Welcome to the Trans Pennine Trail

A national coast to coast route for recreation and transport – for walkers, cyclists and (in parts) horse riders

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Welcome

A national coast to coast route for recreation and transport – for walkers, cyclists and (in parts) horse riders

Megan and Martin’s Bike Ride

Nov 8, 2013

topimageDad and I decided that we should do something together for fun. The Trans Pennine Trail runs near our house, and I thought that it would be a huge achievement if we could manage to do the whole Trail from west coast to east coast. When we started planning our trip, we thought that it would be a great idea to raise money for our local church and my scout group. Once we had decided to get sponsorship, we couldn’t back out, and we were committed to doing it.

Wednesday 29th July – Me and Dad had to get up early today to start our journey. We loaded our bikes into the car, and Mum gave us a lift to Southport. When we arrived in Southport, Dad and I dashed off to obtain our first stamp from Southport Tourist Information Centre. Then we went to the Western Seamark, where Mum took a couple of photos of us. That was when Papie rang us up to give us extra support. We set off at 10.40; it was overcast and quite windy, but fortunately not raining.

We met a man who was planning to cycle to Hornsea and back again in 4 days. The track around Liverpool was tarmac, and was great to cycle down, except for the bits under bridges where there was a lot of broken glass. The signposting was quite good, it even told us how long each section should take. After lunch we headed towards Aintree. We cycled until mid-afternoon going gradually uphill. Along the way we saw a fox and heard a lapwing. It didn’t rain on us, but we could tell that there had been a lot of rain because the track was so wet and muddy. It was when we were sweeping down a hill that I skidded and fell off my bike. My brake snapped off, and I bruised my leg on the handlebars. Dad swapped the brake cables round so that I could still use my back brake, and gave me some Arnica for my leg and some painkillers. We phoned Mum to let her know what had happened, and then we continued on, but more slowly. I was a bit reluctant to go down steep hills quickly in case I fell off again. The signposting was still very good, although some people had tried to ruin the track by pouring paint over it. We washed most of the paint off our tyres in puddles. About 4 miles further on, a vole ran across the path in front of our bikes, it was great seeing all the different wildlife that we wouldn’t normally see.

We were going very slowly because my leg hurt. It was almost dark when we got to “The Ferry Inn” at Penketh, where we got our 2nd stamp on our cards. Dad bought me a coke to give me an energy boost. We spoke to some of the pub customers outside who had just cycled to Lymm and back. They were really friendly and interested in what we were doing, and they even gave us some extra sponsorship.

We tried to switch on the lights on our bikes, but mine had been broken when I tumbled off. Luckily we were on track that we knew quite well, and we managed to keep going. We carried on through Sankey Bridges and Thelwall; I was really tired, and it was almost midnight when we got home to Lymm. I was very relieved to be able to get into my own comfy bed (Heaven!).

ML – day 2Thursday 30th July – We had a lie-in until 8 o’clock the next morning, since we had to wait for the bike shop to open in Heatley, so that we could get a new brake for my bike (we also bought gel saddle covers for both our bikes). We collected our 3rd stamp from “The Farmer’s Arms” (one of our neighbours works there, and kindly stamped our cards before opening time), and we set off along the track again. The weather forecast was not very good for today, but thankfully it wasn’t raining; again we could tell that it had been raining, some of the puddles were deeper than our pedals! It was very tiring cycling along in water. We had lunch at “Sale Water Park”, followed by lots more cycling, but the path was very wet and so we only managed to go quite slowly.

We got slightly lost in Didsbury, but soon found our way back onto the Trail; we thought that the signposting was ok until this point. On the stretch from Didsbury to Stockport, we joined the Manchester circular track and followed the signs to Stockport. The track was really wet, muddy and strewn with litter. After going under a couple of bridges we came across a sign that said Stockport was in the direction we had come from. I was frustrated and moaned at Dad for taking us the wrong way. We turned around and went back to the point where we had joined the circular track. A kind man told us that somebody had been messing around with the signs and had turned some of them around years ago!!! So back we went AGAIN. Once we got nearer to Stockport, the signs and the track improved massively.

