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.
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
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
Ramsey as it used to be - Gateway to the Fens
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.
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
Pidley Home of the Mountain Rescue
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
Home for the night.