Deep in the heart of the rolling Essex countryside is one of the most perfect picture postcard settings imaginable, the quintessential English village of Finchingfield. With its chocolate box cottages, immaculately manicured village green and traditional duck pond its not hard to see why it has the reputation of being one of the country’s most photographed rural scenes - a scene that is made all the more complete by the regular gatherings of motorcyclists who flock to this idyllic location from across the region.
Local history may predate records, but one clue as to Finchingfield’s long standing significance for travelers by road is the Fox Inn, an original 16th century coaching house that lies on what was once the main route from London to Norwich. These days you’d make that particular journey elsewhere via faster dual carriageways, leaving the historically twisted paths of local B roads relatively untouched.
Finchingfield could be considered somewhat of a hub as it’s centered at the junction of two such roads, the B1053 and B1057; both are superb rides, but the B1057 from Dunmow is arguably the best back road in the county. It’s around ten miles of pure scratching pleasure, a sinuous strip of technical tarmac that wriggles and writhes through tight twisty turns and rippling undulations - it’s a rewarding run whichever way you ride it, just ensure to roll off for the odd village en route.
Sunday mornings and summer’s evenings are the most popular times to visit and it’s not unusual to see hundreds of bikes encircling the green when the weather is at its best. In true tradition Bosworth’s Tea Room acts as a magnet to most during the day, with the low beamed ceiling of its listed premises playing host to all those who crave cake and a cuppa. The staff are attentive and genuinely welcoming to anyone who rolls up on two wheels and it’s a nice touch that their signature Biker’s Breakfast is served on a plate emblazoned with a Sheene ‘7’. In the evening it’s all about the Fox for refreshments, where you can grab a bite up until 9pm.
When is it? Any Sunday morning, most summer evenings
Where is it? North Essex, 10 miles from Great Dunmow on the B1057
What does it cost? Fuel and scoff
Don't forget, this is a great way to rack up some miles for our #ride5000miles campaign.
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