Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Tissington Trail

Derbyshire County Council were quick off the mark after Dr. Beeching closed most of our rural railway routes, taking over the redundant lines from Ashbourne to Buxton, and Cromford to Buxton. This was long before the Bristol to Bath line became the first multiuser path initiated by a group of keen cyclists which later became Sustrans.

One of the Derbyshire routes became what we now know as the Tissington Trail and this is the subject of the ride which follows. It is now part of Route 68 of the National Cycle Network,  known as the Pennine Cycleway and running from Derby to Berwick-upon-Tweed, a total distance of over 300 miles.

We start the ride here at the cycle hire shed which has a small outdoor café adjacent and there are toilets here too.

                                 Our destination, Parsley Hay is 13.5 miles away and 600ft higher.

                                The lower part of the ride is sheltered by trees .................................

.                                       .with tantalising views of the surrounding countryside.
                                This bridge crosses the A515 Ashbourne to Buxton road.

                                          Approach to the Tissington Station car park.
                               The car park at Tissington also has a shop and toilets.

Tissington Station, of which little or nothing remains, was busy place in the days of steam

                                                   Excellent signing of adjoining routes.


                                   The nicely restored signal box at Hartington.
                                                 Car park and toilets adjacent.

                                               Open  vista as we approach |Parsley Hay.

                    The junction of the Tissington Trail (left) and the High Peak Trail (right).
                              Looking back down the Tissington Trail from the junction.

                     And here we are at last Parsley Hay. Café (outdoor), bike hire and toilets.

                                                                       This is the café.

And the bike hire/repair shop.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Caernarfon to Felinheli (Lon Las Menai)

This is a short ride of only four miles alongside the Menai Strait which separates the Isle of Angelsey from the mainland of North Wales. It is a stretch of Route 8 of the National Cycle Network and is detailed in the Sustrans book "Traffic-free Cycle Rides".

The ride starts from the spectacular waterfront at Caernarfon Castle, built by King Edward the First between  the years 1283 and 1330, costing over £20.000.
This pedestrian lift bridge crosses the River Seiont

This large anchor marks the Maritime Museum which is within the castle walls.

Looking back towards the castle.

Here is Victoria Dock, once a base for commercial shipping, but now almost completely occupied by privately owned pleasure craft.  Ahead lie hotels and executive apartments overlooking the Menai Strait.
After the Premier Inn and car park, the path drops down closer to water level.

                                                  The whole length of the path is tarmac.

..................................and being an old railway track is pretty flat.

                                  Views to the left are of Angelsey across the Menai Strait.

Route 8's path continues alongside the main road to Bangor.

                                        Until eventually we reach our destination, Felinheli.

                                            View looking southwards down the Menai Strait.

                                                        And westwards over to Angelsey.

The houses at Felinheli are at two distinct levels, one by the waterside and the other much higher with better views of the Strait and Angelsey.