Ram Jam (closed)
I get odder looks about my perpetual travel plans than I do my early(ish) retirement. Friends in Cambridge still refuse to believe the journey to, say, North Yorkshire is a mere two hours (within the speed limit). It’s not just Londoners who never travel north (North Norfolk doesn’t count).
I timed it between the county boundaries on my way back from Leeds this week; from the turn off for Kirk Smeaton (Shoulder of Mutton, great walkers’s pub) to the dull “CAMBRIDGESHIRE” sign near Stamford took 90 minutes.
The new A1 is my friend. Journeys are much quicker now the roundabouts from Peterborough to Doncaster have gone, and less need to stop means less stops. I was struggling to find a decent half-way eatery though; parking in Newark is a bit of a pain at the moment.
It’s just Costa, McDonalds and the odd OK Diner; a couple of sad looking Chinese restaurants are seemingly never open. How I envy those folk on their way around the M25 with their noodles and burritos at Cobham.
It was inevitable that all the pubs would go too. With the closure of the well-known Ram Jam Inn in Rutland this stretch of the new A1 is completely pub-less. The Ram Jam was actually a fairly smart dining pub that we used to use as a half-way stop on the way to Doncaster, but without a local community it’s hard to see a future for it.
Fox Truck Stop at Colsterworth
Nearby, the ex-Batemans Fox may live on as a truck-stop, and the mysterious Blue Horse at Great Ponton beguilingly leaves it’s front door open at all times, but is apparently housing. I’m sad I never visited the Blue Horse; search engines reveal next to nothing about it. I won’t be pulling over in the layby to take a photo of it though.
The price of progress, but one decent food stop would be welcome.