Sunday, 26 April 2009


Saturday was a railway day.

I started with an early train to Paddington at about 7am. Then my first cycle ride in central London, from Paddington to King's Cross, along Marylebone Road and Euston Road. That's probably not the easiest route to start with, but it had the advantage of being straight and fast, and at 8am on a Saturday morning it was manageable, if a bit more exciting than a simple country boy should need to cope with.

At King's Cross I put the bike on the train to Newcastle. They have a special luggage section behind the engine so it was securely stowed, and when we arrived at Newcastle they were already getting it ready for me by the time I had walked back along the train. It's a remarkably easy way to move a bike from one end of the country to the other, so all credit to National Express.

From Newcastle I set off to visit my mother, who lives south of Hexham. For the ride out to Hexham I used NCR 72, the Hadrian way, which follows the banks of the Tyne along an old railway line to Prudhoe (birthplace of Ruth Archer).

It's a lovely ride, and because it's an old railway track the long slow climb is barely perceptible, even with a couple of heavy paniers on the back of the bike. On the way, I passed the birthplace of George Stephenson, which I had never visited. I suppose I still haven't, because I just rode past, but at least I've seen it now.

From Prudhoe, the route is a bit more rolling, as it follows country lanes to Corbridge then Hexham.

So far the weather had been kind, but after a steep, hard climb out of Hexham, I got caught in a couple of showers before I reached my destination, and a warm welcome. Thanks mum, for a very pleasant evening.

1 comment:

Gregory said...

You did better than me & National Express. Okay my recent experiences weren't bad but I was lucky if I had someone to tell me where to put the bike (at one station I went down to the wrong end of the train).

Feel free to give me a wave as you leave Durham station. The viaduct has great views including some little church building in the middle of the city, and you can see my house if you knew where it is.