Salisbury Cathedral towered over today’s ride surrounded by a lovely quiet green area. We sampled two of the services. The first was from a cheery chap manning the entrance. “Just a cup of tea? No worries, leave your bikes and I’ll look after them, I’m here for 3 hours”. He must have known about the service in the canteen. I hope their religious ones are shorter or people will make the transition from font to ash in one sitting.

Before that we’d stopped at Avebury at the start of the day. No other tourists, a morning sun showed it in its best light. It takes admiration as only a 4000BC structure knows how to.

Amesbury is the UK’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement, from about 6000BC. It has a distinct new town feel to it today, enjoying roundabouts. The fields of white poppies came as a pleasant, unusual surprise.

The signposts on the large RAF barbed wire fencing left no doubt you weren’t allowed to photograph. Barbara’s finger twitches. The police can’t park here: the sign read “Police, no parking” . The fencing needn’t worry about being called into service. Two large gates were wide open, the seats for the guards empty.

We navigated a bit of heavier traffic for a while. Wiltshire and Dorset thatched cottages and kept us distracted, as did the Red Kite appearances.

Salisbury town centre was very quiet, a recurring theme of this tour. The tour of the Cathedral to be returned to, we headed off to Verwood and Bette and Colin’s. My last cycle ride here I’d ended up in a muddy field. Determined not to repeat that, I’d carefully checked the route every inch of the way, bar the last mile. Thankfully the unsurfaced bumpy unadopted lane was dry…

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