Monday, May 7, 2012

The Clun Run

We often head to Clun on the borders of England and Wales, mainly as it has 5 good riding routes that get us there, but it also is a good destination boasting a Castle, a river, a few coffee shops and a nice spot to park with an excellent khazi!
 We have been going to Clun for years and they still havent finished building the castle, the scafolding has been up for ages!  No, the castle was built in the 13th Century and has been the scene of many battle between the English and the Welsh, unfortunaltely theres not too much of it left, just the 80 feet high Keep and some short bits of the surrounding walls, but its free to visit, surrounded by beautiful scenery and well worth a look.
Ahead is the bridge over the river and the castle carpark to the left

Many routes to go in, as the sign post suggests

The Routes
 Route 1. Hope Valley Run:-
 From Shrewsbury follow the twisty A488 up through Hope Valley, over the hills and down to Lydham then past Bishops Castle to Clun.
 Always a pleaser this route putting together in a mix of long sweeping bends, good overtaking oppotunities and a few tigher corners thrown in to make it intresting. Going up Hope Valley theres a stream runs along side the road. Trees cover the climb up to Hope so watch for damp roads and tree debris.

 Route 2, Lydham Route:- 
  From Craven Arms head north towards Shrewsbury, just after leaving Craven Arms take the A489 towards Lydham and then go left on to the A488 and follow it to Clun.
 The route follows along the base of the Long Mynd hills. This one is a personal favourite of mine, having long sweeping corners that tighten in places and plenty of passing opportunities which are needed as there can be heavy traffic during week days. Its reasonably flat and offers plenty of vision once out of the trees for most of the way. Once on the A488 there's still plenty to keep you busy until you get to Clun.

Route 3, Craven Arms:-
 From Craven Arms follow B4368 through Aston on Clun to Clun.
 This is the short way to Craven Arms, again it has a good mix of corners and passing oppotunies however there is a fair bit more traffic this way. We tend to use this road when time is of the esscence.

Route 4, Knighton:-
 From Knighton another town surrounded by great roads, follow the A488 down the valley through New Invention then on to Clun.
 Plenty of steep hills and a multitude of corners this way, it makes a welcome bonus to our routes when weve been to Crossgates Cafe. Never seen much traffic along here and its easy pickings if you should come across the occasional vehicle.

Route 5, Kerry:-
  Follow the winding B4368 up over the hills through Newcastle village to Clun.
 This route is not a regular one of ours for 2 reasons, firstly it goes the wrong way as we are normally heading home after a stop in Clun and as the other road to Kerry is more straight forward we tend to use that one if heading out that way. The road itself is slightly narrower than the other routes and has alot more farm traffic in places. The road over the hills has some great corners and the views from the top are most splendid.

Jon, Phill and Col in 2003 at the Castle


The bridge in the distance



The first days of Everyday Superbikes


Rich and Jon getting ready to head home
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