Elaine was recently searching the internet for something when she came across a good offer for a 2 night break at the Hilton Hotel, Warwick. The offer was limited and needed to be booked quickly so after a few calls Jan and I were up for it.
Accordingly, I took Friday 27th July off work and we met up with Dave and Elaine at our house and we were on our way.
I had set the sat-nav to avoid motorways and had planned a ride via Bridgenorth, Kidderminster and Stratford on Avon to get to Warwick.
This turned out to be an excellent route which we travelled in a gentle manner and without great hurry. The roads were good with light traffic and plenty of space for overtakes where necessary.
The first stop was the The Food Stop Cafe and biker meeting spot at Quatt, just the Kidderminster side of Bridgenorth on the A442 road.
Even on a Friday morning, I was surprised at the number of motorcycles on the car-park of the premises and just goes to show the popularity of the place.
Suitably refreshed, we carried on cross country on A roads to Stratford On Avon, where we decided to take a break as we were quite warm, so I checked the temperature on the Wing’s outside temperature gauge which showed 31 degrees!
After a short break we carried on to the Hilton Hotel at Warwick, which is very easy to find, as it is first left off the main road to Warwick town from the M40 motorway junction.
After unloading the luggage from the Wings and storing it in our rooms, we went for a small ride to nearby Hatton village, where Dave was in his element – 21 canal boat locks altogether in one section of the canal.
After returning to the hotel we went across the road to a pub for tea, where we had a good meal at a sensible price (when compared to the hotel’s menu).
After the excellent Hilton breakfast on the Saturday morning, we made our way into Stratford on Avon, where we parked in the extremely welcoming bike parking area called Bridgefoot Motorcycle Parking.
This is a very large area dedicated entirely to motorcycle parking as cars cannot get into it (too narrow entrance). The area has space for 150 motorcycles and even has chain-points set into the tarmac for added security.
There was plenty of room for us with only about 40 motorcycles already parked there.
Following a walk around the town centre, sightseeing the tourist attractions, we headed back to the bikes, for a cross country ride to Broadway, in the Cotswolds.
A point worthy of note here is that the roads around the Midlands and Cotswolds in general are not good, being very uneven and bumpy. For the sake of comfort, it was necessary to reduce speed a fair bit.
I will not be complaining about some of the bumpier roads in North Wales as that appears to be acceptable and the norm in the Cotswolds
Following a walk around Broadway, we went onto Moreton in the Marsh for coffee and cake before returning to the hotel.
We decided to eat again at the pub across the road where again we had a good meal. (‘The Porridge Pot’ for those who want to know).
Sunday morning started nice but by the time we had checked out of the hotel the clouds had gathered, so it was waterproofs time.
First part of the trip was a quick ride around Warwick town centre as having come all the way to the area we hadn’t even been into the town.
We then started to head back for home with the sky changing from sun to dark clouds and back again every few minutes.
Luckily we only saw a few drops of rain before we stopped for a break at a famous supermarket, whose name I will not say, as it only inspires one of our members to start singing, just like that horrid opera-singer on the insurance adverts on TV.
As we came out of the unnamed supermarket, it started to rain so we quickly donned the waterproof jackets as well.
As the rain appeared light, I decided to make a move and we left the car-park.
Big mistake – Huge!!!!
We went onto a dual carriageway just as the shower started to get heavy, and I mean, heavy! I had to reduce my speed down to 30 mph on a 70 mph dual carriageway, and we were still passing slower moving cars.
We hit two of these very heavy showers in the space of a few minutes, and then the sun shone between a few more small light showers.
I pulled over to clean my spectacles which were quite hard to see through due to a fine mist of water coating the lenses, following having to ride with my visor partially open. I was told by Dave at this time that Elaine had gained a new nickname -’ Wet T*ts’.
After Elaine had seen to the careful placing of some dry microfibre clothes it was time to continue.
Next stop being Macdonalds at Meole Brace, Shrewsbury. On arrival at the McD’s I discovered that my over-trousers had failed to remain waterproof and that Jan’s jacket had also failed but not as badly as Elaine’s jacket had.
Luckily the Ladies’ toilets had the very efficient warm air hand dryers which was brought into use as a clothes dryer to take the worst away for the ladies.
No such luck for me in the gents toilet!!!
The run home from Shrewsbury was quickly dispatched and soon enough we were home and changing into dry clothes.
(I cannot wait for my newly ordered American waterproof clothing to arrive.)
It was a very nice weekend, all in all, and begs for us to return again for another look around Warwick itself.
We shall see what the future brings.