Monarch’s Way ride update from Mr Roche to the school

Hello from all of us as we set off on this week’s biking adventure. Today we start our ride from Wincanton in Somerset on our quest to join you all at school on Friday morning (we hope). Yesterday ten of us travelled here by car from Findon to stay overnight before we set off this morning.

As you know we are hoping to cycle a route to Findon which follows the last 100+ miles of an ancient path called the Monarch’s Way, the same route taken by King Charles the Second as he fled to France, pursued by government (Parliamanterian)  troops, ruled over by a man called Oliver Cromwell. On it’s way to nearby Shoreham the Monarch’s Way runs through Findon past our church and very close to your school.
As Mr. Mead has already told you, King Charles II started this journey after the battle of Worcester in 1652. Here he had been defeated by parliament’s soldiers, so he decided to seek shelter in France ….. but first he had to get there!
He first tried to board ships manned by his friends in the west of England (Bristol) but Cromwell’s men were already waiting for him. His journey then took him on a very odd ‘L’ shaped route as he and his party tried to stay one step ahead of their pursuers! Danger lurked at every place they tried as they made their way south to try and escape from various ports along the south coast.
As we know he eventually made his way to France across the English Channel from Shoreham but not before experiencing many adventures on his way, some of which we shall try and tell you about later; hopefully bringing you a few more snippets of the story as this week progresses.
Because the Monarch’s Way uses footpaths for some of the route, on which cycling is not permitted, we shall have to take nearby bridleways, which will make our journey a little bit longer – let’s hope Mr. Mead is up for the challenge!
We start today from Wincanton, which is a small Somerset market town famous for its nearby horse racing course, a destination sought by the riders from Findon’s own horse racing stables. Many of the horses and their jockey riders, that you often see exercising in Findon every day, will have raced here. King Charles set off from near here on horseback and today we intend to follow his course as closey as we can to go to Salisbury in Wiltshire by tonight.
We shall write to you again tomorrow, so let’s  hope Mr Mead’s legs work well (and those of the rest of us too), so that we can bring you some more news of our own adventures and perhaps some more of the story of our forerunner, King Charles II.