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Bike ride, Warrington, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester, Huddersfield Canal - narrow & broad, Dewsbury, Leeds.
(3 day bike-pack)
Sat 18 Jan - Tue 21 Jan 2020

Sat 18 Jan 2020
Sat 18 Jan 2020 Sun 19 Jan 2020
Mon 20 Jan 2020 Tue 21 Jan 2020
Because Sunday morning trains don't start very early I'm setting of mid-afternoon. My plan is to get the train from Preston to Warrington then start to ride along the Bridgewater canal. I'd already bought a rail ticket for the 16:17 with a bike reservation. I checked the on-line departures and say the train after mine was cancelled. I set off at 15:00 and was at Preston Railway Station by 15:45.
Preston Railway Station
Virgin trains have not got the franchise and it's now Avanti so this will be my first time on one of their trains. I spent my waiting time in the comfy waiting room. There were some small bottles of water on the information counter in the corner and I asked the man adjacent how much they were. Just take one, he said, so I did. The Avanti trains are a boring grey colour unlike the striking red of Virgin. The 16:17 train arrived 5mins early and I followed one of the station staff to the rear of the train to let me in to the bike compartment.
Avanti train interior.
We set off and had a stop at Wigan before continuing to Warrington Bank Quay. I was ready with my bike and looked out through the window to see if an operative was around to open the door. I couldn't see anyone so walked down the carriage to the passenger door and out onto the platform. A man had arrived and complained he'd only just been told of my bike by the station master. I decided to try and find a water tap and asked a lady operative. There were no public water taps on the station.
Warrington Bank Quay.
I waited in the cafe and saw they had a sink and tap but they were busy serving with a long queue. I went back on the platform and the young lady I spoke to earlier took my empty water bottles and went off with a male operative and filled them somewhere. I used the lift to get me and bike down to street level and wheeled my bike out into the dark. With lights on I set off to find somewhere nearby to camp. Set off north then left on to Old Liverpool Rd. and on to a left turn that took over a bridge to cross the Manchester Ship Canal. The road then terminates at a roundabout and a muddy cycle trail heads off through the trees. I checked a couple of possible sites but there were too many brambles. At the third check I found a suitable pitch site.

Warrington from Forrest Way Bridge over the Mersey.

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