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The United Kingdom

... and this from the British side. There's nothing to say what the speed limit is on this side. Scenery. These sheep seem to have got a bad deal. There are a lot of much grassier fields around here. Colombian Coal? This is obviously a republican area. Just near here, somebody had tried to add stickers to the road ... Newry. A small park. A van towing a big plastic bin. I don't think thay're meant to be moved like that. Its was making a ... Because there will be no dinner tonight, I am stopping for lunch. I was about to walk into the resta... By the canal in Newry. Newry. Newry. Newry. Oh. What's happened here? I was following a canal and now suddenly it's just a little stream. You co... "DON'T STOP THE BOOGIE" A milestone by the canal. The road signs are back in miles too, which confuses me for a moment every... The bottom of the shallow water, visible under a bridge away from the reflection of the sky. The old canal. Here, the canal is just a little babbling brook. Scenery. Scenery. These two horses were standing still next to the canal, both nodding their heads. Shades of green. This lock is where the water resumes. Poyntzpass. It's me! There are a lot of walkers on this section of the towpath, all going in the opposite direction. Scarva, where I leave the canal. There are two little babies in the trailer. Scarva. I saw a sign saying that Scarva won an award for being tidy and I can see why. It had some very neat... Scarva also currently has a brass band playing in the park. A closer look. The de facto border seems to be somewhere between Newry and Scarva. A Triumph. Banbridge. I thought I was going to have to go up the hill on the right. He is. The flag of Northern Ireland. I don't know why flags are always designed with the flagpole on the le... My map said that there would be a sneaky way through there. It's well hidden. I will be spending the next half hour or so on the A1. It's got a great shoulder. A ruin. "B2" in the Transport typeface looks wrong. A view. A thatched roof... ... which is also what this ploughed field looks like. The sign for tonight's B&B. It's clearly in a unionist area, which is slightly reassuring. One more view before I leave the A1. Here's the place. Inside. Like in ... I've come to regard the presence of real glasses as a sign of quality in a hotel room. This one does... Some of the other rooms. The bike has found some friends. Breakfast must be this way. This isn't multiple houses knocked together but it still has funny little flights of steps. The drawing room. The breakfast room is more sparse than the rest of the house. The owner told me that they had only p... The little dog that got in the way a lot both when I was arriving and when I was leaving. Apparently... A sculpture of Harry Ferguson, as in Massey Ferguson tractors, who was the first Irish person to fly... A car wash and big mast in the grounds of what looks like an ambulance station. These look like more canal locks. In fact, they were the Union Locks, the only four-rise locks on th... For the last couple of miles, the A1 lost its shoulder and wasn't a pleasant place to be riding. The... Swans. Some building work. The Castle Gardens in Lisburn. Lisburn. The artist, Brian Connolly, clearly took inspiration for this piece from what was around him. Council offices and an arts centre. He's a very pretty bird but he's not telling me anything about the big linen mill which used to be h... A swan preening itself. Quite a large fungal growth. The canal was a navigable channel built alongside the River Lagan. A wooden structure in the water. A view from the towpath. Another little bridge. A canoe slalom course. According to a sign, the barge is open to the public today. I must be close to central Belfast now but I haven't seen any evidence of it. The scale on this map is a bit ambiguous. I don't know which part of that hand is supposed to repres... A water feature at some flats. This road has a good cycle lane. A sculpture. Suddenly, the Lagan has grown into this. The yellow crane belongs to the Harland and Wolff shipyard,... The river. Belfast. The Belfast hire bikes come with sturdy locks. Belfast. Doorbells. Belfast. They look like tourists. City Hall. Part of the ... Sir James Horner Haslett. In front of City Hall. The names of all the casualties of the ... J J Astor seems to have received a lot of attention. Belfast. Not a great picture. I took it while waiting at traffic lights. A tall tower at a police station. A park. The Falls Road, a republican area of Belfast. A view across the city towards some distant hills. A plaque on a building. They say this area is nowhere near as violent as it used to be but the existence of a 24-hour undert... A Carnegie Library. The Bobby Sands mural, and one of Belfast's very swish new buses. A garden of