Monday, August 31, 2009

St Briavels (a bit inland!)

Dad is in the Youth Hostel in St Briavels. It's a bit inland and about 10 miles in the wrong direction ... but he has a bed! I couldn't find any campsites and Dad tried a couple of B&B's which were full so he headed to the Youth Hostel . The Hostel is a moated Norman Castle and the Portcullis closes at 11.30 pm ... so Dad had better be back in from the pub before then or he'll be trying to pole vault himself back in! Dad is staying in the Royal Apartments tonight. Sounds a bit posh! It's £17.00 a night but that includes breakfast.

Weather has been dry but a bit chilly. I've had a look at the four day forecast and it looks very much like it's going to be a wet few days!

Today's route took him from the campsite back into Weston-super-Mare on cycle paths. He then cycled along the prom and sea front to Kewstoke. He then headed inland to Congresbury and then he picked up B roads to Clevedon and Portishead,_Somerset where he managed to pick up a bacon buttie in a relatively posh cafe in the new harbour. From there he mainly followed cycle paths along the Mouth of the Severn to Avonmouth village. He then followed the A403 along the docks, but it being a Bank Holiday the road was really quiet, and on into Severn Beach He tried to cross the Severn on the M4 but it had no cycle route or foot crossing so continued on to the M48 and crossed via the Severn Bridge cycle path. He then headed into Chepstow hoping he'd be able to pick up a B&B. He then picked up the B4228 to St Briavels. It was mainly uphill (8 miles) to the St Briavels. That means he'll have a good start tomorrow morning!

He is sharing a room with a Canadian who is roughly Dad's age and this is the first time he's been hostelling since he was a "youth"! They reminisced about when you were assigned chores in the hostels (even I remember that!!). No cooking for Dad tonight as he has booked in for an evening meal in the hostel. Looking at the photos of the hostel the dining room looks medieval!

Tomorrow Dad is heading for Cardiff where hopefully he'll get a bed for the night.

There will be no update from me tomorrow as I'm down in London but will update on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week 13 Summary

Sorry for late posting ... completely forgot it was Sunday and I needed to do a weekly update.

So the week has gone like this

Day 85 Godolphin to Land's End 26 miles
Day 86 Land's End to Perrenporth 44 miles
Day 87 Perrenporth to Bude 55 miles
Day 88 Bude to Mortehoe 58 miles
Day 89 Mortehoe to Minehead 50 miles
Day 90 Minehead to Weston Super Mare 55 miles
Day 91 Weston Super Mare (rest day)

I make that to be 288 miles covered this week which bring the grand total to 3716.

Weston-super-Mare (day 2)

Today has been a rest-day from the bike. Instead Dad got his washing done and serviced the bike which now has new brake blocks both front and back and has been oiled. Once all the chores were done Dad headed into Weston-super-Mare on the bus (his bus pass comes in handy). Dad had a pub lunch and a pint and then went for a walk along the front. He stopped off to watch Carters steam fair for awhile He then headed to the classic car show. He also had time for a shop in Tesco before heading back to the campsite on the bus.

Dad has sussed out where the "local" pub is which is about a 1.5 miles from the campsite. If the rain clears up he might head off for a pint tonight.

On the menu tonight is chicken curry, tinned mushrooms followed by banana and custard.

Tomorrow he is heading for Bristol/Newport area.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Dad is now camping in Weston-Super-Mare He is planning on having two days on the camp. The campsite is next to the Helicopter Museum and the guy at the Minehead campsite advised Dad to follow the signs for the Museum and he would easily find the site (which he did!). It's still been pretty windy but at least it's not rained. There was a downpour over night but it had cleared up by this morning. On the camp last night the owner had said to Dad to pitch his tent where he wanted. So Dad pitched it behind the toilet block out of the wind. The pitch and the piece of grass was just the size of Dad's tent. Apparently no one has ever pitched their tent on that spot before!

The route today took Dad on a downhill stretch from the Minehead campsite back into Minehead. Dad popped into Superdrug for some cod liver oil tablets. They were on a BOGOF offer so Dad has ended up with two lots! That's something else to carry with him. Dad rode past the West Somerset Railway . It was then onto Blue Anchor bay and the only hill of the day. He then headed for Watchet and had an all day breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee. He noticed the signs for Watchet Musical Festival and noticed they had camping. For all of 10 seconds he contemplated camping up! I've checked out the line-up and The Wurzels are playing on Sunday. Dad will have heard of them!

He then picked up the A39 to Williton and Quantoxhead and onto Bridgewater where he nipped into Wilkinsons for some brake blocks for the bike. Dad then followed the A38 through Dunball and Highbridge. He then picked up some B coastal roads through Burnham on Sea, Berrow, Bleadon and into Weston-Super-Mare.

On the menu tonight are sardine baps followed by rice-pudding and a windfall apple! Sound delicious not!

Tomorrow is wash day, bike repairs and if there is time left a look around Weston-Super-Mare.

Today I've picked up a bag of spare stuff from Andy that Dad left with him when they met up at Lands End. It weighs a tonne! It's no wonder it's easier to ride without all that stuff. Dad did say he'd sent his deodorant back. So this is a warning for anyone that gets within sniffing distance of him - he's au-naturale!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Well Dad has made it to Minehead http://http// Probably been one of the hardest days on the bike today. Very hilly route plus it has been blowing a gale and at times wet. Even though it was a tail wind it was very gusty and Dad needed alot of concentration just to stay on the bike! However he has had great views over the cliff tops. Last night was very windy and Dad spent most of the night hoping the tent didn't blow away! He kept waking up and planning his escape route if it blew away! Good old Millet's tent stood up to the elements!

Today's route took him Mortehoe on cycle route 27 into Ilfracombe on an old railway track. It was then a climb out of Ilfracombe. Dad then picked up some small coastal lanes. He had excellent views of Helley Bay and Combe Martin Bay. It took him an hour to walk/bike up to Trentishoe (5 miles). At the top there was a viewing point and it was 1,400 feet about sea level. From there it was downhill to Hunters Inn but Dad was too early for food and had to make do with a coffee! Dad cycled along the highest sea cliffs in England. It was then onto Lynton and Lynmouth and he then had to climb the 12% hill out (I have no idea how steep that is but it sounds steep!) It was then up Countisbury Hill and on into Countisbury. Dad had excellent views of the waves lashing against the coast. He then picked up the A39 toll (£1.00 for bikes) and into Porlock and it's famous hill - which featured in 2007 Tour of Britain! Have you noticed how many hills I've mentioned!!! More information on them can be found here It was then on into Minehead. Dad had to ring for directions to the campsite. The lady said "ok I'll see you in about 20 minutes". What she forgot to tell Dad was there was yet another hill climb up to the campsite. I think the fact that two hills are mentioned in the address was a bit of a give-away (Hill Road, North Hill!!!) It took Dad 40 minutes to get there! He should be used to all these hills as hill climbing is what he specialised in his youth!!

