We arrived in Newark after navigating our way around the closed cycle path and found Barmby Road - the road to take us towards our Farm Stay - remarkably easily. We'd seen where we were heading on a map, but seeing it on a map and finding it in real life can sometimes be different, thankfully not this time though.
Our route out of Newark took us across a level crossing and then up and over the A1 towards Ivy Farm. Clare, who runs the B&B had said that the entrance was next to the chevron signs. At the time I took this on board and hoped it'd become obvious when I got there, which it did.
From the chevrons, we knew we were in the right place so we let ourselves into the farm yard, parked up our bikes and headed into our accommodation for the next two nights. We'd booked the Hayloft and it was a lovely, comfortable room with everything we needed. There's four rooms in the B&B; two downstairs twin rooms, an upstairs double and a spacious family suite upstairs so there really is something for everyone.
The B&B opened in 2003 and happened because Clare and her husband wanted to keep the farm business healthy, so they adapted their business so their farm could be economically viable with a sustainable future. The farm is a working beef and arable farm, with grassland of 50 acres on which John and Clare rear ninety male cattle for beef production. Their cattle are brought to the farm as ten-day old calves and are fed on formula milk and soon get to associate humans with food.
As we locked our bikes away for the night we met the farm dogs and cats. Gem the border collie kept us in order, CoCo the chocolate labrador was more reticent and Kizzy, a terrier was just slightly bonkers - in a nice way of course. There were a few cats too - greys, a long-haired tortoiseshell and a ginger tom who we made friends with too. The cats mostly tested us as we got our bikes in and out of the workshop, trying to sneak in somewhere where no doubt they're not really allowed!
I'm glad I booked two nights here as the breakfast was great. When I was looking to book accommodation one of the things that stood out for me about Ivy Farm was on their website they state their breakfasts have an "extensive choice of locally sourced produce" - the eggs are laid on the farm, so you can't get more local than that!
No pictures of the food I'm afraid - you should know me by know - when food arrives in front of me, the last thing I want to do is photograph it. Take my word for it though, it was good. And I could also justify it as we were cycling!
Although on our first day we were just heading into Newark, which was only about 3 miles away - and at the speed I cycle I don't think I would have cycled it off. Clare is used to having cyclists stay and told us the best place to park our bikes in town - outside HSBC in the Market Square if you're interested - and also gave us some good tips on places to stop for tea and cake and for something more substantial.
We popped into "Feeling Peckish" for a hot drink and a cake after a look around the castle and then later found ourselves back at nearby "Gannets" for a lasagne for me and a tasty stew for MOH. The day we spent in Newark was a chilly, damp one and the food stops were much welcomed.
So if you're looking for somewhere friendly to stay in Newark, then take a look at Ivy Farm - we had a great time there, and I'd stay there again if I'm up that way. And in case you're wondering about evening food, there's a fab pub just a mile up the road.
Next time: A look around Newark