Previous page
Back to the 2015 index page

The far North

Milnthorpe. The scenery is becoming craggy. A large hill on a busy road in the rain. There would be no more major hills after this today but the... It wasn't a pleasant journey here so I might not necessarily try to find a good side to Barrow-in-Fu... My first view of Holker Street. I bet that open-sided stand can be chilly when there's a wind blowing off the sea. The first game at... Even though I'm annoyed at having to come here, I do like Barrow's crest. You could work out what it... 44. Barrow... My hotel. A statue of former Question of Sport team captain Emlyn Hughes who, apparently was once a footballer... This hotel has a fancy stairwell. My unpowered travel has been unbroken so far this year. I'm surpri... Strange place for a sofa. The bathroom is enormous and features two framed copies of the Beano. The restaurant. Good morning. It's Thursday, day 13. I now have to retrace the last 24 km from yesterday evening but... The lanternhouse in Ulverston, a town which also has a Laurel and Hardy museum. I came along this road yesterday but barely recognise any of it. I could hardly see anything then in... On the left is the river flowing out of the end of Windermere. According to the map, I'm riding along the shore of the lake. Funny. It feels more like I'm going up... Windermere. There were only a few places along the road which gave a view of the lake. Some other tourists. Bowness-on-Windermere. I stopped for an ice cream. Bowness-on-Windermere. Another view of the lake. The Northern part of Windermere. Boats. Windermere. Craggy rocks. Crazy golf in Ambleside. The choice of building material seems pretty well settled. Ambleside. The building in the middle is a small house which sits on a bridge over the river. There is no other... Rydal Water. What's he doing with that baby? I think this is the valley which I'll be going up. I'm delighted to see how low the saddle point loo... Scenery. A more modern building made from the same type of stone. This is a strange road. It's clearly designed to allow people going up the hill to overtake each oth... On the way up. At this point, I have just given up to walk. A stream. The sheep seem to be coloured to match the stone. Scenery. Another stream. You don't get many of those these days. A water treatment facility. Descending towards Thirlmere. The hillside. Just another view. This section of road has a good cycle lane. It looks from the signs like it's part of some kind of c... A viaduct on a disused railway line. We haven't had a picture of a milestone for a while. What's that? This is a pleasant quiet road. Another view of the viaduct. At this point, I stopped and had a look at the Ordnance Survey map online to make sure that this is ... A last look at the Lake District hills. I think the mountains in the distance are probably in Scotland. I won't be going there. Gretna Footb... I think that the big chimney in the distance is the one which will be featured in a few photographs'... I thought this must have been where the 60 kHz time signal somes from but it isn't. That's nearer to... Dalston. Dalston. They've got two doors, both with the same address. There's that chimney again. Carlisle. A well-braced bridge. Carlisle. The buildings on either side of the street were originally law courts and are now council offices. I've already ridden past my accommodation for tonight but I couldn't let a day pass without visiting... There's one of those parcel delivery machines there. I'll take that as a sign that nobody minds memb... 45. Carlisle United... A slightly different view. Two pigeons mating on the roof. The club's flag, seen from the back. I don't know if that statue is meant to be anybody in particular. The plaque only says who unveiled ... This particular pattern of two-colour flemish bond brickwork is common all along this street. My bike locked up temporarily until the owner of the guesthouse returned and said that I could put i... Tonight's room is a sensible compromise betwen the tiny one in Blackpool and the giant one in Barrow... Rickerby Park in Carlisle. Rickerby Park. Here's a yellow bike in Brampton. It doesn't look like it's been here since the Tour de France. Perh... Brampton. Lanercost Priory. Scenery. I will be spending most of today on something called Hadrian's Cycleway, which approximately follows... Pretty cows. Hadrian's Wall. One of the places where parts of the wall are still visible. Tourists. An old petrol station. Another view. Haltwhistle has a surprising number of independent shops. Haltwhistle. Haltwhistle. Haltwhistle. You don't have to spend long here to realise that Haltwhistle claims to be the geographical centre o... Haltwhistle. Haltwhistle. A lot of cows. It amused me that this house needs two wind turbines even though it's next to these high-voltage cab... The Fort of Vindolanda. Hadrian's wall was designed with a fort every five miles and a small castle ... Vindolanda. Vindolanda. Vindolanda. Vindolanda. Lookouts on the ridge. You don't actually need to catch a dog to shoot it. Apparently, this is a lime kiln. A view. The road ahead. The Town Hall in Newbrough. The South branch of the River Tyne, close to where it merges with the North branch. You can get unusually close to the railway tracks here. The main road, seen across a corn field. This bench was placed here in memory of a former landlord of that pub. The Watling Street that I know is the old Roman road from Dover to somewhere near Wrexham. This must... Corbridge. I have no idea why there are some painted wooden mushrooms in a cage. The bridge across the Tyne at Ovingham is undergoing considerable work. Are they trying to pretend they're not still banging on about horses? I didn't expect this. It's the Hagg Bank Bridge, which was originally a railway bridge and one of th... I though this quiet spot on the cycleway next to the river was a strange place to have an ice cream ... The site of the battle of Newburn Ford. People launching a boat. An equestrian animal. Suburbs of Newcastle upon Tyne. The A1. Newcastle. Here comes St. James' Park. One end of the St. James' Park stadium faces the city centre, the side is in a old Georgian street a... Leazes Terrace. Newcastle United possibly have the smartest neighbours of any of the clubs. St. James' Park has the same problem as Old Trafford. It's been expanded to a huge capacity on two s... 46. Newcastle United... St. James' Park, not to be confused with St. James Park, which is in Exeter.... Other buildings in Newcastle. As in several other towns, the pub across the road bears the football club's crest. What looks like an abandoned bike. First match 1880. Capacity 52405. I don't know what the record attendance was. You can see what's going on inside of that building very clearly. St. James' Park. St. James' Park. The entrance to Newcastle's Chinatown. One last view of the Newcastle United stadium. The Co-operative building. The square building in the middle is the even newer castle, which replaced the one which gave the ci... The building in the foreground is an extension to the castle, called the Black Gate. I will be crossing the Tyne using the High Level Bridge, designed by Robert Stephenson. Inside the High Level Bridge. The Swing Bridge, the Tyne Bridge and the Millennium Bridge. Two jet-skis coming to destroy the reflection. Newcastle upon Tyne. Newcastle upon Tyne. Locks. The Gateshead International Stadium is primarily an athletics venue but is also home to the fifth di... The stadium was constructed in 1955 but as I understand it, the first football game here was in 1974... 