He hadn't done much of a shop, it would have only been more weight to carry up the hills, and he was hoping there would be something on the campsite. Unfortunately there wasn't so on the menu tonight is cup-a-soup and his emergency noodles. He didn't even get his usual bacon buttie today either!

Tomorrow he will be heading for Weston-Super-Mare were he plans to have two nights.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Photo from Senan Cove

Thanks to the Machin's here is a photo on the campsite at Senan Cove (Land's End). I hasten to add that's not Dad's tent ... he's not been carrying a tent that size round on his bike!!! It's outside the Machin residence.

Mortehoe (Ilfracombe)

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is now in a place called Mortehoe which is a few miles outside Ilfracombe Had a good day on the bike. The weather has been dry and he's still got a tail wind. However the weather had started to get a bit more wet and windy and the campsite he is on is very exposed. He said he'd lashed down his tent with his bike. So if anyone in the Ilfracombe sees what looks like a tent shaped hot air balloon flying by ... it could be my Dad and his tent!

Last night he got chatting to the couple that live at Keele (Phil & Kath Ayres) over a cup of tea in their caravan. It turned out that they had several friends in common. Small world!

Today's route has taken Dad from Bude along the coastal roads to the outskirts of Bideford. He saw the signs for Stoke but decided against taking a de-tour to have a look as there didn't appear much to see. However he did cycle the two miles down to Clovelly only to find that he had to cycle two miles back up the same road! Apparently there are donkeys that take you up and down to the village as well as a Landrover taxi service. He then picked up the A39 into Bideford In Bideford Dad had an all day breakfast - well you'd need it after cycling up from Clovelly. Dad then followed the Tarka Trails which goes along the Torridge River and the Taw River. Dad said it was lovely to cycle along the trails which were very busy with families out for a ride. In total Dad rode along 16 miles of the trail to Brauton. He then followed B roads through Croyde Bay and into Mortehoe.

On the menu tonight is meatballs and red beans (he probably means kidney beans!) followed by rice pudding and banana!

Tomorrow he is heading to Minehead/Watchet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bude (well almost)

Dad is camping on the CC site on the outskirts of Bude In fact he nearly cycled past it! Today and last night has been very wet and windy. The only compensation to a very wet day was that he had a tail wind! He even had to pack up the tent this morning in the rain (I bet it's twice as heavy wet!). It's now stopped raining so hopefully it will all dry out by morning. He got to the camp about 3.00 pm and had a long hot shower. He tumble dried everything he'd been wearing including the shoes!

Today's route took him out via Newquay There were lots of coach company's picking up people from outside the hotels. Newquay was larger than he remembered. Dad decided against going down the coast route to Padstowe as there were a lot of arrows on the map (ie lots of hills!!) and he didn't fancy walking in the rain. So instead he picked up the A39 to St Columb Major and onto Wadebridge. It is one of the major roads through Cornwall but it is wide and the cars gave Dad plenty of remove. In Wadebridge he stopped for a well earned bacon buttie and left the seats and tables wet from his clothes as he left! Wadebridge was a very biker friendly town and there were several bike routes (the Camel trails ) leading from there but one was for Padstowe and the other Bodmin and neither were in the direction Dad needed. Instead Dad picked up the B3314 and cycled passed the British Cycle Museum but Dad was that wet that he decided to cycle on as he would have just left pools of water if he'd gone to have a look around. He then headed into Tintagel and had his faith restored in the Cornish Pastie. You could actually watch through the window them being made. Dad said the massive Cornish Pastie made his day! I think this is probably where he went It was on through Boscastle (the site of the devastating floods a few years ago) and onto the campsite.

While doing his laundry Dad got chatting to someone who lives on Keele campus (his wife works there!). Small world.

Dad has picked up some supplies from the camp store. On the menu tonight is cup-a-soup, beans and sausage followed by custard and broken biscuits! He didn't buy the biscuits broken - that's what comes with stuffing stuff in your panniers.

Tomorrow he is heading for Woolacombe and hopefully a dryer day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Spoke to Dad earlier. He is now in Perrenporth He'd made excellent time today as he'd been riding with a tail wind - first time in about a month! He'd got to the campsite just after 3.00 pm. He even had time to buy and read a paper. The campsite is just outside Perrenporth. It's got a swimming pool and a bar. Dad is giving the swimming pool a miss but just might frequent the bar!

He had a good evening last night. He had his fish and chips and then Andy and his family and Dad headed off to Sennan Cove. Dad and Andy went for a pint whilst Andy's wife and children went off to walk along the beach. There was some sort of incident on the beach where a man was knocked off the jetty by a wave. Looked quite serious as an ambulance was needed as well as the sea rescue team.

Today's route has taken him on the B3306 to St Just and then onto St Ives,_Cornwall. From there he headed towards Hayle and found a Tesco and was really looking forward to an all day breakfast only to find that this Tesco had a Costa Coffee (or as it is more commonly know Cost-a-fortune) franchise instead. So he had to make do with a coffee and a croissant. Not quite the same. It was then into Hayle and through Redruth Dad stopped to watch them riding on a BMX track (he wasn't tempted to have a go!). He also passed by the Tin mining museum. It was then onto Blackwater and through St Agnus to Perrenporth.

On the menu tonight was beef curry (it was hot!) and mixed vegetables followed by banana and custard. Dad is off for a walk along the beach tonight - I've told him to keep of jetties and watch out for the waves!

Tomorrow the weather forecast is to pick up the tail-end of a hurricane so Dad is hoping to make good ground. He will be heading towards Bude but if it's very windy who knows where he might end up!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lands End

Well Dad has made it to Land's End. He's had quite an easy day on the bike today clocking up about 25 miles so he got there just after lunch. He's also met up with his friend (Andy Machin) who is also camping on the same site. Dad has now got the spare wheel release key for his bike and in return Andy is going to bring back all the stuff Dad no longer needs! I hope it's all clean and washed!!

Weather hasn't been great with a couple of rain showers. However last night the weather had been very wet and windy and the all-singing, all-dancing Millet's tent had let in a bit of water! So once Dad had pitched up today he got everything out to dry.

Today's route took him from Godolphin Cross, Goldsithney and into Marazion From Marazion you get excellent views of St Michael's Mount's_Mount (I remember going there as kid!). From Marazion Dad picked up cycle route 3 which took him along the sea front and straight into Penzance Just as he was approaching Penzance the helicopter from the Isles of Scilly was just landing. Dad was impressed with Penzance which was very biker friendly. From there he headed onto Newlyn where Dad has his first Cornish Pastie of his trip. He wasn't overly impressed and would have preferred a bacon buttie! It was then onto Mousehole where they were holding a bath-tub race across the bay. He then picked up B3315 straight down to Land's End's_End.

Dad was more impressed with Land's End than John o'Groats. Cars needed to pay £4.00 to park but it was free for bikes. There was also a free model village. Dad had the customary photos taken. At the same time Dad had arrived another guy on a bike (and trailer) had arrived. He was also have his photos taken and "celebrating". At one point he took everything off his bike and was having his photo taken holding his bike over his head. Dad did think he was going a bit over the top in his celebrations - well unless he'd just cycled around the world or something! Dad had lunch at Land's End and had his photo taken at the first/last cafe.

He then headed off to find the campsite. Tonight the fish and chip van will be on the campsite. After that he is for a drink (or two) with Andy.

Tomorrow he is heading to St Agnes/Perrenporth area.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 12 Summary

Weekly tot up of miles this week.

Day 78 Ulwell to Charmouth 54 miles
Day 79 Charmouth to Ladrum Bay 30 miles
Day 80 Ladrum Bay to Slapton 50 miles
Day 81 Slapton (rest day)
Day 82 Slapton to Downderry 52 miles
Day 83 Downderry to Veryan 40 miles
Day 84 Veryan to Godolphin Cross 50 miles

The miles covered this week are 276 bringing the grand total to 3428 miles.

Godolphin Cross

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is camping at a place called Godolphin Cross which is slightly inland and about 12 miles short of Penzance. He'd got a poor mobile signal and had to walk up the road to get a few bars on his phone. Today has been a wet day and it's been the first time in many weeks he'd had to pack up his tent in the rain.

Today's route took him from Veryan. He'd enquired at the campsite before leaving about a ferry from St Mawes to Falmouth,_Cornwall and they had sold him a ticket at a cheaper rate. However even though the ferry would take bikes he had to remove all his panniers and tent, etc in order to get the bike on the ferry. He got some help off the ferry people getting on the boat but very little help getting off. However a lady and her two children who Dad had been chatting to on the crossing all helped so it wasn't too bad. Dad stopped in Falmouth for a bacon buttie to shelter from the rain. From Falmouth the route took him through Constantine and into Gweek . Dad didn't stop to look around the seal sanctuary. It was then into Helston where Dad did a shop. Helston is the most southerly town in the UK . It is also close to the Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose . His intention was to camp somewhere around Helston but the first site he found only took caravans. The next site he found had only one space left and that was on hardstanding (not good for putting up a tent!). However he found a campsite at Godolphin Cross and has got himself a nice level pitch (the last two nights he's been sleeping on a slope!).

Forgot to ask what is on the menu tonight but no doubt it will be as appetising as ever !

Dad has roughly 12 miles to Penzance and another 12 miles to Land's End. Hopefully he will met up with a friend at Land's End and pick up his spare wheel release key. Once round the corner at Land's End he will then be on the final leg of his tour.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Just spoke to Dad. He has made it to the CC site at Veryan and at £5.00 back packers rates its a bargain! Weather has been cloudy with one rain shower. His muscle is getting a bit better ... it still only hurts when he walks.

The campsite last night was called Carbeil Holiday Park, Downderry. He went to the bar for fish and chips and most other people staying on the camp did. Not everyone "dressed" for dinner! Dad stayed on in the bar and had a couple of pints and got chatting. He even overslept this morning!

Today's route took him from Downderry through Seaton and onto Looe and its very narrow lanes. From there it was onto Polperro where Dad had himself a full English breakfast. The town again had very small streets and only bikes and cars are allowed in. He then headed onto Bodinnick and headed for the passenger/bike ferry to Fowey However there were lots of steps to get the bike down. Dad went off and asked how far it was to the car ferry instead and the ferryman and another guy helped Dad carry his bike down to the ferry. There also gave Dad a lift to carry the bike off (why have steps down to a ferry where you can take bikes on!) After lunch in Fowey it was onto St Austell and Porthpean and Mevagissey Here the roads in the town are so small that cars are not even allowed. It was then on through Boswinger and down into Veryan.

Tonight on the menu Dad has soup (a tin of!) and beans and sausage. He couldn't get any Alpen so tomorrow he will be powered by Weetabix!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Downderry (Looe)

Just spoken to Dad. He is in place called Downderry which is about five miles from Looe. He couldn't get a signal on the campsite but someone told him that you could get a signal down on the beach. You could even hear the waves breaking! His pulled muscle is ok ... apparently it only hurts when he walks on it! He didn't make it to the pub last night. Instead he got chatting to some people in a camper van on the site who kindly charged up his mobile for him.

Dad is camping on a nudist campsite at Downderry (yes you read that right). Dad thought it was a bit strange when he arrived at the camp and you had to ring a bell and the owner came and opened the gate. The owner explained that it was a family nudist site but you didn't have to take your clothes off! There is also nudist beach. The site also has a jacuzzi and swimming pool as well but you do have to strip off to use those! Dad said there were naked peopled wandering around the camp but Dad has decided to keep covered up ... for one thing his cycling tan lines make him look like a zebra and another he'd got his coat on as it was a bit of a chilly evening!!!

Dad negotiated a cheaper rate on the site. It was usually £20 a night but Dad got it for £10 - well he's only got a small one (we are talking tents now!!!!).

Today the weather has been showery and Dad had his lunch in a bus shelter out of the rain.

Today's route has taken him through Blackpool and along Blackpool beach - this Blackpool had no tower though! The beaches between Slapton and Stokenham were used by the American for practising the D-Day landings He then picked up the A379 through to Kingsbridge. He stopped in Modbury for his usual bacon bap. He then continued onto Yealmpton, Brixton and into Plymouth Dad cycled around the Barbican and past the Mayflower. He then headed for Devonport and the ferry. He'd calculated it to be 2 miles away but came across a sign that said 12 miles - someone had altered the sign! Dad caught the car ferry to Torpoint (free for bikers). He then picked up the B3247 through Crafthole and Portwrinkle (and Portwrinkle Beach which is close to the nudist beach!) and onto Downderry.

Tonight on the menu is fish and chips which is being served on the campsite at 7.30. I don't suppose there is a need to "dress for dinner" on a nudist camp :) Today Dad stopped off in Aldi and picked up a few provisions. He thought he'd picked up a packet of chocolate chip cookies. In actual fact he'd picked up a packet of cookie biscuit mix and he needed to bake them. Bit of a problem when you only have one primus! As he'd opened the packet before he realised he couldn't take it back. He tried to give a couple of people. One bloke said "if I can't fry it I can't cook it". Eventually someone took it off his hands!

So all and all an eventful day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Slapton (day 2)

Today Dad has had a day off the bike. He got his washing sorted first thing. He purchased a couple of soap tablets from the camp shop and headed off to the laundry. He piled all his washing in and started the wash and found he'd still got the two washing tablets in his hand (and they needed to be in the drum!). A woman in the laundry came to his rescue as she had some liquid soap that he could add in the tray! Dad exchanged her some liquid for his two tablets.

Washing done he caught the bus from the campsite back into Dartmouth. Spent a few hours around the harbour and watching the boats on the River Dart. He then caught the ferry to Kingswear and had his lunch in the Dart Hotel (I bet they don't do bacon butties!). He then caught another bus onto Brixham Had a good walk around the town and the habour. He met a couple in Brixham from the campsite so they all headed back to campsite together. Dad was pushing it a bit for time to catch the bus back and "jogged" for the bus and thinks he might have pulled a muscle in his leg! Cycles over 3,000 miles and pulls a muscle in a short jog! Hopefully it will have sorted itself out by tomorrow.

He's glad he's had today off the bike as it's been pretty wind (which would have been a head wind). Tomorrow is he heading for Plymouth region.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Spoke to Dad. He'd only just got to the campsite at Slapton (6.45),_Devon. He decided to push on a bit and carry on to the CC campsite at Slapton. He is staying two nights so that he can have a wash day tomorrow. He's had a good day today on the bike and the weather has been great. It's been pretty hilly day again. Most towns/villages are down at sea level so he has the descent down and then there is the climb back out of them again.

Dad had a good night last night. He found there was a pub just off the campsite so he nipped in and found they had footie on so he had a couple of pints and watched the game. It was a "late" night and he didn't get in til 10.30!

Today's route has taken him back into Otterton and onto Budleigh Salterton which had many tea-shops and cafes but it was too early for a morning stop. He headed onto Exmouth and thought there might have been a ferry over to Dawlish. However he couldn't find any sign of one so headed off into Exeter where he picked up Exe Valley trail along the River Exe. He got a bit lost on the route into Exeter and had to ask several people for directions (not entirely sure how you get lost cycling along the edge of a river!). Once in Exeter Dad cycled along the quayside. He then picked up the A379 onto Powderham, Starcross where he again picked up the Exe Valley Trail to Dawlish (he found that there was a ferry that ran across to Exmouth - but it was doubtful if he'd got his bike on it without taking off the panniers). It was then onto Teignmouth, Paignton and Torquay (both of which were extremely busy and crowded) and on into Brixham. It was then another hilly ride to the ferry across the river. The ferryman got chatting to Dad and asking him how far he had ridden. I think he was a bit shocked when Dad said he'd clocked over 3,000 miles on the bike! It was then into Dartmouth. Slapton is a few miles out of Dartmouth,_Devon.

Dad hasn't had his usual bacon buttie today as he never found anywhere to have one! On the menu tonight is chicken curry and mushrooms followed by rice pudding and bananas. He might even pop out for a pint as there is a pub close by.

Tomorrow is a rest day from the bike so Dad is off to Dartmouth on the bus!

Forgot to mention Dad's useful tip of the day yesterday ... he cleaned out his water bottle of all the green gunge by putting some small pebbles in it, half filling with water and shaking it like a maraca. Amazingly when he washed it out all the green gunge had gone!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ladrum Bay

Just spoke to Dad. He is camping at Ladrum Bay which is about 5 miles west of Sidmouth Phone signal wasn't brill so Dad had had to climb to the top of the hill to get a decent signal. It did mean that he had great views of the coast. Today has been an easy day on the bike and he'd got to the campsite just after 3.30 pm. However it had been a walking/hiking day as there were lots of hills enroute!

Today's route took him from the Penn Campsite on a small lane into Lyme Regis It was quite a hilly lane and Dad was pushing the bike and noticed a small silver looking case (similar to a cigarette case) on the floor which looked like it had been run over by a car. Dad picked it up and opened it and it contained a driving licence, visa card, Royal Navy card and a tenner. Dad took it to the police station in Lyme Regis and left his details and the blog page (so if you are the owner and you are reading this ...I'm glad you got all your cards back!). From Lyme Regis it was another half hour walk up the hill and into Seaton where Dad had his bacon buttie. He had a look around the old tram system and popped into the Tourist Information where he picked up details of the cycle routes in Devon. Dad is now on Route 2 again but on really small lanes. They aren't even wide enough for a bike and a car to pass so Dad has to get off bike and drag it into the hedge so that they can pass safely. From Seaton it was up another hill to Beer (yes there really is a place called Beer!!),_Devon. Dad cycled around to where the caves are. It was then on to Branscombe which is your typical Devon village. He also rode passed the Donkey Sanctuary. It was then onto Sidmouth where Dad did his shop (forgot to ask what was on the menu for tonight!). He's probably only clocked up about 25 miles today but there has been quite a bit of walking/pushing the bike!

He's been chatting to a guy on the campsite (Mark) who was asking him what he was doing. Mark very kindly produed a pint of beer for Dad! Cheers Mark.

Tomorrow he is heading off in the Torquay/Paignton area

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Route (or what's left of it!)

For anyone thinking of meeting up with Dad or those just wondering when he will be back home this is what is left of the route. These are dates that Dad wrote up before he started. At the moment he is a few days ahead of schedule

18th Bournemouth (Dad passed through on the 16th August)
21st Exmouth
27th Land’s End
30th Bude

3rd Weston-Super-Mare
7th Cardiff
9th Tenby
11th St Davids
15th Aberystwyth
18th Conway
24th Newcastle-under-Lyme and home !

The full route can be found here


Had a late(ish) phone call from Dad. He'd only just got to the campsite (6.45). Been a long day on the bike not helped by the hills and a head wind which has made cycling a bit more difficult.

The route today took him from Ulwell to Swanage where he found a cash machine so he is back in funds and doesn't have to earn his keep busking/plumbing! From Swanage it was on small lanes through to Corfe Castle, Church Knowle, Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth Dad then cycled through two army training camps! It is lucky he is still alive as the red flags were up and they were firing! Probably Dad was too slow a moving target for them to use! From there it was into Weymouth which was extremely busy. All the cars that had over-taken Dad onto the ride into Weymouth he overtook again as he got closer to town. He had lunch in Weymouth (meat pie and chips). It was then on the B3157 and onto Abbotsbury which was full of quaint teashops. It was then up a VERY steep hill called White Hill. When Dad got to the top some bloke got chatting to him and told him he had just climbed 600 ft! He then got chatting to another guy with binoculars that was watching a huge bird circling. They spent about 20 minutes chatting and watching the bird which they think was an eagle. From there it was onto Bridport where Dad did a shop. A woman stopped Dad and asked if he would have a chat to her husband who had been a keen cyclist. Dad spent another 20 minutes chatting and telling him what he had been up to.

From there Dad picked up the busy A35 into Seatown, Chideock and then onto Charmouth

Dad has gone all posh for tea tonight as he has done his shop in Waitrose. He has a tin of steak and gravy (I did ask if it was dog food) and a tin of new potatoes!

(Just noticed on the map that Dad has been cycling along Chesil Beach which is also a book by Ian McEwan. I wouldn't have minded a pebble from that beach!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 11 Summary

Done a weekly tot-up of miles

Day 71 - Martin Mill to Folkestone 20 miles
Day 72 - Folkestone to Norman's Bay 53 miles
Day 73 - Noman's Bay to Bognor Regis 54 miles
Day 74 - Bognor Regis to Ryde 35 miles (I'm not counting the ferry crossing!)
Day 75 - Ryde to Ryde 55 miles
Day 76 - Ryde to Beaulie 40 miles
Day 77 - Beaulie to Ulwell 45 miles

I make that to be 302 miles covered this week. Add that to the total gives 3152 miles covered so far.

Ulwell (Swanage)

Dad is camping just outside Swange in a place called Ulwell. Been a glorious day weather wise today. The campsite he is on has a pub just outside and a swimming pool. Has Dad has taken no trunks I don't think he'll be swimming - unless he goes skinny dipping!

Today's route took him through the New Forest and Brokenhurst and Lymington, Everton, Milford-on-Sea, Barton-on-Sea. While cycling along he met another cyclist (from Flint) coming in the other direction and they got chatting. Dad was asking him if there was a route through to Christchurch. Dad stopped for a sausage and fried egg sandwich (bacon must have been off the menu) in Christchurch. Not the best fried egg which was cold! From there it was onto Southbourne and into Bournemouth Cyclists are not allowed to ride along the front between 10.00 am - 6.00 pm in the months of July and August so Dad had to come inland slightly. The route was pretty hilly. From there it was onto Westbourne and then into Sandbanks Dad was on the look out to see if he could pitch his tent in someone's garden! He then got the ferry to Studland. It was then a short ride (90p for Dad and bike) to Ulwell which is on the Isle of Purbeck.

He's been chatting to the people in the tent next door and their daughter is a student at Keele (small world!). Tonight for tea he has cup-a-soup, Old Cowboys Breakfast (sausage and beans in a tin) followed by banana and custard. He had been invited next door to their BBQ but he had already done a shop and didn't want to carry his tins!

Tonight he is off the pub. He'll not be having many as he is down to his last £10 until he can find a cash point. He did say he could either busk or do a bit of plumbing to raise some cash. I think he'd better go for the latter .... I've heard him sing!

Tomorrow he is heading towards Lyme Regis.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Forest (Beaulie)

Tonight Dad is camping in the New Forest at a place called Beaulie He was lucky to get on the site as it was turning away caravans and cars but as Dad had turned up on his bike they let him pitch his tent! The weather today has been dull and a bit chilly and has tried to rain several times.

Today's route took him back into Ryde for the ferry. As he had just missed a ferry he nipped off for a coffee but just as he got his coffee the ferry turned up! At £1.95 a cup he wasn't going to waste it so off he headed pushing his bike and carrying his coffee. Thankfully it was easier to get the bike on the ferry in Ryde than it was in Portsmouth because either coffee or bike could have ended up in the water! When he arrived back in Portsmouth there was a ferry waiting to Gosport but at £3.10 for a five minute crossing Dad thought it was a bit pricey! They did tell Dad it was a return ticket and it was valid for some months (Dad will have to give it to Mike Carter to use as he is going round the coast in the opposite direction!). The guy on the ferry gave Dad some useful tips on how to get to Southampton which took him through Stokes Bay, Lee-on-the-Solent, Titchfield, Park Gate, Bursledon, Woolston and then onto the Hitching Toll bridge (free for bikes) and onto the busy A33 to Southampton He then cycled through the docks looking at the massive cruise liners. Lunch was in a Subway in Totton. After lunch it was on through Marchwood, Dibden, Hythe and into Beaulie. Dad had a look around the village but didn't have time for the Castle or the Car Museum. It was then a leisurely cycle through the new forest. Dad saw lots of ponies and their foals which just wander across the roads - Dad ought to have a bell on that bike!!!

There is no shop at the campsite so he is on emergency rations of noodles, cup-a-soup, flapjack and an apple. However he can smell someone's BBQ. I've told him go and be-friend them and he might get a sausage or a burger!

Tomorrow he is heading off to Wareham/Corfe Castle area.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ryde (day 2)

Dad decided to leave his tent pitched on the campsite just outside of Ryde and go for a ride without his tent and paniers! Weather was a bit misty when he set off but it soon cleared to be a lovely day. He headed off this morning towards Sandown where he managed to pick up a new bike lock for £1.20! It's probably cheap because every lock has the same key! It was then onto Shanklyn, Ventnor where he had his daily bacon bap! From there he headed off to Freshwater,_Isle_of_Wight and had lunch down in the bay. After lunch he headed inland to Newport which was extremely busy on the roads. From Newport he picked up the B roads to Bembridge. He then needed to find Tesco so he could find his campsite again! Dad picked up some provisions while he was there and then headed back to the campsite.

Tomorrow he is heading back onto the mainland where he will be passing through Southampton.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Dad has crossed the waters and is now in Ryde on the Isle of Wight! He has had another good day on the bike.

He had a good time catching up with his friend in Bognor Regis who he had not seen in 14 years. He packed up and left this morning about 9.30 and headed out on the B roads to Merston and then Chichester which is a really nice town. From there he headed to Fishbourne and wished he had more time to explore the Roman Palace but he only had time for a cup of coffee. From there he headed onto Southborne and Emsworth. He then had to pick up the busy A27 for about four miles but as soon as he could leave it he did and picked up minor roads/cycle routes again through to Farlington Marshes and onto Southsea. It was then onto Portsmouth where Dad picked up Wightlink ferry to the Isle of Wight. He had a struggle pushing his bike up the gangway to get it onto the ferry but managed it in the end. Ferry cost him £13.45 return.

Dad did a shop in Tesco in Ryde and then cycled onto a campsite not far out. Between Tesco and the campsite he lost his bike lock! He did go back to see if he could find it but couldn't so tomorrow his first job is he is off out to find a new bike lock!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bognor Regis

Spoke to Dad earlier. He'd just arrived in Bognor Regis and was ringing before he headed off to find his friends house. He has had good day on the bike despite a head wind! He set off just after 8.00 this morning and arrived at Bognor just after 4.00 pm.

The route today took Dad from Norman's Bay through Pevensey and into Eastbourne. Dad was disappointed in Eastbourne as it was not "biker friendly". Most places he's been through have cycle lanes along the front but not Eastbourne. From Eastbourne it was a big climb up to Beachy Head Countryside Centre From there it was onto East Dean and downhill into Seven Sisters,_Sussex. It was then on through Seahaven, Newhaven and Peacehaven which were more cycle friendly which maybe because he was South Coast Cycle Route. It was then on through Rottingdean and Brighton Lunch stop was in Shoreham-by-sea. After lunch it was onto Lancing, Worthing, Ferring, Littlehamton, Middleton-on-Sea and into Bognor Regis. Not much time for sight-seeing today!

At least Dad hasn't got to put his tent up or do any cooking tonight!

Not sure of his plans for tomorrow yet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Norman's Bay (Eastbourne)

Just spoke to Dad. He is pitched up on the campsite at Norman's Bay. Got there about 4.00 pm. Had a good day today out on the bike. Weather has been great and the route has been pretty flat so he made good time.

Today's route took him into Folkestone (via the steep hill from the campsite) and then he picked up Route 2 which took him through the gardens and along them Prom. It was then onto Hythe and then Dymchurch where he went and had a look around the light railway. Unfortunately he didn't get a photo of the train as it had just left the station! From there it was onto New Romney and the marshlands and then to Lydd Dad was telling me about when he used to catch planes from Lydd Airport to France. He would cycle down from Stoke to Lydd (usually took them 2 days) catch the plane out to Le Touquet cycle around for a couple of weeks and then catch the plane back and then cycle home! The airline they flew with was Silvercity Airways and the planes were Bristol Freighter which would take a couple of cars and several bikes. From Lydd it was onto Camber and then Rye where he picked up an all day breakfast as he'd missed out on a bacon buttie in the morning. After lunch he cycled through Winchelsea and out to Cliff End. It was then uphill to Fairlight and Hasting Country Park . It was then into Hastings (which was very touristy) and then along the front to Bexhill (which was much nicer place) and on into Norman's Bay

Tonight's tea (after a shop in Tesco) is cup-a-soup, beef curry and green beans followed by banana and custard. I reckon he just looks for a tin that says curry on it because he knows that will not be dog food!

Tomorrow he is heading off to Bognor Regis.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Dad hasn't gone far today on the bike as he needed to get the back wheel sorted. As he'd got a relatively easy day ahead of him he had a lie in until 8.00 and was off on the road for 9.30.

Today's route took him from Martin Mill to St Margaret's at Cliffe and South Foreland He then picked up minor roads into Dover. Had great views of the Harbour and Castle. From Dover he picked up B roads into Folkestone He did have a bit of trouble finding the campsite again! He asked two postmen. The second one put him in the right direction. Now camping at the Warren campsite which is tents only due to the narrow road down to the site.

Took a couple of hours to sort out the bike so Dad had a wander around Folkestone and had time for lunch and a pint of Guinness in Weatherspoons. Dad now has the spokes sorted, a new tyre and inner tube and is £59.00 worse off!

Tomorrow he is heading off to the Eastbourne area.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week 10 Summary

Done a rough tot up of miles covered. Must say it's a lot more difficult doing it now than it was around Scotland as there are lots more roads/routes etc.

Day 64 Hollesley to Thorpe le Soken 45 miles
Day 65 Thorpe le Soken to Southminster 65 miles
Day 66 Southminster to Southend on Sea 45 miles
Day 67 Southend on Sea 30 miles (and that was a rest day!)
Day 68 Southend on Sea to Gravesend 56 miles
Day 69 Gravesend to Dunkirk 45 miles
Day 70 Dunkirk to Martin Mill 50 miles

Total miles covered this week 336 which gives an overall total 2850 miles

Dover (Martin Mill)

Dad is currently north east of Dover in a place called Martin Mill He's had a great day on the bike today ... weather has been great and he is now back on coastal roads.

Last night he went off to the pub and had liver and onions (sounds as appetising as duck and chicken dog food if you ask me!!). There was only Dad and the landlord in. Dad tried to strike up a conversation with the landlord but it was hardwork. Dad ordered his food at 7.00 and he got it at 7.50! What would it have been like if it had been a crowded pub! Another family came in and that was about it! Mind you it didn't sound a very friendly pub.

Today's route has taken him from Dunkirk through the lanes to Yorkletts, Seasalter. It was than back on the coast through to Whitstable From Whitstable he cycled along the prom to Herne Bay,_Kent where he got chatting to another cyclist who informed Dad it was the Vintage bus parade today. The cyclist even took Dad for a look around the buses. Dad also managed time for his bacon buttie! From there he picked up the A299/28 into Margate. He then picked up the Viking Coast trail ( ) to Broadstairs passing by North Foreland and the lighthouse. Broadstairs had ground to a halt due the Folk Festival . Traffic was gridlocked and even Dad had to get off his bike and walk/push his bike along with all the pedestrians. It was then onto Ramsgate which had a replica Viking ship called Hugin. It was then on to Sandwich where he picked up the toll road (bikes went free) to Deal and then through to Martin Mill.