remembrance. Part of the Solidarity Wall, which mainly consists of murals supporting various political campaigns ... The wall and a tourist. The one who's been crossed out looks like Aung San Suu Kyi. A tour guide pointing out where the road used to be barricaded. There are still these gates, which can be closed to separate the republican area where I am from the... More tourists. I hoped to go on a bus tour later but by the time I looked for one, they had ended. Nelson Mandela. A mural close-up. It looks like there are lights in the pavament to illuminate the murals at night. Divis Tower. Apparently, the top two floors, where there are now Palestinial flags flying, used to b... Tonight's view from my window. Belfast. I saw a sign advertising guided tours of City Hall so I've come on one, just like in ... City Hall was built between 1898 and 1906. That painting dates from 1951 and depicts Belfast being o... City Hall. City Hall. A peek into the new gift shop. A window which mainly depicts scenes from the Second World War. Since 1973, Belfast has had a new Lord Mayor every year. It takes a couple of years for the official... The robing room. The ceremonial mace and some other artefacts are in the top case. The mayor's chain is in the bottom... There's plenty of chance to sit down on this tour. The council chamber. This is the seat that I've been sitting in. I don't know whether it belongs to Alderman Lydia Patter... It's a surprisingly hands-on tour. The Council Chamber. I was trying to be arty but it didn't really work. The Banqueting Hall. I assume they must remove this soft carpet whenever there's a banquet. It looks... The Great Hall was destroyed in the Second World War so the windows, which had been removed as a pre... I don't think I've seen a Tim Hortons shop before. There's some major work going on here. Belfast. Belfast. Belfast. Belfast. But money in Northern Ireland doesn't look like that. "THE NORTHERN WHIG AND BELFAST POST" The original St. Anne's Church here was built in 1776. After Belfast was awarded city status in 1888... Belfast. The stonework of St. Anne's Cathedral took 82 years to build and was completed in 1981. You can see ... Another fancy but inaccurate clock. Was this whole mural just a way to disguise two ventilation pipes? Belfast. The police probably don't need a vehicle that heavily armoured just to pop out for a pasty. There are murals everywhere in this city. Belfast's oldest Catholic church now has a replica Lourdes grotto... ... and a Holy Shop. Belfast by night. It's a dull morning. This was meant to be a picture showing the crinkly texture of the trees on the hill in the distance ... A cardboard tube depot, in the docks. The docks. Belfast docks. You wouldn't normally find all those motorways in one place. Oh, this ferry is different. My bike goes on the back trailer and whatever luggage I don't want duri... An escalator on a boat! Whatever next? Another boat leaving Belfast, seen through a rather dirty window. This trip is weird. I hadn't had any continental mains sockets since Rosslare and then here's on on ... There's a busy container port next to the ferry terminal. Through the door are kennels for animals but it looks like dogs don't have to go in there. Containers. A container being moved. ... The Harland & Wolff shipyard. A view back towards Belfast. There's a lot of greenery in this restaurant. Cargo. The mist is clearing. More container movements. The upper car deck. These birds were funny. The white one kept trying to get away and the grey one kept following it and... There goes another one. Cavehill. Belfast Castle. The man who has come to release us from the Emerald Isle. Ships. A boat and a jetty. Another view of a container being loaded. A lorry getting onto the ferry to Scotland. I had considered going that way myself but it looks like... A ship arriving with its pilot... ... and its entourage of seagulls. Bye, Belfast. Jordanstown. Sunlight glinting on the water. I won't be going to Scotland but I can see it. That's the Mull of Galloway. A Scottish house... ... and a lighthouse. A rainbow in the sea spray. It's sunny now but this is easily the roughest of this trip's three sea ... Something on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man. The Isle of Man. The Point of Ayre, at the Northern tip of the Isle of Man. A boat. Wind turbines off the coast of the Wirral. A little boat on the rough sea. Liverpool. You can read the time off the Liver Building from 18 km away. The Chosen One. Framed. Lady Anne Beau, heading for Plymouth. Crosby Beach, with two of the 100 sculptures which form Sir Antony Gormley's installation ... Two more sculptures, with two real people and a dog. Ah, they've finished ... Both football grounds. Liverpool. Some people might like to add their own caption to this one. The Radio City Tower, also known as St. John's Beacon, and