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.
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.
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!
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!