Saturday 31stMay 2008
Peterborough to Berwick upon Tweed to Burnmouth
So here we were on the last leg of our cycle ride from the south coast to the Orkneys. Peter took us to Peterborough to catch the train to Berwick – we had left plenty of time so he dropped us off at Orton Water on the outskirts of Peterborough, and having loaded up, we cycled the couple of miles into the railway station using the cycle track running alongside the river and the Nene Valley Railway. The bike was heavily laden – there was no way we could take enough clothes to last us the full two weeks but it was essential that we took enough layers as the weather in Scotland can be so changeable. Once again the staff at Peterborough station were fully prepared for the loading of the tandem onto the train and we were soon seated comfortably and eating our packed lunch.
Alongside us, in the window seats on the train, was Grandma taking her Grandson Daniel back home to Newcastle after a week’s holiday and excursions to Disneyland in Paris. Grandma was making the return journey from London to Newcastle in the one day. We were therefore entertained on our journey by looking at pictures of the Disney holiday and by assisting in adding stickers to the Dr Who album that Daniel had bought. The three hour journey soon passed.
No problems at Berwick in unloading the bike – the station staff were excellent – and then we had the decision of whether to take the short route to the B&B in Burnmouth (using the main A1) or whether to take the scenic route via the lanes (twice the distance and far more hilly). We opted for the short route. When we reached the A1 the traffic didn’t look too bad and there was only about 4 miles of actual main road to negotiate. We crossed into Scotland and were in Burnmouth by 4pm. We then descended the steep brae to the coast in the hope of finding a cup of tea in the villages of Cowdrait and Ross, but no such luck. Instead we sat and watched a pair of herons fishing in the rock pools and the resultant squabble when one managed to catch a very large eel which it couldn’t swallow in one go. Cycling up the brae after was a challenge – we managed about a third of this very steep lane. The locals had said that there had been a cycle race up the brae the previous week but no doubt there were not lumbered with four heavy panniers. The views were magnificent.
Distance cycled – all of 10 miles!