What a lovely evening we had in Corby. It really set us up for the next day - Stage 8. I cannot believe we have already been on the road for eight days...yes, eight, because we are now in Milton Keynes, grateful for the hospitality of Kristine and Jimmy.
The ride had not been planned to be very long..a mere 42.3 miles - so we didn't leave very early. It has still been rather chilly,though we welcomed a blink of sunshine around midday. It is amazing what a difference feeling warm makes. Nor was it a difficult ride in terms of hills; rolling countryside certainly so not flat but nothing too challenging. However, our route planner took us by the Cycle ways. This was fine - when the way was firm or tarmac. However, for a short space we found ourselves on a footpath and ended caked in mud. Luckily we arrived at the Stanwick Adventure Park and were able to make use of a hosepipe. Mrs Armitage has developed a bit of a sqeak. Then cycling the Nene valley surrounded by lakes, the Garmin became very confused and was convinced we were in the water, so a remedial detour through Higham Ferrers including toasted sandwiches (for us) was necessary. We were soon back en route and made good - if by now slightly painful - progress to Milton Keynes where again we were able to use attractive cycle tracks without the terrors of traffic.
We have travelled through some lovely villages; Geddington where there is the best preserved Eleanor Cross and an interesting church - also thatched cottages which are now much more of a feature. We rode past Boughton House... Wow, what a vista. Eat your heart out Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Now the villages are rather more sprawling with modern suburbs swamping the older centres. Tomorrow will be a bit more of a challenge another long ride to Ealing. No room for error! En avant!