This route goes in search of the ‘Source of the Nile’, or at least, the Barton Springs, where natural mineral water cascades from the chalk cliffs into crystal clear waters, criss-crossed by stepping stones and little wooden bridges. Ahhhhh.
But first we need to descend from the tops of the Barton Hills. On foot it’s an easy enough stroll downhill on a wide, grassy trail with plenty of run off at the bottom into the spring, but on a bike… I reckon that if you went balls-out, no brakes, you’d hit 45mph easy on this one. Yeee Haaa.
The return trip misses out the stepped-hiker-bike climb to the top of Wood Lane, and instead takes the easy route to the back of Shillington Manor, then on back to Hitchin via the Pirton Express Way (or Icknield Way if you’re being proper).
18 miles, a few climbs, some great descents and if the weather holds, well, maybe a dip in the spring!