A Car Wash, Country Drive and The Pilgrim in North Marston

This weekend brought about the best weather of the year so far in Leighton Buzzard with Saturday peaking at 16 degrees and today topping out at 19 degrees. So what better way to spend my Sunday than washing the car, going for a drive and finishing the day in a local pub!

Car Wash

What better way to spend my Sunday morning than giving my car its first hand wash of the year. When it comes to washing cars I’m quite the perfectionist (as with most things in life!) wherever possible trying to avoid supermarket car washes as they always miss spots, can’t get into the door and boots sills and never leave a good finish. The automated solution is definitely a Winter one, but for me when the weather is good, hand washing the car with some music on is far more enjoyable and rewarding.

Lucky for me I only own small car, a Seat Ibiza FR which means washing it doesn’t take too long. That said, this morning I went to town on it, spending 2 hours washing it twice with some Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner (£15.99 at Halfords) followed by a giving it a once over with Autoglym Resin Polish (£14.99 at Halfords). I’m all out of alloy wheel cleaner so couldn’t finish the job properly but next time that’ll certainly be at the top of my priority list!

The result was a pretty good one!

Before…

Seat Ibiza FR before wash
Seat Ibiza FR before wash

After…

White Seat Ibiza FR washed and polished
Seat Ibiza FR washed and polished

With the car washed and polished there was little point leaving it to get dusty on the driveway so after a spot of lunch, Sarah and I took the car out for a drive around the country roads where we live in Bedfordshire.

Postscript (31/03/2014): So, less than 24 hours after cleaning my car and posting this blog post online, a Saharan dust storm coated the UK in a fine, orange dust… great!

Sunday afternoon drive

Living in the Home Counties is great as there are plenty of beautiful villages to drive through and loads of country roads to open the car up on. You can drive in any direction and always seem to find a new place you won’t have seen before or road you’ve not explored.

We didn’t have any particular destination we were aiming for so just started driving and went wherever the most attractive place names took us. This ended up taking us through 3 counties, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and through all of these towns and villages:

Along the route there was plenty to see, from sheep, lambs, pony’s and free roaming chickens to the rolling hills of the Aylesbury Vale. 60 miles and an hour and half later we returned home to Leighton Buzzard but not before stopping for a drink at The Pilgrim in North Marston…

The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim, North Marston
The Pilgrim in North Marston

The Pilgrim is a great little pub tucked away in the village of North Marston in Buckinghamshire. It’s owned and managed by the same team that own the award winning, The Unicorn in Cublington so has a good team backing it.

We only stopped for one drink in The Pilgrim, where there were a few ale’s on offer. I opted for a Doom Bar by Cornish brewers, Sharp’s. The pub presents itself well with a warm, welcoming and spacious bar area with plenty of seating. The restaurant area looked quite limited for space however as we were only there for a drink in the bar this wasn’t an issue for us.

The pub presents its visitors with posters around the walls about the history of North Marston which is a nice touch to link the pub to it’s local surroundings. With wooden beams and nice open fireplace it’s certainly a relaxing environment to be sat in with plenty of points of interest. I could see myself spending many hours in this pub if I lived in the local area.

Outside, the pub has seating to the front of the building and then at the back there are 2 separate seating areas. One right outside the back door and another up the steep hill which offers visits swings for children and some great views across the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire.

Overall, a great little pub and a fantastic place to stop for a drink to round off our Sunday afternoon.

Today presented the first signs of Summer which always gets my mood up a bit after months of rain, fog and cold mornings. Let’s hope April continues this weekend’s weather so that we can get the Summer started early!

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