The Hadrian’s Wall cycle – Whitehaven to Silloth

You always feel ready to cycle again after a pit stop and a bite to eat.  The town of Whitehaven sent us on our merry way with the foamy waves lapping on the shore and the seagulls gliding over head squawking their farewells.   The cycle path followed the coast and had us racing alongside bulky trains laden down with goods for some far-flung destination. With the wind in our hair and the chug of the train’s engine beside us we felt invincible storming along the cycle path at top speed!

We weaved under grey skies, a patchwork of concrete tunnels of irregular height and passed overgrown shrubs to come upon the town of Workington.  Unfortunately, the lengthy bike bridge over the river Derwent had recently been washed away in heavy rains and we had to follow diversion signs to connect us back up with the trail. Continuing on we pedalled merrily to the  coastal town of Maryport which enjoys views of the beautiful Solway estuary.  Maryport was once a Roman port and we slowed our pace to learn about the town’s history from the intriguing plaques and statues dotted about the streets.

A statue at Maryport

The fresh sea air soon enticed us out of town and towards a promenade path that had us holding hands with the ocean… as our wheels glided over the concrete slabs we kept an eye on the incoming waves.  Occasionally a huge one would come flying over the top of the metal railing spraying its cold fingers on to our exposed skin.  It quickly became a game of tag and we enjoyed ducking and diving to avoid the ocean’s icy touch.

The excitement of the concrete promenade sadly had to come an end as the trail took us onwards through a countryside of open fields towards a row of brightly coloured houses.  These houses were on the outskirts of Allonby, another small coastal village which was once a fashionable sea-bathing resort.  In the 18th century it was the place to come to for a spot of bathing and the opportunity to drink sea water.

Cycling into Allonby

Our legs kept turning and the wheels kept on spinning down endless back roads all the way to the Silloth with its attractive tree-lined streets and grassy open spaces.  Lucky for us the sun had popped through the clouds as we pedalled into town, our thirst was quickly quenched at a picnic table in front of a local pub.  Our accommodation was waiting and upon our arrival our host kindly gave us an entire two bed apartment to rest our weary legs in!

The pint glistens in the sun!

With our bicycles safely locked in the garage we enjoyed an evening out in Silloth with a feast of takeaways on a park bench watching the sun sink from the sky and the locals go about their business.  With donations still rolling in I was pleased with our efforts so far.  The Cumbrian coastline was completed and now the trail would be taking us across the width of England giving us the opportunity to encounter Hadrians wall for the first time!

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16 Responses to The Hadrian’s Wall cycle – Whitehaven to Silloth

  1. I love the old Promenade sign, all rusty and battered! I have a very similar pic: http://postcardsfromawanderingmoose.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/hadrians-cycle-way-june-2009/

    Hadrians Cycleway is a good route, and has some gems that the walkers never even see!!

  2. GOactivities says:

    Love your piece on Hadrian’s wall and the pictures especially those men in Whiteport – how lovely! We interviewed a guy who also cycled Hadrian’s wall but is planning a 2 year adventure back to Australia- he is looking for volunteers! Might be your calling! Let us know if you go with him on part of the route- sure we can get you a headcam!

    He is on our blog – and feel free to have a look around for more adventures- all in the UK – cycling ones if you fancy it – or maybe a spa day if your legs aren’t on good terms with you after that! 😉

    http://www.goactivities.co.uk xx

    • lovethybike says:

      Thanks for the link and offer – the invite sounds like a great adventure, but unfortunately I already have other plans in place… I do like the idea of wearing a headcam!

  3. Jean says:

    I actually liked that red sculpture. It’s not a typical outdoor sculpture colour. Glad you enjoy this “windy” trip. I just had the scariest bike ride last Sunday, there was a windstorm. I was mistakenly out with winds whipping at 120 km. per hr.!

  4. Martin says:

    Wow !! Nice I love Silloth. Thanks

  5. restlessjo says:

    Never been to Maryport but it looks quite interesting. I’m more familiar with Hadrians Wall so looking forward to your take on that. Enjoying the journey so far.

  6. jcreore says:

    Your writing and photos make me feel as if I am riding along with you.

  7. Kristina says:

    Can I join you for the cycle ride! You go to such nice places!!! 🙂

  8. As usual, your evocative writing and wonderful pix are an unbeatable combination. Love the photo of the Whitehaven coastal trail. The idea of racing clunky old supply trains while riding along the sea is enormously appealing. Ditto trying to dodge the spray along the Promenade– I could almost feel those icy fingers myself!

    Also noticed the way you structured your pictures and text, using smaller pix of the tunnel and pint with wrap-around text– a very nice artistic touch. Great post, cycle on!! : )

  9. Jeff Shone says:

    Wow, that pint looks tempting!

  10. tootlepedal says:

    I love Silloth. It has a real air of a proper seaside town about it.

  11. Great pics and interesting commentary….makes me want to go there!

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