Stephen Brand heads west of Aylesbury on a whistle-stop tour of Buckinghamshire’s most beautiful countryside, before settling at the George and Dragon for perhaps the best coffee and walnut cake the World has to offer.
Quainton features on many rides to the north and west of Aylesbury and is in close proximity to popular locations and tourist destinations such as Winslow, the Claydons, Waddesdon Manor and Eythrope Park.
The initial reaction on entering the George and Dragon is how clean and fresh everything is – the staff are obviously keen to keep the place spick and span. There are newspapers scattered on the table by the counter – Telegraph and Mail reflecting that Quainton is a well to do village.
Now the most important thing – the food.
Secondly, the quality – the cakes are excellent (they are made on the premises so you can be sure they are fresh). I regard myself as a bit of an aficionado of coffee and walnut cake, having sampled it at cafes all over Britain. I have no hesitation in stating that the George and Dragon makes the very best I have tasted. The Victoria sponge is also first class.
In summary, the food is excellent and won’t dent a big hole in the bag of money you take out on a ride.
The Route – 35 Miles, 400m Climbing
Below is a summary of a nice route out of Aylesbury that starts off going south, then west and finally north before heading back to the beginning. It is generally flat but does include a steep climb in the middle.
Set off on the A418 towards Stone but leave this busy road at the Bugle Horn and head left for Bishopstone. From there, enjoy a quiet loop through Marsh, Kimblewick, Ford and Dinton, before crossing the A418 and head for Cuddington and then Chearsley. Then turn right up a gradual climb to a crossroads – take a moment to enjoy the beautiful scenery – where you take a left turn down a steep hill and up the other side to Ashendon.
There is then a steady drop to the village of Westcott – continue through the village and past the former RAF airfield to your left. At the junction with the busy A41 (take care) turn right and continue for about half a mile before turning left onto the road for Quainton.
This is a long, flat and straight road which goes past the Bucks Steam Railway Centre before entering the village. Watch out for Thomas the Tank Engine who sometimes puts in an appearance. Upon entering the village turn right and you will shortly see the George and Dragon on the green with the windmill behind it.
Following refreshments continue around the back of the village and onto a crossroads where a left turn heads up to Pitchcott, Oving and Whitchurch then down the A413 to Aylesbury.
Note; the proposed HS2 route will go straight across this route near Stone and Quainton and I suspect such a journey will be impossible during construction and thereafter.