Journey from Newcastle-upon-Tyne through Nenthead, Threlkeld, Ambleside, climbing Scafell Pike and on to Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham
Much of the time cycling from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Ambleside was rather wet. Not far into the journey I passed this home which I thought had a good chance of winning the local front garden ornaments competition!
From Ambleside I cycled to the top of Langdale and then walked up Scafell Pike.
I got to the top at 11.30h. It was clear! The view from the top is towards Wast Water and on to Sellafield on the coast where there are plans for a new nuclear power station.
View across Lake Windermere from Ambleside towards Scafell Pike. I spent some time in Ambleside because I wanted to rest and to review my forward itinerary as my idea of fundraising through local and regional media as I went around Great Britain was not working well. This means there is less incentive for me to visit big cities going further south. I started doing a few pub collections.
After Ambleside I headed to Preston and cycled some way along the disused Lancaster Canal.
I stayed with warm shower host Tashi Bradford and her cat Tevi in Preston. Tashi has travelled extensively, gave me an excellent dinner and it looks like I’ll meet her again in London before long.
On the way through Salford I passed by my own barber’s and went in to have a haircut!
In Manchester I spent a night with another warm showers host Tim Walton & his partner Linda who are planning a long distance cycle trip next year.
I crossed over the Manchester Ship Canal between Manchester and Liverpool. It links Manchester to the Irish Sea and was opened in 1894.
Here is a view of the Albert Dock area and of the landmark Three Graces in Liverpool. The Three Graces are the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. Another good warm shower host Alaster Thomas put me up for the night and in the morning he cycled with me along the River Mersey waterfront to the city centre. We ended up at Ryde bicycle cafe http://www.rydeliverpool.co.uk/ in the old Cains brewery where we are in the photo. Ryde were brilliant at doing some bicycle repair work for me (thank you to Ian & helpful mechanic Don). The next day I visited Alaster at his workplace at Castle Fine Arts http://www.bronzefoundry.co.uk/ making big sculptures. Busts of John Lennon were the order of the day. Owner Chris and Alaster kindly showed me around.
While staying in Liverpool I went for a day by train / car to Snowdonia and walked up Snowdon with daughter Emma & her partner Tom. Here are some bicycle parking spaces at Betws-y-Coed rail station where Emma & Tom picked me up.
We went up the Miners’ and down the Pyg tracks. I think it was the busiest day of the year being the August Public Holiday weekend. It was almost clear at the top!
Back in Liverpool I met up with cycling friend Andrew Bristow https://thewildcyclist.com/ from Southport. We cycled together through Zambia last year.
From Liverpool I crossed the river Mersey at Runcorn on the way to Stoke-on-Trent where I stayed with Marg & Corin Hardcastle and was delighted to receive £137.50 for Christian Aid’s work in Africa through a talk I gave at West End Methodist Church www.westendmethodistchurchstoke.org
I stayed with my daughter Emma in Birmingham and she made me a new CtCT bicycle flag. I’m afraid I lost the first one in Scotland after it snapped off during the ride near Fort William and I never managed to find it again. I got a TV slot on Made in Birmingham’s news: https://www.madeinbirmingham.tv/catchup/?c=news&p=x4ugxl&v=x5zt9fg Click on the video and slide along to 19.42 out of 22.00 minutes into the programme. I’m not sure how long this link will last.
Please consider donating £1 or more to Christian Aid’s work in Africa to help reduce extreme poverty – www.virginmoneygiving.com/nick.simon and if you are already there do join me on facebook – www.facebook.com/nicksimon29 or twitter – www.twitter.com/nicksimon29