In September some years ago, we headed to the UK to spend a number of weeks riding our bikes through parts of England and Scotland. This page outlines the route and some basic information associated with that tour. A variety of blog posts will describe the events and stories (in no particular order) and these will be linked to this page and vice versa. The intent is to make the route information accessible to a reader at all times, but not make it into a post itself. As more stories are written, this page will be updated with links to each post. Additional information on planning decisions and accommodation information can be found by following each of the hyperlinks.
The trip took us nearly 6 weeks, with some days being non riding days. The cycling component could basically be divided into six smaller tours with a rail trip between each. Many of the rides were adapted from those suggested in the Lonely Planet Cycling Britain book. These are marked with an * in the table below.
The Central Tourer started in London, then went north through Bedford, Lincoln and through to York. The train then took us from York through to Edinburgh. We headed east from Edinburgh and took 3 days to explore the Scottish Borders area – we worked a large triangle, following the coast east, then south, and finally headed across directly back to Edinburgh.
The Scottish Highlands then beckoned and we took the train to Pitlochry, then cycled for 3 days around the lochs in the hills to the west of the town.
Back on the train to Inverness and a dramatic change in the nature of our wheels! Given that we were expecting a lot of mountains and wet weather on the west coast of Scotland we hired a car. The intent was to get a largish vehicle which could take the assembled bikes (so that we could stop and ride whenever the conditions were good), but we could not get the vehicle we needed, so it did not work very well. We did enjoy being able to cover reasonable distances each day though and it was nice to have a diesel engine doing the work instead of being person-powered! We did a large circuit ending at Culloden, after which we handed back the keys and got back into the cycling gear. We then headed for the station again and the train took us from Invernessto Oxford.
The Cotswolds Triangle ride took us from Oxford to Stratford-on-Avon, then on to Cirencester and finally back to Oxford. Leaving this district, we headed towards Reading, before turning west to Bath. From Bath, we again boarded a train to London and on to Canterbury so that we could look around Kent. We spent three very wet days looking around Wittersham and Dover, before returning to London.
|Get set & go!||Heathrow Airport||St Albans||2||3|
|Central Tourer*||St Albans||Bedford||34||54|
|Brigstock||Thurlby||35||57||A very big arch|
|Scottish Highlands*||Pitlochry||Killin||37||60||Stone Circles|
|Killin||Kinloch Rannoch||37||60||Across the Ranges|
|Kinloch Rannoch||Pitlochry||31||50||Blair Atholl|
|Scotland by Car||Dracula’s Castle|
|Stratford on Avon||Cirencester||48||78|
|Oxford to Bath||Oxford||Streatley||25||40|
|Chalky white horses|
|Devizes||Bath||13||21||Hang players in Bath|
|Average distance per cycling day||37mi||59km|
* Recommended rides recommend in the book Cycling Britain by Lonely Planet.
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