Megan and Martin’s Bike Ride

Dad and I decided that we should do something together for fun. The Trans Pennine Trail runs near our house, and I thought that it would be a huge achievement if we could manage to do the whole Trail from west coast to east coast. When we started planning our trip, we thought that it would be a great idea to raise money for our local church and my scout group. Once we had decided to get sponsorship, we couldn’t back out, and we were committed to doing it.

ML – SouthportWednesday 29th July – Me and Dad had to get up early today to start our journey. We loaded our bikes into the car, and Mum gave us a lift to Southport. When we arrived in Southport, Dad and I dashed off to obtain our first stamp from Southport Tourist Information Centre. Then we went to the Western Seamark, where Mum took a couple of photos of us. That was when Papie rang us up to give us extra support. We set off at 10.40; it was overcast and quite windy, but fortunately not raining.

We met a man who was planning to cycle to Hornsea and back again in 4 days. The track around Liverpool was tarmac, and was great to cycle down, except for the bits under bridges where there was a lot of broken glass. The signposting was quite good, it even told us how long each section should take. After lunch we headed towards Aintree. We cycled until mid-afternoon going gradually uphill. Along the way we saw a fox and heard a lapwing. It didn’t rain on us, but we could tell that there had been a lot of rain because the track was so wet and muddy. It was when we were sweeping down a hill that I skidded and fell off my bike. My brake snapped off, and I bruised my leg on the handlebars. Dad swapped the brake cables round so that I could still use my back brake, and gave me some Arnica for my leg and some painkillers. We phoned Mum to let her know what had happened, and then we continued on, but more slowly. I was a bit reluctant to go down steep hills quickly in case I fell off again. The signposting was still very good, although some people had tried to ruin the track by pouring paint over it. We washed most of the paint off our tyres in puddles. About 4 miles further on, a vole ran across the path in front of our bikes, it was great seeing all the different wildlife that we wouldn’t normally see.

We were going very slowly because my leg hurt. It was almost dark when we got to “The Ferry Inn” at Penketh, where we got our 2nd stamp on our cards. Dad bought me a coke to give me an energy boost. We spoke to some of the pub customers outside who had just cycled to Lymm and back. They were really friendly and interested in what we were doing, and they even gave us some extra sponsorship.

We tried to switch on the lights on our bikes, but mine had been broken when I tumbled off. Luckily we were on track that we knew quite well, and we managed to keep going. We carried on through Sankey Bridges and Thelwall; I was really tired, and it was almost midnight when we got home to Lymm. I was very relieved to be able to get into my own comfy bed (Heaven!).

ML – day 2Thursday 30th July – We had a lie-in until 8 o’clock the next morning, since we had to wait for the bike shop to open in Heatley, so that we could get a new brake for my bike (we also bought gel saddle covers for both our bikes). We collected our 3rd stamp from “The Farmer’s Arms” (one of our neighbours works there, and kindly stamped our cards before opening time), and we set off along the track again. The weather forecast was not very good for today, but thankfully it wasn’t raining; again we could tell that it had been raining, some of the puddles were deeper than our pedals! It was very tiring cycling along in water. We had lunch at “Sale Water Park”, followed by lots more cycling, but the path was very wet and so we only managed to go quite slowly.

We got slightly lost in Didsbury, but soon found our way back onto the Trail; we thought that the signposting was ok until this point. On the stretch from Didsbury to Stockport, we joined the Manchester circular track and followed the signs to Stockport. The track was really wet, muddy and strewn with litter. After going under a couple of bridges we came across a sign that said Stockport was in the direction we had come from. I was frustrated and moaned at Dad for taking us the wrong way. We turned around and went back to the point where we had joined the circular track. A kind man told us that somebody had been messing around with the signs and had turned some of them around years ago!!! So back we went AGAIN. Once we got nearer to Stockport, the signs and the track improved massively.

ML – StockportI had been a bit worried about cycling in Stockport, but it was much easier than I had expected. We had to wait for a long time at the crossing points, but the track was safe. The Hat Museum in Stockport had just closed by 2 minutes, so we hurried to the Tourist Information Centre. We caught a man at the Tourist Information Centre, but he was just locking up and wouldn’t stamp our cards, so we had to take a photograph there. (Should have been our 4th stamp!).

