Our original plan had been to visit Holy Island, then cycle inland a little through a little of Northumberland National Park. By now, we were starting to realise that all our mile estimates were a little low, as cycling paths tend to less direct than A roads. Just the ride to Holy Island and back would take at least an hour on its own anyway. So, we decided to skip the detour inland and take a straighter route south that would leave enough time to visit the island.
And of course, first, I had to change my inner tube.
And, … snap. One of the tyre levers break. DOn’t you just love it when everything that can go wrong goes wrong. Luckily for me, there are some other road cyclists at the inn to give me a hand. Not too much of a delay then. Onwards, to Holy Island!
The ride to Holy Island is quite fun, along a long narrow tidal causeway. A few parts of the road are still a little under water so we both end up with wet feet.
After a wander around the ruined abbey and adjacent museum, we head to one of the island’s cafes for coffee, cake, and a few hands of cards (Counterbluff is still our game of choice).
We head off in plenty of time to spare (before the tide comes in and we end up trapped on the island). Although, despite this, we still end up having to cycle along a submerged causeway. It’s only an inch or so of water, but it’s enough to make it an interesting experience. Very wet feet. Well, they’ll dry off soon enough.
Once we’re back on the mainland, we have an unpleasant stretch down the A1 before finding a much nicer cycle path to follow. I’m really confused as to how Nat. Cycle Route 1 is meant to work.
We continue heading south and the weather slowly improves. Looks like the threatened rain isn’t going to materialize 🙂
After stopping for another coffee near Caster, we take a few wrong turns trying to guess which way to go (my phone had lost signal, so no google map directions were available). It looks like the National Cycle Route takes a long detour, but it’s really hard to know ahead of time if it’s a detour to avoid a busy road or just a scenic route along the coast.
We eventually pick up the signal again and Google guides us down through Longhoughton and down to Alnmouth. The bike directions are proving to be generally pretty good, although it still has the odd moment of stupidity.
We pitch our tent up next to an Inn a little outside Morpeth. Sadly, it turns out that the pub doesn’t serve food (and to be honest, doesn’t look like the best pub in the world anyway). Luckily, my friend John doesn’t live too far, and he offers to drive up and give us a lift in to town. A very enjoyable evening is spent in the pub chatting about all sorts (and a lot of XCOM).
My legs don’t even feel sore. This is actually turning in to quite a fun trip. Yes thank you, I would like another beer…