Category Archives: England

Back in the UK

The Ridgeway from Uffington Castle

The Ridgeway from Uffington Castle

After a year on the road we were sitting in a hostel in Tashkent waiting for our Kazak visas to come through. The temperature was in the high 30s and we had a week to wait. Waiting for visas is a pain, It got us thinking, we hadn’t seen some of our family for over a year. We decided to come back to the UK for a few weeks and catch up with family and friends. We tracked down a couple of bike boxes in Tashkent, which is not easy as it has virtually no bike shops.  We eventually tracked one down by asking one of the few cyclists we  saw in Tashkent who gave us directions to a sports shop that sold a few bikes. We flew back with Uzbek airlines who were pretty good, nice food and the bikes arrived intact.

Longleat

Longleat

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Stourhead

Stourhead

Since  being back in the UK we have been enjoying one of the best summers England has had in many a year. We have been cycling on the Sustrans National Cyle routes that really are excellent. They take you right through the middle of some beautiful towns, past Winchester and Salisbury cathedrals and past stately homes such as Longleat and Stourhead.

DSC02956Through old railway tunnels like the two tunnel route south of Bath on route 24 going through a 400 metre and 1700 metre tunnel complete with motion activated music.

DSC02958It does make you realise how spoilt we are in the UK with brilliant cycle routes, safe roads and pretty good drivers. Not to mention the beautiful countryside and for this summer the good weather.

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The time has flown by and it has been lovely catching up with family and friends but it is time to hit the road again. We thought about heading back to Central Asia and carrying on where we left off but it is still very hot there and we both fancied going somewhere different. So next stop will be Japan.
[caption id="attachment_1078" align="aligncenter" width="625"]From the Ridgeway looking east From the Ridgeway looking aast

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England

DSC00583DSC00584After all the hard work of getting rid of nearly everything it was a relief to be setting off on Monday the 17th June heading for Harwich and  a ferry to Denmark. Like all big moments it was a bit of an anticlimax, we were already thinking about the route ahead, the weather and how the bikes would handle.

We headed up National cycle route 4 to London and then picked our way through some small roads to join route 1. The ride up to London was fantastic along the Kennet and Avon canal. I think it is prettier than the route to Bath having the feel of cycling alongside a river rather than a canal. After the canal we followed the Thames and then through Richmond Park into London.

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DSC00590Everything was green and on the 2nd day very very hot. We picked up another canal route to take us up through Lea Valley and out of London.DSC00592

 

The run in to Harwich showed that our waterproofs were up to the job enduring a couple of hours of torrential rain.DSC00595

The bikes were great once you got used to the increased load. Total distance 344km. The National Cycle routes are a brilliant way to explore the UK. We weren’t expecting much on this first leg but the scenery was fantastic and most of the route was off road.