47. Gateshead... It's about to start raining quite heavily. It was worse in a place where the cycle lane was underwater and also next to a puddle like that on t... Unusual definition of "The South". Ther rain is heavy but rather patchy. In another direction, I can see sunlight. The Stadium of Light, with the aquatic centre in front of it. The aquatic centre and the Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland.... This stadium was opened in 1997. What I like about it is that unlike many of the other new stadia wh... 48. Sunderland... The capacity is 48707 and the record attendance is pretty close to that, at 48353. A picture taken using the new phone, partly to see how it performs in the dark and partly because it... The last picture seemed to work well so here's one of the nearby Metro station. The view from my hotel reminds me of Christchurch in New Zealand. Has there been an earthquake in Su... I haven't had much opportunity to find food over the last couple of days. I ate my nasty Travelodge ... Sunderland. Sunderland. Sunderland. Oh, I can see the sea. The view from the road out of Sunderland. I will be going almost the whole way from Sunderland to Hartlepool on disused railway lines. They're... That's a very precise sign. Probably not accurate though as I've heard that when a distance is quote... The old railway line had one section which was annoyingly rocky but the rest was a good riding surfa... This bit particularly surprised me. Near the football ground in Hartlepool. Victoria Park in Hartlepool was opened in 1886 as a rugby ground but became a football ground in 190... The grounds which have most concerned me while I've been planning this trip have been those of Hartl... The place is pretty quiet because Hartlepool United have gone to Stevenage today. On the left, you m... 49. Hartlepool United... Hartlepool's Victoria Park. I didn't go any closer to investigate this ship. Hartlepool. The Middlesbrough transporter bridge. It's a sort of cross between a bridge and a ferry, where a sma... Some heavy industry around the River Tees. I wonder what they are. an alternative to a transporter bridge: a lifting bridge. Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough. 13:50 on Saturday seems to have become my time for servicing the bike, while I wait to be able to ch... It turns out that check-in here doesn't officially open until three o'clock. I've been given a room ... For every match, I've thought that I would have to really rush to get into the stadium before kick-o... Crowds heading to the match. I brought my bike because I expected that everybody would be in their seats by now and that I would ... The Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. First game 1995. Capacity 34742. Record attendance 35000 som... A slightly better view of the transporter bridge. There's a ship moored next to the stadium. People in the snack bar area. I have to collect my ticket from the hut on the left. If things go according to plan, I will have se... As I mentioned at the start of this trip, where was a period of decades when no clubs in the serious... People looking for their names on the bricks. The Riverside Stadium. This was going to be my number 50 but what I'm touching here is just a stairwell. The other wall wou... It was near the end of the third of the matches that I have watched from the stands that I realised ... Given that this stadium was built from scratch on a big empty plot of land, I don't know why it's no... I've just noticed the really big stadia tend to have their floodlights around the rim of the roof, r... I never really expected to enjoy this match much and I was correct. Part of the problem is that the ... TV cameras of different sizes. The five grounds in the North East form a tight little group so here they all are on a chart.... That must be a press gallery. I can see part of that ship from here. The Riverside Stadium. If you don't want to see the final score, ... Another home loss. Victorious Bristol City fans. People leaving the ground. 50. Middlesbrough.... Outside the ground. Crowds. The third floor in this hotel is higher than I expected. I'm glad I'm not on the eleventh. Hurray! The window opens, even though the notice on it says that it doesn't. Heavy rain has started and is forecast to last for several hours. I considered moving my bike from t... I've just noticed that my accessible room includes a telephone with enormous buttons. The North East has always been a bit of a mystery to me. The name of this shopping centre reminded m... Middlesbrough. I haven't booked a hotel for tonight yet because, as those flags show, there is a strong headwind. I... The houses beyond the end of this street are where the old football ground used to be. The housing estate which now stands where Ayresome Park was. As I mentioned yesterday, Ayresome Park wasn't actually used in the 1995-1996 season but it was the ... One thing which links England and North Korea is that both countries had their greatest footballing ... The refurbished Holgate Wall, which acted as part of the ground's perimeter, although it was actuall... Ayresome Park. A lovely sunny day. Some people playing football. I haven't seen a map of these cycle routes but I do seem to be spending a lot of time on them. A statue of somebody herding what look like chickens "to the lake". I saw a couple of warnings that there was a cycle race in the area and then this lot came past me. A race marshall and a couple of other people. Almost as soon as the racers passed me, they reached their food stop. I cant't tell which of these cyclists are in the race and which have just come to watch. Cyclists. The race has resumed properly again now. Racers. There they go.