Lullingstone Villa

14th January 2007

The first rideout of 2007 was ‘unofficial’ but a good opportunity to start the Chapter year off in good style.

11 bikes plus riders assembled at a cold but clear and sunny Warr’s at 9.30am for a short briefing before setting off for the Ancient Roman Lullingstone Villa which is believed to have been constructed in AD75. With a small number of experienced riders I chose to use the ‘buddy system’ rather than drop-offs, as the first part of the run (the usual Putney bridge/A3 escape from town) is extremely familiar.

So off down the A3, turning off at the Chessington (A243) junction, where we were met by Peter ‘Scottie’ Scott. Then on to Ryka’s at Box Hill for a cuppa and a leak - without troubling the ‘safety camera’ vans out waiting for the sports bike faternity. There were the usual quantity and variety of bikes in the car park, but I think that ours were the shiniest and nicest sounding, especially as we were actually going somewhere rather than just posing.

The remainder of the route was the old A25 as far as Sevenoaks, and it was a fabulous morning with a low bright sun and great views up onto the North Downs. Because this part of the route is not well-known, we reverted to using the second man drop-off system, with Scottie as last man. With no navigation issues, we arrived at Lullingstone at 12.05pm, having made steady but unspectacular progress, treating the roads with respect and enjoying the cruise.

At Lullingstone we found three Meridian members already waiting for us, having had their usual Sunday breakfast at the Oakdene. After a look round the ruins we repaired for a drink and a chat at the Pied Bull at Farningham, and then home for tea.

A really enjoyable first outing for 2007. Thanks as usual to all participants and Scottie for helping out.

Michael Howers - C&F Road Captain

Lullingstone Villa