Return to Whittle Wanderer

Peterborough, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Dunwich, Norwich.
(4 day bike-pack)
Thu 20 - Mon 24 Sep 2012

Thu 20 Sep 2012

Thu 20 Sep 2012

Fri 21 Sep 2012

Sat 22 Sep 2012

Sun 23 Sep 2012

Mon 24 Sep 2012

I’m heading off on a cycle camping trip through the fens and on to the East Anglian coast. I cycled to Chorley Railway Station in pouring rain. The 9:21am train to Manchester is run by Trans Pennine who ask for a bike to be pre-booked on the day before. I couldn’t get a booking but when I asked the guard he waved me on. The bike area had 2 people in it using the seats. I stood there with my bike but they didn’t move. When the guard came he soon shifted them. At Manchester Oxford Road I changed for the Norwich train which I plan to take as far as Peterborough. I got on the train OK but when I showed my ticket to the inspector he said at Nottingham the train splits and I’d need to move my bike as only the first two carriages were going on to Norwich. My seat reservation was for coach A.


Peterborough Railway Station

I was in coach A but there were 2 A coaches. Never mind, I got to Peterborough on time and was on my way about 13:45 heading east. I found the town totally without soul and the drivers gave no consideration to cyclists. It was one of those places I was glad to leave. I was in fen country and the landscape was totally flat for as far as I could see. My first objective was to ride across the cycleway Millennium Bridge across the River Nene near Whittlesey. I found it rather tatty, covered in rust and looking more like the work of a beginner’s metalwork class.


Millennium Bridge

Over the bridge was a nice cycle track to the village of Whittlesey. It was mostly tarmac but some was rough gravel. At Flag Fen I crossed Church Bridge and saw my first Information Board about the bridge and how in the past services were held on a barge. I continued to Pondersbridge into a stiff headwind.


View from Church Bridge

An interesting building with a large factory type chimney was by the road. It had been converted to a house but there was no information about what it was. At the end of the road I joined the main road heading south. Unfortunately I missed my next turn as my plan was to head east towards Chatteris.


Probably an old Pump House

It was a couple of miles before I realised my mistake and decided to amend my route and miss out Chatteris. The next turn off was the B1040 to Ramsey, which I took. A sign also said ‘Supermarket’ which I reached just before the village. It was a large Tesco so I stopped to pick up some bottled water for my camp later. It turned out to be the cheapest water I’d ever bought.


View from Ramsey St Mary's Bridge

It was their own ‘Everyday Value’ still water at 17p for 2 lt. I bought 2 bottles and strapped them to my panniers. I continued in to Ramsey where a large information board told me some of its history. It was a lovely village to cycle through.


Ramsey as it used to be - Gateway to the Fens


Ramsey


Warboys' Jubilee Clock Tower

The next place I reached was Warboys where I stopped to look at the clock tower which commemorated Queen Victoria’s jubilee. It was of a design I’d not seen before.

The next place I passed through was Pidley. I stopped at the village’s name sign which gave the name and also the information ‘home of the mountain rescue’ which I found puzzling as there are no hills within miles.

 

It turns out that the 'Mountain Rescue Team' is a charity which does not actually carry out mountain rescue (the area is one of the flattest in the country) but raises money for people with disabilities.


Pidley Home of the Mountain Rescue Team

Through Somersham and Earith I reached the busy B1050. After riding on mostly quiet roads I was now on a busy commuter road at rush hour. My camp wasn’t far ahead and I couldn’t wait to get to the outskirts of Willingham where I turned left up a quiet green track to camp at a site I’d used back in March. It was still overcast but no rain.


Green lane on the outskirts of Willingham.
Home for the night.