Lymestone, Beech and then the Borehole: A RideStaffs ride any time you choose
On Tuesday 6th June 2017 we organised a mini sportive event starting and finishing at Lymestone Brewery in Stone and called it “Lymestone, Beech and then your pie”. Feedback on the ride and the route from participants was overwhelmingly positive so we thought we’d share the details in case you wanted to try it yourself at some point in the future. We’ve suggested that you start and finish at the Borehole pub which is just a few meters from Lymestone Brewery where our original ride began. Read on for more detail on the route and things to look out for along the way.
Begin at The Borehole
The ride begins and ends at the Borehole Pub, just next to Lymestone Brewery in Stone. The Borehole is the second pub opened by Lymestone Brewery and sits on top of the water source that originally provided fresh water to the brewery many years ago. As well as being a genuine community pub, it’s a regular stop off point for cycling groups and walkers as well, so you won’t look out of place walking through the door in funny shoes and lycra!
From The Borehole it’s a short shimmy through the houses to get you onto Old Road and straight into your first climb up toward Rough Close. It’s a tough way to start a bike ride but you’re quickly rewarded with some great country roads and after a short stretch on the A520 a right turn takes you onto a beautiful lane that descends into the picturesque village of Moddershall where the duck pond is a lovely place to stop if you need to take a short breather.
After leaving the village of Moddershall along Knenhall Lane a left turn precedes a short climb up to join the Hilderstone Road, a long straight stretch that eventually brings you to the village of Meir Heath. Look out for the disused windmill on the right before the roundabout that marks the geographical high point of your ride.
The next section of the route is mostly downhill until you reach the tree lined road that marks the approach to the Wedgwood factory and visitor centre (another great stop off with a great tea room that welcomes cyclists). From there it’s more climbing though as you rise up along more beautiful tree lined roads overlooking the Wedgwood estate en route to Barlaston village.
Half way there:
More descending brings you to the lowest point of the route at the level crossing in Barlaston before heading on to the A34 just outside Tittensor for the first of the two major climbs that mark the second half of your route.
Chase Lane is a long and unrelenting climb of nearly a mile in length that will have even the strongest of riders breathing hard, but that’s only a warm up in comparison to what awaits after descending Winghouse Lane and turning into Beechdale Lane for the climb to Beech Caves.
Rumoured to be haunted, this one might send a chill down your spine too as you see the steep gradient and not one but two hairpin turns rear up before you as you climb 300ft in a mile with a maximum gradient of 17%.
By this point you’re within 10 miles of the end of the ride and the good news is there’s much more down than up to get you back to a well earned drink at The Borehole.
The final push
The village of Swynnerton marks the beginning of some of the quickest roads on the route as you descend toward the old military base then on to skirt Yarnfield and Norton Bridge before a brief rise to cross the M6 gives way to a long straight descent back to Stone, leaving just a little loop around the town centre before you’re back at The Borehole where a well earned drink is your reward for 26 miles of toil.
Download a .GPX or .TCX file of the route here