Holiday in Hereford (12th May 2012)

What a great way to get away from it all and become immersed in rolling British countryside! Yesterday we returned and early this morning I dropped off the hire car. Below are the rough notes I made in a draft e-mail on my phone at random intervals.


Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th May 2012:
Parents’ house in Fleet.
Monday 7th to Friday 11th:
Auntie’s holiday home in Hereford.


  1. Had 9 hours in bed so woke naturally before 7am.
  2. Breakfast.
  3. Last gathering of items.
  4. Fiona still had her cold.
  5. Squeezed suitcases around bicycles, wheels could stay on.
  6. Set the Sat-Nav.
  7. Set off near 8:30am.
  8. Fiona navigated while I drove.
  9. From cruising on motorways to reversing back into passing places on single track lanes.
  10. Starting to feel at home in the BMW 520d we hired!?
  11. Arrived at the place and Fiona opened the gates in drizzle.
  12. Generous grassy area in front with rough gravel drive.
  13. Ramps up to the patio door.
  14. Spacious living room. (Photos.)
  15. View from every room over the fields with livestock. (Photos.)
  16. Met the auntie with her husband and 5 of their 6 big, friendly dogs.
  17. Lunch at local pub (relatively!) where youthful staff served me a top quality belly pork and Fiona a goats cheese stack.
  18. Drove to local Tesco, Fiona navigating by iPhone.
  19. Spent ages trying to plot a route back via any phone and the on-board Sat-Nav.
  20. Eventually drove towards Hereford and then went visually by the satelite map mode in the car.
  21. Took some photos of holiday home, car and scenery during a brighter spell. (Photos.)
  22. Passed the time until auntie was making dinner in main cottage.
  23. Long evening with several fantastic courses.
  24. Port at the end.


  1. Woke near 8am.
  2. Auntie had asked to tag along with us to Noakes Farm Riding School.
  3. Was still enthusiastic about going so she drove us there.
  4. Was a big place, several large buildings with 20 horses in total. (Photos.)
  5. Did a few laps around the arena to remind us of the basics, as we’d requested over the phone.
  6. I was riding Comet while Fiona rode Strawberry. (Photos.)
  7. We were led out by charismastic lady with a couple of older girls as tablehands.
  8. Sunny and varied trail, partly along a long-dismantled railway.
  9. Helped take some of the tack into the tack room at the end.
  10. Drove to The Plough Inn where we had lunch in a snug and sunny corner.
  11. Went back to the holiday home to get the BMW and bicycles.
  12. Drove to Pedal A Bike Away centre in the Forest of Dean.
  13. Unloaded bikes while Fiona looked for maps.
  14. Excellent information panels. (Photo.)
  15. Chose a blue graded route called Verderer’s Trail.
  16. Gravel woops from the carpark to the trail set great expectations.
  17. Was a long, fantastic route!
  18. Uphill hairpins with downhill berms.
  19. Went home and made pizza.


  1. Weston’s Cider tour.
  2. Animal pens in a long field.
  3. Intermittent but heavy rain.
  4. Evening meal with auntie and her husband.
  5. Planned where else to go.
  6. Returned to their home to chat and pet the dogs.


  1. Breakfast near 8:30am.
  2. Went out with Ken and dogs at 9:30am.
  3. We did the extended route over a hill and saw 4 deer!
  4. Booked a tour around the Morgan factory.
  5. Enabled GPS on my phone and used Google Maps to do a route.
  6. Saved the route and turned off GPS.
  7. Drove along fun twisty main road.
  8. Stopped at a gastro pub but was closed.
  9. Fiona found anothef called Bluebell, which was large but low. Served one of the smoothest white coffees I’ve ever had! (Although the milk came on the 2nd pass.)
  10. Dessert was a Rocky Mountain Road sunae, which we shared.
  11. Paid cash.
  12. Drove wrong way to Morgan factory.
  13. Did the 2 hour tour for £10.
  14. Started with a slightly rambling presentation, given through Windows Media Player (not in Fullscreen mode!) on a Windows XP laptop.
  15. Tour covered every stage of assembly.
  16. Ended in the museum.
  17. Drove back and parked in just 1 hour! Took a longer route usingA* grade roads as much as possible.
  18. Fiona slumped in chair as cold had taken hold.
  19. I gave her one of the chocolate cake slices as she’d lasted all day.


  1. Later start.
  2. Packing.
  3. Cycle.
  4. Crahs.
  5. Lost.
  6. Found.
  7. Waitrose.
  8. Pizza Express.
  9. Drove home.
  10. Bad route.
  11. Gridlock.
  12. Got home.
  13. Put bikes away.
  14. Toast.
  15. Luggage swapping.


  1. Dropped car at car hire place.
  2. Went to office and they checked the key, then directed me to carpark where an attendent would take the keys.
  3. Led the attendent to where I’d parked the car, out on the street.
  4. He had a look around it and in the boot.
  5. Started engine and briefly checked the fuel guage, agreeing that it was full.


In order of preference: