|Our accommodation in Stroud|
|Parked bike in Cheltenham|
Heading due north from the city, along the A443, my route led me towards the tiny riverside town of Bewdley and beyond it, the lush Wyre Forest. Like the morning, the day’s ride ended with a climb or two (and the following descent), all the way to our accommodation in Telford.
Not 10 kilometres to the south of Telford was the village of Ironbridge. Something of a tourist attraction, its Iron Bridge which crosses the River Severn after being built in 1779, is known for being the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron.
|Ironbridge, over the River Severn|
|Our accommodation in Telford, the Lord Nelson Hotel|
Less than 20 kilometres later, I began skirting the edge of the town of Warrington, in Britain's industrialised north. Stretching across most of the country from Liverpool in the west to beyond Sheffield in the east, the urban sprawl provides few direct opportunities to the north bound cyclist.
While meandering and in
all likelihood not in the right direction, a bike-path along a narrow
waterway seemed a much safer option. The 34 kilometres to our overnight
accommodation in Chorley, proved a
much longer ride, but with the Lakes District less than a day away, it wouldn't be long before the less travelled roads would
feel much more to my liking.
Not in the heart of Warrington for very long, but long enough to feel unsafe, the late-afternoon traffic was as frenetic as I’d seen on my 5 days of riding so far. The number of cars and the multiple signs along the road, each displaying the high number of road deaths in recent years, was an uncomfortable reminder of just how much a life is in the hands of not only yourself, but other motorists.
|Roz, at a cafe along the route|
|Our stopover in Chorley|
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