Yesterday, I posted the video I took of the uphill climb to the summit of the Weaver Hills. It’s a tough climb, but worth it, and there’s great country when you get there. Calton is a lovely little village and an utter delight. I have to say though, one of the best things about the ride is what goes up… must come down.
The route down into the Manifold Valley from the Weaver Hills really begins in Calton, but starts to get interesting around Mere Hill. At the bottom, you enter Throwley, where the lane takes a sharp ninety degree bend through a farmyard, which can be a bit disconcerting the first time you do it. Crossing cattle grids, wary of cows, sheep and the occasional wayward pheasant, it’s speeds of 45 miles an hour on the descent from the preserved ruins of Throwley Hall to Rushley.
At Rushley, the road hangs a second ninety degree bend, where on the Manifold Valley floor, one crosses the beautiful Rushley Bridge. From here, I stop recording near Steeple House, but it’s only a short way to the iconic village of Ilam, usually full of tourists, walkers and daytrippers.
If you try this one, beware of building up too much speed until you’re used to the road. The livestock can be very dopey and the cattle grids can come as a bit of a shock, but please do give it a go. I ride this route as often as I can. It’s what cycling and Staffordshire are all about…