping past the relatively light traffic was fun too. Goodrich castle itself is tucked away off the B4137 I think and the ride is a great way to explore the countryside in the area. Once there we couldn’t see Goodrich Castle itself from the car park sadly and we didn’t have the time to go in and explore as we also planning to drop in on Thumper’s sister for a cuppa.
Goodrich Castle Herefordshire
Thumper’s sister lives in a picturesque cottage on a hillside nearby and we enjoyed sitting out on the balcony there sipping tea and taking in yet another amazing view. Her and her family are lucky to live in such a fantastic spot. All too soon it was time to move on and ‘collect’ our last castle of the day…Eastnor. Famous for its association with Land Rover and where the company has tested the off-road capabilities of its 4×4 products since the late 1940’s. There was an impressive line up of Defender and Discovery models outside when we rolled up. To get there from Goodrich we headed back north in the general direction of Worcester. The roads become a little more challenging again on this section and I was getting a little nervous as the Ducati had gone onto reserve already after less than 90 miles. Again we were unable to get a decent view of the castle without paying to get in and by now it was 4pm. I didn’t care to be honest as the whole route had passed still more delightful little towns and villages that are well worth another visit. Malvern was the last big town we passed through once we left Eastnor and we broke the ride up by having yet another little rest halt at charming (if expensive) pub on route. Malvern has recently re-introduced gas street lights on one section of road in the town and as we rode by there were workers up ladders lighting them…truly a bygone age brought back to life
Just outside Worcester Thumper peeled off and swept up the last few miles home on the Ducati flying solo, feeling like I had really started the bonding process with my new bike properly. What a cracking days riding.September 24, 2013 at 7:30 am #66898HippoDronesParticipant
Ludlow Castle looks amazingSeptember 24, 2013 at 9:22 am #66899imperialdataKeymaster
Great day out it seems. Mods, Rockers Castles and Priests would be a good title!September 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm #66900ses310Moderator
Gutted I was on call again! Looks a good run outSeptember 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm #66901
Great day out it seems. Mods, Rockers Castles and Priests would be a good title!
I will nick that!September 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm #66902
Gutted I was on call again! Looks a good run out
It was a superb day, hope we can get a few out next time before winter gets a grip!
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