Roger Saunders having been inspired by a conversation in Payhembury Provisions devised a route across south Somerset to visit four National Trust houses and gardens and a select group of John Burgess and Sue Jones joined him to enjoy the Somerset lanes as a mid-week social ride. It was 37 miles in total on mainly quiet roads and happily no big hills.
Starting the ride from the free car park at Barrington Court the first destination was Montecute House at 9 miles with a ride through the village of Montecute with picturesque brown stoned houses to reach the entrance. It is an impressive mansion and John informed us this was where Sense and Sensibility was filmed. It was then a short 3 mile ride to Tintinhull Gardens which happened to be closed but all we needed was the entrance sign for a photo.
We then set out to Lytes Carey Manor at 21 miles into the ride which had lovely gardens and topiary and chimneys. This was a good place to have lunch being just over half way and Sue was in need of sustenance by then. The NT staff were keen to get John and Roger’s cards scanned even though we were nominally only visiting the café. More visitors helps them fund the site apparently.
After being fuelled up we then set out on the return leg to Barrington Court via Somerton. John and Sue kept recognising part of this leg being the Spinners Glastonbury ride. Sadly we experienced the 10% rain forecast from the Met Office cycling through Somerton but it soon dried up again. Almost inevitably one lane on this leg was signed ‘closed’ though we managed to squeeze past the road works. On reaching the final destination at Barrington Court we celebrated with a well earned cup of Tea! It was agreed to repeat the ride next year to allow more riders to enjoy the route.