LEJOG Day 8 Riding from Stratford Upon Avon to Loughborough

60.34 Miles Cycled
3621 ft of Climbing

Day 8 Elevation Stratford Upon Avon to Loughborough
Day 8 Elevation Stratford Upon Avon to Loughborough

The previous 4 days had been relatively easy with the exception of the climb up Cheddar Gorge. Today my journey would take me North passing Birmingham and crossing the M6 into Leicestershire. My stay in Stratford Upon Avon was nice, the Moonraker Guest House was excellent and having the chance to explore the town was fantastic.

After large cooked breakfast I completed my now morning routine and set off through the town centre. The first section was along the busy A428 which took me out of the town however after a few miles I turned left and again I was cycling on quiet country lanes.

The first 10 miles or so were uphill, but for the first time in the ride, I felt really stong. I kept a steady pace uphill and it was clear my fitness had improved considerably since I set off from Lands End.

The Jaguar Landrover plant was the next point of interest

I passed through the town of Balsall Common and cycled under an interesting underpass that crosed the railway. I then came across a huge industrial works which I discovered was the route of the controversial HS2.

Shame to see Flytipping Blighting our Lovely Countryside

I crossed under the M6 Motorway passing through a tunnel before the hamlet of Green End. I carried on to a tranquil road called Hardingwood Lane. After only a few hundred meters I came across the first instance of flytipping. Bearing in mind I had now cycled over 350 miles since leaving Lands End. I had cycled on many back roads, mixed-use paths, canals, and main roads without 1 orruence. Yet here I am deep in the Midlands between Birmingham and Coventry on a peaceful lane and some inconsiderate person has emptied the contents of their van in the road. Someone should be ashamed!

Fly Tipping Hardingwood Lane
Fly Tipping Hardingwood Lane

On arrival in the town of Atherstone I decided to call in the COOP to get some lunch, I then headed to a seated area a few hundred meters away. After a few minutes, it suddenly dawned on me that I had misplaced my handlebar bag, the bag containing my wallet, phone, and other things. I made a hastily return to the garage where I had bought my lunch to find my bag on the counter. Panic turned to relief!

Sheepy Magna is a strange name for a village and Sheepy Parva is not far behind it, one thing that has stuck out on this ride that I had passed through so many places with interesting names and features.

Cycling NCR 52 from Congerstone to Belton

In Congerstone I picked up NCR 52 which is a route that connects Warwick and NCR 6 near Loughborough. It was at this point I started looking at places to stay for the evening. Caolville was the obvious choice however reading up on the town it did not seem appealing. I then made the decision to stay in Loughborugh, a place I had never been to and for only £39, a Travelodge was my destination for the day.

The Bosworth Trail, NCR 52

NCR 52 meanders North passing through places like Shackerstone, Heather, Ravenstone and then Coalville. This was when it dawned on me that I had been cycling on the Bosworth Trail.

I brief offroad section across a field took me into Coalville passing the ground of Coalville Town FC

With Loughborough my aim for the day, my plan was to get to the village of Hathern and then turn right and cycle down the A6 to Loughborough. In hindsight I should have followed NCR 6 in to Loughborough but for whatever reason I missed this. I then came up with an idea to cycle as the crow flies in to Loughborough. I was presented with a bridleway that on the map looked like a viable option. How wrong could I be? I cycled along the edge of a field and then into woodland, the bridleway while passable was not particularly fast and the effort needed to cycle through the field and rough woodland track was a waste. I eventually reached the A6 and headed down in Loughborough.

The Travelodge is situated close to the centre and like all Travelodges they cater for cyclists. A quick shower and a change of clothes before I hit the bright lights of Loughborough.

LEJOG Day 9 Loughborough to Gainsborough