Wheels and pooches on the Stratford Greenway
PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:30 10 March 2014
Warwickshire writers Cherry and Emma recently discovered the brilliant thing that is the Stratford Greenway
The Stratford Greenway is a disused (phew) part of the old Stratford railway line and is perfect for cycling or walking and admiring the view.
I’m very excited because I’m the owner of a brand new sparkly bike, it’s sky blue with a cream trim, basket and bell and it is my new favourite thing!
Ems had told me all about the Stratford Greenway and suggested I trial it for my first cycling expedition. So off I went, emergency sandwich in basket ready for my adventure. It was fantastic, zipping along the flat pathways, over the bridge, past the racecourse, into the countryside - bring bring, ting, ting!
En-route are two delightful old railway carriages, which have new life as charming little cafés, so no need for the emergency sandwich, it was a current bun and mug of tea instead – much better! So if you fancy having a little ‘brief encounter’ moment, highly recommend a trip to one of the tea shops.
Alternatively, if you have a yappy little terrier that you need to tire out, then I heartily recommend this delightful route. Unlike Cherry’s bike, mine is a clapped-out old mountain model with an uncomfortable saddle and squeaky wheels, so the thought of peddling ten miles there and back with hubby, daughter and said yappy terrier in tow, wasn’t, initially, my idea of a good afternoon out. How wrong can one be!
Grabbing the first sunny spring like day, we headed off to the car park at the start of the Greenway. Now, if you’re like a dear friend of mine who simply can’t turn right on a bike (!), then this route is for you. No hills, no traffic, no right turns... perfect. With helmets on and a rucksack full of picnic food, we belted off up the greenway like Bradley Wiggins only to realise that by doing so, we were at risk of missing the beautiful Warwickshire countryside that adorned either side of us. Beautiful it certainly was. To take in the views a little more, we stopped at a picnic area and watched as many other cyclists and dog walkers ambled past before getting back on our bikes and heading to Long Marston, the turnaround point for most.
Having had a quick breather and a friendly chat with some fellow Sunday cyclists, we made our way back, ready to absorb the views once again and, of course, stop for a cheeky hot chocolate at one of the carriage cafés... well, it would be rude not to!
So, did it tire out our scruffy terrier, Fudge? As we approached the penultimate mile, her four little paws ground to a halt and down she sat. I guess running like Mo Farrah going for gold for nine miles had taken its toll. This would have been the perfect time, of course, to have Cherry’s bike with a dog carrier - sorry, basket - on the front to transport her back to the car park, but alas, a slow bike ride at her pace was all we could manage. And was she still yappy afterwards? No. All she did was sleep, just like we did when we got home.
So whether wheels or pooches are your thing, we think you’ll find the Stratford Greenway just perfect!