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Bank Holiday weekend: riding away from London

se-pose-po Posts: 47
edited August 2011 in Tour & expedition
It's about a year I'm in the UK, but I've never really gone outside London.
So, I'd like to spend the bank holiday weekend riding a bike and seeing new places.
Can I ask you for advice?
I'll be leaving from London, on Friday afternoon or on Saturday morning (depending on the weather). Not sure if starting from the city, or taking a train and then riding in the countryside. It would be great to find an hostel or a cheap b&b along the way to spend the night, then restart the morning after. And on Sunday or Monday I'll take a train back to London.
Any suggestion about a nice route would be welcome, and if someone wants to join, just say hello.

Cheers.

Posts

  • yer granyer gran Posts: 186
    Train out of London. Riding out is a pain. Check National Rail enquiries for future engineering works as you cant take bikes on bus replacement services. I usually go to the end of zone 6 and take it from there. Lovely cycling around Kent if you're deep enough in SE London to dispense with the train. Can't really help on the hostel front. Loads of good B/B's around though.
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    Grand Union Canal tow path will take you out as far a Slough then after a little urban faff rural Berkshire or Oxfordshire are open to you.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • mmukmmuk Posts: 398
    take the train to Kings Lynn (straight from Kings Cross) and follow the sustrans route round the Norfolk coast - bootiful! :oops:

    MM
  • se-pose-po Posts: 47
    Many thanks for your inputs.
    I'll take a train on Saturday morning, so hopefully no restrictions for my bike (I don't I'll be able to carry a bike on the train on rush hour on Friday :-D).
    Just to better understand the direction now, but I'll take a look at your hints.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    se-po wrote:
    Many thanks for your inputs.
    I'll take a train on Saturday morning, so hopefully no restrictions for my bike (I don't I'll be able to carry a bike on the train on rush hour on Friday :-D).
    Just to better understand the direction now, but I'll take a look at your hints.

    Sometimes (often?) they carry out repair and maintenance on the track at weekend. I'm sure they will try to avoid doing this on a Bank Holiday weekend but if they have a big job that takes three days then they may need to do it. Train travel out of London is pretty easy but it's important to check with the national railway enquiries website - otherwise there's a risk you could turn up and find that you train has been replaced by a bus for part of the journey.
  • se-pose-po Posts: 47
    andymiller wrote:
    Sometimes (often?) they carry out repair and maintenance on the track at weekend. I'm sure they will try to avoid doing this on a Bank Holiday weekend but if they have a big job that takes three days then they may need to do it. Train travel out of London is pretty easy but it's important to check with the national railway enquiries website - otherwise there's a risk you could turn up and find that you train has been replaced by a bus for part of the journey.

    Definitely I'll check. Also sometimes, booking online, one can have cheaper fares. I doubt to find something cheap this weekend, but I'll try anyway :-P
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    If you want to escape the 'London Effect" the closest area is East Anglia. Kent and the home counties are all commuter belt/stockbroker belt regions. They can be pretty but you know everyone commutes to work in the big smoke.
    East Anglia is outside the orbit of the London effect. Its not on the way to anywhere so visitors have to come here on purpose. There are still lots of small villages, pretty countryside and coast, small country lanes. You can still hear a local regional accent.

    Take a train to N Essex and ride North. Return from Norwich station.
  • rich164hrich164h Posts: 433
    I'd recommend getting the train out to somewhere like Dorking and then spending a few days touring the North and South Downs. There's a pretty big area with Dorking at the far north East and Southampton/Winchester in the south west to explore, with very few main roads to bother you. I wouldn't bother going south of the M27/A27 though as it gets a lot more built up and a lot busier. Going a little bit further west you could head over to near Andover/Whitchurch and ride down the Test valley before cutting back east again.

    It would be hilly (especially compared with East Anglia) so it's really down to what you want to see I guess.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    MichaelW wrote:
    If you want to escape the 'London Effect" the closest area is East Anglia. Kent and the home counties are all commuter belt/stockbroker belt regions. They can be pretty but you know everyone commutes to work in the big smoke.
    East Anglia is outside the orbit of the London effect. Its not on the way to anywhere so visitors have to come here on purpose. There are still lots of small villages, pretty countryside and coast, small country lanes. You can still hear a local regional accent.

    Take a train to N Essex and ride North. Return from Norwich station.

    Hmm. Norfolk and Suffolk are lovely places to ride and would be high on my list of recommendations, but East Anglia is prime second home territory for wealthy Londoners. And Kent, Sussex etc are full of normal people, some with accents, who don't work in London. I can't think of a county within a couple of hours train journey of London that doesn't have excellent riding.
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