Virtual Lands End to John O’Groats .... Week 4

Sunday 19 April. Frodsham-Worden Park38 miles Total 412 miles Leaving Lady Heyes campsite starts with a downhill, and then meanders across to Billinge. This name comes from the Old English ‘billa’ meaning ridge, or bill of sword, and ‘ing’ meaning place, or people of a place. When Jim and I rode end-to-end, I remember feeling particularly exhausted as we reached the top of the ridge. The ride to Eccleston demonstrates that England can be a green and pleasant land – fertile soil with plenty of rain. Eccleston means church town – the Celtic word ‘eglés’ (or French Eglise) meaning a church with the Old English word ‘tun’ meaning farmstead or settlement. The village was mentioned in the Domesday

Virtual Lands End to John O’Groats ....Week 3

Friday 3 April March. Tintern Station – Tillington 36 miles Total 279 miles Today’s virtual ride starts out from Tintern old station, and heads almost due north. The first few miles are slowly inclining, going straight up the Wye Valley until reaching Monmouth. Monmouth is the county town with a very rare medieval gated bridge over the River Mon, on one side of the town. This bridge is rare because most similar bridges have been demolished over the centuries as traffic requirements changed, and here, has been preserved by being pedestrianised with a modern bridge being built downstream. In the 15th Century a major form of employment was the making of Monmouth caps – leading to Capper being

Virtual Lands End to John O’Groats....Week 2

Friday 27 March. 29 Miles. Moretonhampstead-Broadhembury. Total 150 miles Today’s actual bike ride was cold – out into a cold headwind to Colne Engaine from the north-east, but back with a fair tailwind. The virtual bike ride traversed the last hill on Dartmoor and headed down across the plain to Exeter (which is also on a hill), on the way to Broadhembury. Broadhembury is a picturesque village, on the edge of the Blackdown Hills, nestled into a horseshoe shaped valley. Sir Cedric Drew, influential MP for Honiton (1931-55), who ensured it remained undeveloped, with the majority dwellings being cob and thatch cottages. Cob is an ancient building material with a long life-span, used since preh

Virtual Lands End to John O’Groats ....Week 1

Under Coronavirus rules, the general public remains able to go out once a day, alone (or with people they live with), to ride their bikes for the purpose of exercise. I’m keen to remain active, although I find solo riding hard work. Jim says I always return home in high good humour, and on this basis, frequently encourages me to go out on my bike. I’ve decided to plot my bike rides along a virtual End-to-End route, more or less following the route that Jim and I rode in 2013. And I chose Friday 28 March, which I think was when the Coronavirus lockdown began, as my start date. The tour will be in weekly instalments until I reach John O’Groats, or I get fed up, whichever comes first! Week One

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