We made our way out of Stockport, but we knew that we wouldn’t be able to get over the big hill before dark, so we decided to stop near Broadbottom. Mum came out to collect us and our bikes, and we went home for the night. I was pleased that I was able to have a relaxing shower and my warm comfy bed, rather than camping out that night.

Friday 31st July – We got up really early so that Mum could drop us off in Broadbottom again. Our first stop was Hadfield for a stamp from “Royston café/ Longdendale cycles” – stamp number 4 – we didn’t notice until that night that the date hadn’t been changed on the stamp, so it still said 4th July.

The sun was out and it was warm, but the path was VERY steep. When we reached the highest point we stopped for lunch; we saw a flock of sheep and a kestrel. I took loads of photos. We made our way down to Penistone and stopped for an ice-cream; there we saw the man we had met on our first day, who was now making his return journey from Hornsea.

We left the trail in Penistone to carry on to our campsite at Hoylandswaine, where Mum had put up our tent for us. We went out for a delicious meal at “The Lord Nelson” pub and had a really early night. It was quite windy and rainy that night, and we could see the tent walls shaking in the strong wind, and we could hear the bike covers flapping. We managed to get off to sleep. Dad had to get up in the middle of the night, and he ran around the camping field in his underwear to catch the bike cover that had blown away. Luckily he caught it, because it was the cover for my bike.

Saturday 1st August – Yorkshire Day – We had an early start, and set off in drizzly rain. We walked down the busy road towards Silkstone Common where we rejoined the trail. Although it had been raining, the track was not as muddy and wet, so we managed to make good time during this section. We continued down the trail, hoping to get a bacon sandwich at “Wigfield Farm” cafe, where we were going to collect our 5th stamp. We had to wait until 10 o’clock when the café opened, but unfortunately they did not serve breakfast. We did manage to get our cards stamped again though.

The trail was really well signposted and we didn’t get lost at all; there seemed to be a lot of downhill stretches, and it was really easy going. The trail was marked into two areas: one for cyclists and pedestrians and the other for horses. The only problems we had on this part of the trail were trying to get past horse riders who were riding three abreast instead of staying on the horse side of the trail, and dodging all the horse muck that was on the walking / cycling side of the path.

Mum came with the others to meet us for lunch at Sprotbrough Lock. It was really pretty there. We had a short lunch break and got going alongside the canal. We saw two kestrels and three herons.

At “New Junction Canal”, we met up with two other cyclists who had left Southport on Friday – they were hoping to get to Selby that night, but we told them about the place where we were going to stay in Hirst Courtney. They were going faster than us!!! When we got to Snaith, we saw the same two blokes again, they had stopped for a break and we had caught them up. We kept going to Hirst Courtney where Mum and the others met us – they had already put up the tent and cooked tea ready for us. We had just finished eating when we saw our friends from earlier – they had decided to take a room at the “Royal Oak” instead of trying to carry on to Selby.

We had a much appreciated shower and had our cards stamped for the 6th time at the “Royal Oak”.

Sunday 2nd August – We woke up early on my sister’s birthday, and I watched her open her birthday cards before we had to set off again. We got a bit lost around Selby, and so we stopped early for lunch and met up with Mum at Kilpin. It was really warm and sunny, and it was nice to be able to cycle along without needing waterproof trousers and coats. Then we came to the bit that I was dreading…Hull. I managed to cycle all the way through, and the roads were not as busy as I had feared.

Just after we got through Hull, Dad broke his left pedal, so I told him to just use his right leg – Don’t stop now!! The track after Hull was really good to cycle along, much easier than the sections around Liverpool and Stockport; and it was the last little bit of our epic journey.

At Hornsea, Mum, Siân, Seren and Emlyn; Papie, Jane, Jess, Ben and Becky, were all waiting to greet us. As the sun set, Mum took our photograph at the Eastern Seamark, then we shook up a bottle of Cava and toasted our successful journey.

Dad had to take the wheels off our bikes so that we could fit everything into the car (I’d no plans to go cycling again the next day anyway). We collected our final stamp from “The Marine Hotel”, where the barman couldn’t believe that somebody so young could manage to complete the trail.

Megan Victoria Lakey, aged 10½

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