Post Industrial Britain

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by tyreon, 6 Mar 2018.

  1. tyreon

    tyreon Active Member

    I am looking to cycle thru/about a post industrial docklands area with warehouses and cranes and dilapidated buildings. A place wherein I can go for a cuppa at an Ace caf and sit and have a sandwich and look at a part of Britain that once-was? Has anyone any route or suggestions where I might go? I went thru Goole once,and at that time it had a sort of neglected less-visited feel to it with one or two pubs and a caf here and there. The buildings were 'low-road' and there were dock gates and the like. Back 30+ years and the lorries would have had tarpaulins over their backs and their loads loaded by hand. Do you know of anywhere where architecture and bygone age might still be hanging on?

    My ideal break would be to visit Detroit to cycle about. It might be a bit of voyeurism(forgive me)or a bit of nostalgia. Anyways,I have an interest in 'working' waterfronts. I should have visited Londons working docks but fear its all too late(yuppie flats now?)

    I was thinking of cycling down Essex way.

    I like docklands(but know access to them is usually restricted : (

    What social contemporaneous architecture or neighbourhoods might I be interested and worth seeing in Essex

    In advance: thanks for replies
  2. Salty seadog

    Salty seadog Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)

    Not in the UK, (so no real help, sorry) but the old NDSM shipyard on the north bank of the Ij river through Amsterdam is great for a pootle about. Lots of the old industrial hardware around and also a fair bit of art, industrial stuff and a few studios in some of the huge boat sheds. Also a few nice eateries.
    Last edited: 6 Mar 2018
  3. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    I don't know many, but I think you're right about London's docks now having pretty much gone.

    Bristol's harbourside is definitely post-industrial (the modern docks are downstream at Avonmouth and Portbury) but it has also been neatened up, with the old sheds becoming museums, bars, a cinema and so on. I think more of the harbour buildings remain than in many, though. NCR 41 and maybe NCR 4 run through it.

    There are public rights of way through King's Lynn's docks (mostly dead-end), but it's still a working commercial dockland so it's a mix of smart modern and slightly ramshackle with nothing too crumbly. One wooden building still has "MEMEL" on it - a sign of the port's Baltic-facing history. At this time of year, the newly-opened potholes (which don't really trouble the main traffic of forklifts, tractors and lorries, so don't get fixed fast) and covering of blown silt and sand makes it all look rather gritty, though. NCR 1 runs through the town centre - leaving it at Boal Quay and heading north as close as you can to the river (but not turning left at the Tuesday Market Place because there's three dead ends off it) will reach the docks.
  4. Cycleops

    Cycleops Guru

    Accra, Ghana
  5. Time Waster

    Time Waster Well-Known Member

    Liverpool, Dock Road. Not been along it for a decade or so but I can't imagine it's that much different. Very run down when I went there. Rough road back then too.

    Start at Albert Dock area and cycle out of town towards IIRC Walton direction even go on to great Crosby on the front near the coastguard station. There you can walk on the beach among the statues or just watch ships go by. That area is great when they have a tall ships sail by. Alternatively take the train from Central to Crosby and cycle into Albert Dock.
    classic33 likes this.
  6. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Surrey Hills
    I don't recall if it meets your exact requirement, but Mike Carter's book "One man and his bike (a life-changing journey all the way around the coat of Britain)" might give you some inspiration.

    Note that it was first published in 2011, so some of the places he visited will have changed dramatically.
    Was also going to mention canals, but have no specific recommendations (unlike @Cycleops above)
  7. OP

    tyreon Active Member

    Thanks very much for those replies,I have noted them and going to look into them. Myself and wife will be going for a week to lookaround on folders. No hurry.
    Greatly appreciated. Thank you all
    Cycleops likes this.
  8. PeteXXX

    PeteXXX Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...

    Sarf of the river in London used to be wharfs and old stuff. Rotherhithe, particularly. Not been there for ages though. Probably all poncy loft apartments now.
    There’s a nice pub on the riverbank there as well (if you demons the prices!!!)
  9. irw

    irw Quadricyclist

    Liverpool, UK
    +1. Probably the closest you’ll get to your specification by the sounds of it, although I don’t really see the appeal. Do it soon though- poncy flats regeneration is slowly heading in that direction, and Everton are due to build a new football stadium one one of the old docks!
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2018
    Alan O likes this.
  10. Time Waster

    Time Waster Well-Known Member

    It'll be a shame if they get rid of that depressing stretch of industrial decay. As a kid I was always keen to get through it as quick as possible. A bit like driving through Toxteth and those other places with the broken windows everywhere and shops that are practically armour plated!

    Later on I wondered what those pubs were like on and just off the Dock Road. Obviously I'd never find out. Even with a local I'd not risk it.

    Still, it's a shame these areas of decay have to get those overpriced flats and developments. It would be nice to keep a little bit of decay around. Teaches us of actual hard times I think.
    BoldonLad likes this.
  11. Goole would have been my first suggestion!

    The canals in Lancashire are worth looking out, and all are cyclable to a greater or lesser degree - the Leeds & Liverpool near Accrington/Church, the Huddersfield and the Rochdale. Some parts have been tidied up (e.g. the Weavers Triangle in Burnley) but are still interesting. The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal is still derelict, and the area around Prestolee/Nob End Locks is particularly rewarding.
    Blue Hills and clid61 like this.
  12. clid61

    clid61 Über Member

    The North
    As above , hit the canals , Hull esepicially and humber , ship canal and liverpool docks
  13. uphillstruggler

    uphillstruggler Veteran

    Half way there
    the grand union canal is ok, most of the way from Birmingham to London. changing scenery and waterside usage with lots of countryside in-between hubs. never far from a pub or café in most places.

    what sort of accommodation are you looking at or is a single day adventure?

    you could ride the canal then branch off toward Essex as mentioned further up
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2018
  14. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Grand Union canal at Wolverton, Milton Keynes. The story there is one of an old railway town. Most of the old stuff has gone, but they've done a brilliant and fascinating job of converting giant warehouses to mini towns, containing dozens of separate houses within the shell. Very interesting to have a dismount and a bimble around. Then when you're done bimble along the towpath to Stoke Bruerne for a cupmof tea and a nosey around the Canal Museum. Just follow then signs for the Anal Museum, which have been lovingly modified by the locals.

    If you want to see the historic old iron bridge then divert to Neport Pagnell. Just follow the signs for New Anel. Funny lot, the locals.
    Kosong, toffee and uphillstruggler like this.
  15. uphillstruggler

    uphillstruggler Veteran

    Half way there

    the converted mills at stoke bruerne are a lovely thing. as for Wolverton works - the OP fancied a café and a pub, both of which are in there and are both good quality establishments.

    You could always go to New Bradwell and have breakfast in the New Inn, lovely!
    Drago likes this.
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