the Anglican Cathedral. Another view of this lot. Liverpool waterfront. I've put the camera into a different mode now so the pictures might be better. The Three Graces: The Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building. MV Snowdrop, one of the Mersey ferries, currently painted in First World War dazzle camouflage. The Steam Packet company has a berth right in the city centre and runs services to Belfast in the Su... Because of that, I'll be spending the night on this side of the river, in the Wirral. Toll booths for one of the Mersey tunnels. There was a 40 minute delay in getting off the ferry, which means that I'm having to ride to my hote... For traffic exiting the tunnel. Another shipyard. I've happened across an MP's office. I probably won't be allowed to sit in her chair though. Tonight, I will be staying in Port Sunlight, the village created to house the empoloyees of the Leve... Port Sunlight. Port Sunlight. Port Sunlight. The Lady Lever Art Gallery. My home for tonight. The door at the back of the courtyard is labelled as the hotel reception. It's locked. I tried to go... I came in through the restaurant door and went to reception, where there was a sign saying that nobo... I've been given a key to room 6 and told that it's up here. This place is a fiasco. The room is okay. The weirdest thing is that the pull cord for the bathroom light is elastic so you ... What's the point of the sign then if they're going to come in here anyway? And what are all these switches? Sorry, the camera still isn't set up properly. I brought two cameras on this trip and haven't broken... The sign which welcomes guests to the breakfast area in this shambolic hotel says "SORRY THIS A... If you want something to read, there are four copies of ... Both of Liverpool's cathedrals. Liverpool, seen from the Wirral. "GRANGE BAPTIST AND WIRRAL CHINESE CHURCH" More hefty lock gates... ... and another lifting bridge. The Wallasey terminal of the Mersey ferry. Sunlight on the Mersey. A big cruise ship has arrived since yesterday. Inside the ferry terminal. The statue on the left is one of 145 ... The ferry operates tourist trips up and down the river in the middle of the day, and a commuter shut... On the ... The criuse ship's name is Seabourn Ovation. Another view. That's the complementary ferry to the one on which I arrived yesterday. Mine will be back in Belfast... The Royal Liver Building. One of the Liver Birds. The Port of Liverpool Building and a statue of King Edward VII. One street back from the waterfront. Another view of the Liver Building. Probably some art. I didn't go over there to read the notice. Superlambanana, a cross between a banana and a lamb. It was created for an exhibition in 1988. When ... The banner on the left has changed since ... The stadium has had ... This wasn't the recommended route out of Liverpool but it's a very good road. Today, I have a strong... I've found an old railway line. My journey away from Liverpool is on the A580 East Lancashire Road, Britain's first inter-city expre... Luxury apartments? What, there? The same building also has a mobility scooter shop. Atherton. I didn't find an explanation of this sculpture. I didn't really mean to have two pictures of it either. The tailwind was so strong going through Bolton that I barely even got to see the town. Here, I've s... These green cables are being installed along the road leading into Bury. The bundle thins out as two... Bury. I know the way from here. This is Harcles Hill... ... with its monument to Sir Robert Peel. The town of Ramsbotton. Edenfield. The Rawtenstall end of the East Lancashire heritage railway. A sculpture with a hole in it. That has probably happened today. It has fallen in the direction of today's wind. I don't remember seeing this here before. But where's Tinky Winky? Cows on a hill. I'm now climbing easily the biggest hill of this year's trip. It would have been possible to avoid i... Crawshawbooth. I only know of one other road in Britain where the house numbers go above 1000. Clowbridge Reservoir, near the top of the hill. The landscape. Geese. A view in the general direction of Accrington. The start of the long descent. Another view. Passing over the Leeds-Liverpool in Burnley, near to where it goes over ... Burnley bus station. Nelson. Nelson. Colne, where I began this trip. I once went to this car parts shop to get a headlamp bulb. The service was incredibly efficient: I s... Colne. Colne. The sign says that this is a tribute to the town's rhythm and blues festival, which is a major event... It was pretty hard to get away from Titanic memorabilia in Belfast. Colne also has this, the memoria... Colne's flags. The one on the left is one version of the flag of Lancashire. Colne. Colne. Back ... I proabably didn't need this. It's a bottle of water which I haven't opened at all on the whole trip...