The campsite he is on is £15.00 a night! Tomorrow is heading over to Folkestone to get the spokes fixed in his wheel.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


No Dad hasn't been blown off course he is camping in a place called Dunkirk which is between Faversham and Canterbury. He had no trouble finding today's camp site ... it could be that there is a pub next door to the site!!!! He even got to the site just after lunch! It must be the thought of a pint.

Today's route took him back through Meopham so he nipped back into the Chemist to thank them again for helping him find last night's camp site. He then followed small lanes through to Luddesdown, Cuxton where he picked up the A228 through to Rochester,_Kent. He then crossed over the river Medway and headed on the A2 through Chatham, Gillingham and onto Sittingbourne. He stopped in Faversham for lunch and had a wander round the European street market.

No cooking tonight as he is off to pub for a meal and a pint.

Tomorrow he is heading Dover/Folkestone way.

PS The glasses he found yesterday have been cleaned of dirt and dust (they must have been there awhile) and are now "fit for purpose". Apparently they are proper wrap around cycling glasses so to the person that nicked his £2.00 glasses ... you did him a favour.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Well Dad is now in Gravesend,_Kent in the VERY hard to find campsite The Conifers. Dad arrived in Gravesend at 4.00 and found the campsite at 6.15! He'd cycled up and down the A227. He'd been and asked in a pub - where someone offered to drive him there with the aid of his Satnav but Dad hadn't got the postcode. He nipped into an estate agents, he'd asked a milkman and several other people on the road. He then nipped into a Chemist in Meopham who came to his rescue by printing him off a map! Even with the map it still proved difficult to find. He stopped to ask a guy on a digger and it turned out that the campsite was opposite. No signs just a small sign on the gate "The Conifers". Dad had rang them up three times to ask for directions but kept getting the answerphone! Surprisingly there are two other caravaners and a tent on the site - I wonder if they had such difficulty finding it.

Today's route took him through Rockford, Hockley, Rayleigh, Hadleigh. He then had to pick up the busy A13 to Thundersley where he was able to get back onto B roads. He then got lost around Corringham and Stanford le Hope going round in circles! He stopped and asked for directions (who said men never ask for directions!). It was then on to East Tilbury and ride by the Coalhouse Fort and then onto West Tilbury where he stumbled upon the ferry which was just about to leave. It was just a passenger/bike ferry and cost £2.00 for the 15 minute journey across the Thames.

Luckily Dad had done a shop in Gravesend so he has pilchards for tea (well it is a Friday!). I don't think he is going to venture out of the campsite tonight in case he can't find it again!

He is heading off Whitstable way tomorrow. Just got a text off him to say the best thing about today was he'd found a pair of sunglasses!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Southend on Sea (day 2)

It's day two in Southend on Sea (well camping at Wallasea Island). Today has been lovely day weather wise and a great day to explore the delights of Southend. The day started off with a lie in as Dad didn't get up til 8.00 am. Breakfast was sitting looking at the lake and the moorhens, ducks and the fish jumping out to feed on the flies.

Dad rode into Southend via Great Sambridge, Rockford, Little and Great Wakering and Shoeburyness. He then rode along the coast and into Southend on Sea. Lunch was at Leigh-on-Sea Dad called into the Tourist Information Centre and found a bike shop as he's been having a "knocking" on his bike wheel. Turns out he's got a broken spoke. They weren't able to fix in there and then so Dad decided to carry on with it and trying and get it fixed another day. Dad went and had a look at Southend pier which at 1.3 miles long is the longest in the world. Dad didn't go to the end even though he could have caught a train!

So much for a rest day. Dad reckons he's probably cycled around 30 miles. However he has lost (well had them nicked) his £2.00 sunglasses! Dozy devil left them on his unattended bike!

Today's windfalls have been blackberries, pear, apple and a mushroom. Dad is going to put the mushroom in the chicken curry he is cooking up for tea!

Tomorrow Dad is heading for Gravesend via the Tilbury ferry.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Southend on Sea (well just outside)

Dad is camping at Wallasea Island which is few miles out of Southend on Sea. The campsite is down by the river Crouch. He's planning on staying two nights as he needed to get his laundry done - which he did this afternoon. According to the information I'd read on the web you could catch a ferry from Burnham-on-Crouch but when Dad enquired this morning they said it had stop running some years ago. However when he asked at the campsite they said it was still running! Even Wikipedia says it still runs!

Today has been a shorter day out on the bike and his route took him Southminster to Burnham-on-Crouch where he had a wander around the marine. He then headed off to Althrope, South Woodham Ferrers, Battlesbridge, Hull Bridge, Ashington and onto Wallsea Island. He got to the campsite just after lunch so set about doing his washing and cleaning/oiling his bike. Campsite is nice and he has pitched his tent by a lake with goldfish and dragonfly. He has also managed to get a seat. He's done a shop but I forgot to ask what is on the menu tonight! However this is a pub so Dad is off there tonight.

Tomorrow he is planning on spending the day around Southend on Sea.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chicken & Duck

Dad has just rang again ... the chicken and duck is off the menu! He was just about to open the tin of butchers cut chicken and duck and turned the tin round and saw the dog on the front of the tin! Yeap you guessed it. He'd only purchased a tin of dog food! No wonder the woman gave him a funny look in the shop. A cyclist buying dog food.

I think he's been on the road too long!


Dad has made it to Southminster Been a long day on the bike today and he's probably clocked up 60 plus miles. The campsite I've found him in Southminster is good and Dad has a picnic table and a view of the lake. The site is huge and there's just one other tent on it! When he arrived they did ask if he'd booked in - it's not like it was busy!!

Today the weather has been mixed and he's had a couple of rain showers. The route took him from Thorpe-le-Soken to Walton on the Naze and through Frinton-on-the sea and into Clacton-on-sea. In fact he never noticed he'd through Frinton. There no signs no B&B's, no ice-cream sellers. Nothing. In fact it was like a place that time had forgot! From there it was onto Jaywick to look at the Austin Avenue and the "cheap" houses. He then headed onto Colchester where he met another cyclist who was visiting every football ground in the country and asking them to donate a football shirt. For those interested he can be found blogging

From Colchester it was off on the B1026 to Abberton Reservoir and then into Maldon and the steep hill! Dad was back to bike/hiking it! From Maldon it was on the B1018 to Latchingdon and into Southminster.

Tonight's meal is chicken and duck (no it's not a windfall one!!!) but from a tin and sweetcorn! Today's windfalls have been blackberries, plums, apples and mushrooms! He also found some potatoes which he reckons must have fallen from a tractor.

