Tuesday, May 13, 2008

don't mention the bears! I mentioned them once, but I think I got away with it

Some more photos for you: our long weekend cycling in the Forest Of Dean. The photo captions are fairly self-explanatory, but just a few notes:
  • The campsite at Christchurch is very good: run by the same people as the Spiers House campsite that Hazel and I stayed at in Yorkshire last year, as well as some of the campsites in the New Forest that we stayed at on our last cycling trip.
  • The well-maintained series of old railway lines that form the main trails through the main part of the forest are very pleasant to cycle on. More information about the original lines can be found here; some interesting stuff on the remaining bits of track can be found here. If you search on that page for "Mierystock Tunnel" you'll see a couple of interesting pictures: the situation as of now is very much as per the second picture, i.e. the northern tunnel portal has been dug out, but there's no evidence of any work currently being done to restore the original route through the tunnel (the path is still routed up and over the road at this point). Maybe they ran out of grant money?
  • The path up the Wye from Monmouth to Kerne Bridge is less pleasant to cycle on; large sections are not really suitable for bikes at all. The bit between Biblins footbridge and Symond's Yat is OK, the rest not so good. And carrying a pannier-laden mountain bike over gates and stiles is really tiring.
  • The picnic and barbecue area at Beechenhurst Lodge is a great spot for lunch on a hot day, especially if you've pre-arranged to be met with supplies of sausages and lager.
  • Apparently you shouldn't mention bears in Ruardean, for various insane reasons. We passed through at about 9:30pm on Saturday, and we weren't stopping, so we couldn't test the theory out, unfortunately.

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