Rumour had it that the Temeside had reopened. In fact, more than rumour as T1 had felt it his bounden duty to attend the first evening’s opening of the doors and so could provide a first-hand report. The Temeside has a special place in the heart of every Trevor and Trevorette. It was our very first destination and has remained our default watering hole ever since – until it closed in March this year when the default seemed to become the Fountain at Tenbury (which just goes to show how much more adventurous we are now).
The reopening left little choice in the destination for our weekly outing. The weather was perfect, if just a little hot, which made it a mite unenterprising to only go as far as the Temeside; and so we settled on the Temeside Loop which adds three or four miles to the expedition. The first part, to Little Hereford, is fairly standard for many of our routes: right at the Serpent and right again to Middleton to bring us out on the A456 by the Temeside bridge; immediately left at the west end of the bridge onto the lane
to Leysters. The lane winds its way through some very attractive country, unfortunately a good deal of it going up. Ignoring the Tenbury turn, it essentially goes to three potential destinations: to the right is Middleton-on-the-Hill; straight ahead (well almost) is Stockton Cross; and to the left is Leysters. But there is also a little branch line to the left, about a mile after the Tenbury turn, which does a little used loop, via a hamlet called Upton, to Lower Berrington.
Now you might say that it would have been a lot easier and quicker to take the Tenbury turn which goes directly to Lower Berrington, but in doing so you would miss a beautiful country lane that gives, due to increased altitude, a wonderful view of Clee Hill and the Teme Valley towards Knighton on Teme. At about the highest point, just beyond Upton, you come out of a small wood with the lane dropping away quite steeply and before you is this wonderful panorama. Somehow, it is very Shire-like: looking down from the Woody End, across the Brandywine towards Buckland and the Old Forest. Well worth the up-hill bits, the worst of which is about half a mile beyond the Temeside bridge. Fortunately two large Western Power Division vehicles appeared while I was on this incline which necessitated getting off my bicycle and walking. As well as neatly avoiding criticism from the Trevorettes, this saved over exertion and muscle drain (not that there is much muscle to drain, which could be part of the problem) so that the following ups could be accomplished without incident. And one of the treats of the Temeside Loop is that once you have reached Upton there is a stretch of at least two miles that is almost entirely downhill or flat until you reach the pub.
A fitting reward for the earlier ups that ensures you reach the Temeside in a suitably positive frame of mind. A wondrous expedition on a beautiful day.