Tomorrow he is heading off to Southend on Sea.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thorpe-le-Soken (not far from Frinton-on-Sea)

Well Dad is camping in Thorpe-le-Soken which is not far from Frinton-on-Sea He was chatting to someone who said the folk of Frinton don't like change!

Today the weather has been great and Dad was cycling without his jacket at 8.30 this morning. Dad said his goodbyes to Don & Jean Quin (the couple who had a copy of the Observer) and headed off. The route today has taken him from Hollesley and into Shottisham, Sutton and into Woodbridge. He called in the Tourist Information Centre to see if the ferry was running from Felixstowe to Harwich They gave him a number to call and Dad rang and they booked him onto the 12.30 ferry. Dad then had a leisurely ride through the lanes to Marlesham, Newbourne, Kirton, Trimley and then followed a cycle route which took him down to the Docks. Dad then got lost around the Docks area but eventually after asking a few people managed to find the right road to the ferry. He met up again with German family (Ines, Helge, Kathatina and Joshua). There paths had crossed several times over the last few days. Unfortunately as they hadn't booked the ferry they couldn't get on - good job Dad had booked! It was a bit of a faff taking off the panniers and everything and loading them all on the ferry separately. Dad had lunch in Harwich thinking the Germans may be on the next ferry but they weren't so Dad had to leave. From Harwich the route took him through Little Oakley and Great Oakley and into Thorpe-le-Soken.

He's had to do some repairs to his panniers today which are now held together with string! Tonight he will be eating his windfalls .... which comprises of apples, plums, blackberries and an onion! Not entirely sure how the onion got in there! Whilst he was on the phone he looked up and noticed he was sitting under a plum tree so I reckon he'll hope the wind picks up later!

Tomorrow he'll be heading for Southminster.

Photos Part II

It's a pain adding photos on here so I thought I'd do it in two parts.

Dad and David - back in England.

Middlesborough Transporter Bridge

Dad, Pete and Uni.

Some more photos on my Facebook page

Photos - Part I

Here are a few photos

Dad at John O'Groats

Dad and Mike Carter at John O'Groats
Mike Carter at Duncansby Head
Dad at Buckie
Not sure where this is but I assume he's still in Scotland!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week 9 Summary

Worked out the weekly stats

Day 57 Withernsea to Cleethorpes 50 miles
Day 58 Cleethorpes to Ingoldmells 42 miles
Day 59 Ingoldmells to King's Lynn 60 miles
Day 60 King's Lynn to Wells 36 miles
Day 61 Wells to Sea Palling 42 miles
Day 62 Sea Palling to Southwold 42 miles
Day 63 Southwold to Hollesley 40 miles

I make that to be 312 miles cycled this week. Added to the total that brings the miles covered so far to 2514.

Dad has been on the road now for two months and he has given me a run down on some other stats. So far he has had
  • 16 beds with either friends/YHA/bunk houses
  • 46 nights in the tent
  • 7 missed showers (that's a week of not having showers!!!)
  • Roughly half the time it has been dry the other half being wet (which is good saying it's been a very wet July)
  • Still only two punctures and one new (well second hand) front wheel
  • 4 gas cylinders


Tonight Dad is camping at Hollesley ... this campsite I've found him has all the facilities including a duck pond!!!

Weather was bad last night. It rained from 5.00 pm til about 10.00 pm so Dad never made it out of the tent and down to Southwold. He even cooked up in the tent. Luckily he had the bike mags to read. By this morning all the rain had passed and today has been a lovely day out on the bike.

Today's route took him from Southwold and into Wenhaston and then Dunwich where he stopped to have a look around the Greyfriars priory. The area around there is a haven for bird watchers. From there it was onto Westleton and Leiston where he stopped for a bacon buttie! It was then onto Aldeburgh which was very busy and touristy. He then skirted around Sizewell Power Station. Lunch stop was at Snape Street overlooking Snape Maltings concert hall. It was then on through Tunstall (that means there are at least three of them!!) but there was nothing more than a Church and a sign post! It was then through the lanes to Orford and onto Hollesley.

He met a couple of hikers along the way who just happened to be in the camper van next to Dad when he pitched his tent. They got chatting about what Dad was doing and the hikers said "oh you ought to get in touch with the local press". Dad replied "I'm in the Observer today" and off one of them went and came out the camper van with a copy of the Observer! Dad hadn't even seen the article at this stage! Two glasses of whiskey later Dad left their camper van :)

Dad is cooking up tonight ... someone had left a tin of Ravioli and a tin of green beans (in the showers of all places!!!) and not wanting to see any waste Dad is having them for tea!

Tomorrow he is heading for Clacton-on-Sea area.

The Observer

Remember I wrote to say Dad met up with Mike Carter at John o'Groats. He is a journalist who is writing an article in the Observer. Well here is the article

Week 10: Mike Carter reaches John O'Groats and encounters another cyclist riding around Britain - but in the opposite direction, and at the age of 74

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Dad is now in Southwold. I failed on the site I'd found him. It's has no showers nor toilets!!! However what it lacks in facilities it makes up for in the people on the site. There are only four other caravaners on the site. One has lent Dad some bike mags so he has something to read. Another made a brew and had a piece of cake waiting for him while he put up his tent. He hadn't better be having many of those brews if there aren't any toilet facilities!! Tonight Dad is off into Southwold so that he can find a pub/restaurant and use their facilities. Must be remember when looking for sites to check if it has facilities ... I've been too bothered about making sure it takes tents!!!!

Today's route has taken him from Sea Palling through Horsey and Hemsby, Scratby and Casister-on-Sea and down into Great Yarmouth. He tried to find a cafe for his bacon buttie but couldn't find anywhere. He followed the river Yare and over the swing bridge and onto Galston-on-sea. From there it was onto Corton and into Lowestoft where he stopped for lunch and found a place serving all day breakfast! It was then onto Southwold. He had a ride along the front and the beach huts - which are now selling for £90,000!!!! Some of today's route has been on cycle route 30.

Last night the site cost £12.00 for the night and you had to pay a £1.00 for the shower, I suppose that's the price you have to pay for the loan of a chair! Tonight they originally wanted to charge £8.00 (and it has no facilities!!!) but they reduced it to £3.00 when they found Dad hadn't arrived by car.

Managed to sort Dad out with a spare key for removing wheels, etc (he's lost his spare). Many thanks Matt at Brian Rourkes for knowing exactly what I needed! Not sure how we will get the key out to Dad ... so he'd better not lose the one he has for now!

Tomorrow Dad is heading towards Woodbridge.