Chris Tompkins led this ride from West End, a large group set off in early morning sunshine with a certain amount of trepidation about the climbs ahead. We made good progress, climbing to the top of Portsdown Hill where we stopped to look at Nelson’s monument. A brief downhill section took us to the castle at Porchester and we did a circumnavigation of the walls on the gravel path before moving on to Salt Cafe and welcome refreshments. Being such a lovely day the cafe was busy but they coped well.

After coffee and cake we tackled the hilliest part of the ride, going back up Portsdown Hill and admiring the views across the Solent; after some more ups and downs there was just the small matter of Butser Hill between us and the pub at East Meon. We were well looked after at the Izaak Walton and made our way back through the Meon Valley before going our separate ways at the Milburys.

Thanks to Chris for planning and leading the ride and everyone else who helped on the day. It was a challenging but rewarding day with beautiful weather and fine views of the coast and Hampshire countryside.