The day starts exactly as forecast, high cloud with a little bit of blue sky, and cold.
After breakfast and a leisurely sit around reading the newspaper, we set off to follow the cycle ride on the second map we have been loaned, this is to take us to Newark.
The first 1.5 miles are on a cycle track alongside the A1. This is not very pleasant, while it is safe enough, the traffic noise is loud and constant. But soon we are on a small quiet road which passes through the villages of North Muskham and South Muskham, before we join another cycle track which brings us to Newark.
We park our bicycles beside the river. We notice there is a cycle ride signposted along the river at this point and decide we may follow it later (in the event this is not to be).
We visit Newark Castle, ruined when the Royalists defending it were ordered to surrender by Charles I on his capture, and the Roundheads then destroyed most of the Castle by blowing it up, (seems a bit petty). This was followed by years of the local population helping themselves to the fine stone to build their own houses, until now all that remains are the least accessible bits.
The Castle grounds also house the Tourist Information building, for those of you who may visit, there are toilets here, but Kathleen was disgusted to find they cost 20p for a p, so to speak, so be warned.
We retire to the old Buttermarket building. The building itself is quiet beautiful, but the collection of rather “twee” shops inside and the number of empty units is disappointing. There are however two highlights:
On the upper floor there is a coffee shop, selling enormous portions of excellent cake. I had warm Plum Bread and butter (two thick slices), while Kathleen had an huge piece of carrot cake which I had to help her to finish (I am all heart in that way).
There are free toilets.
When we emerge from the Buttermarket, suitably stuffed with cake, we find it has begun to rain. This puts and end to any notion of cycling along the river, so instead we cycle back to Cromwell, arriving quite damp after our 12 mile round trip.
I think this has put paid to “the nice young man in reception”, he told us, that whilst it may be overcast today, it was not going to rain. While Kathleen may forgive him for giving us yesterdays route over fields, nettles and fences, I know there is no way he will get away with causing her to get her hair wet!