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UK Christmas tour.

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Septictank, 13 Nov 2007.

  1. Septictank

    Septictank New Member

    Hi, I'm coming to the UK at Xmas and was wondering how feasible it would be to tour from London to Birmingham and then to Devon as far as weather,campsites etc. Probably no campsites open right?
    I could do B&B.
    I heard that you can ride London to Birmingham on canal tow paths. Is this true?
    Can anybody recommend a route from Birmingham to Exeter and then Exeter to Heathrow airport?
    I have 3 to 4 weeks and I'm good for about 50 miles a day if there not too hilly. I will spend a week in Exeter and 2 days in Birmingham.
    Any info, route advice will be very much appreciated.
    Thanx
     
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Hi ST, From London you will probably want to stick to the M1 to get up to Brum and then the M5 down to Exeter.
     
  3. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    O' slO'
    Hello Septictank, and welcome.
    I'll be in Exeter over Christmas and the New Year, unfortunately can't offer you accommodation, but can offer you a beer and/or a ride.
    PM me if you are interested.

    By the way, you know that the weather is traditionally crap in mid-late December! :blush:
     
  4. Septictank

    Septictank New Member

    domtyler
    You won't believe this but I was actually thinking of doing the trip on a bicycle.
    Dayvo
    Very kind offer, If all works out I'll give you a holla.
     
  5. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Hello

    I can't believe you're planning to cycle round Britain at Christmas. The weather won't be nice!! But the roads will be empty, so that's a good thing.

    I did a quick internet search and it seems you can ride from London to Birmingham via the Grand Union Canal - if you google it, I'm sure the info is on line somewhere. You should also try an organisation called Sustrans to see what cycle routes they have for the other parts of your ride...again, google them.

    I would be surprised about any campsites open (brrrr) but you should try B&Bs or youth hostels as well!!!

    If it does come off, keep in touch on this forum and we'll do what we can to help.
     
  6. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Very brave if you ask me mate... The weather is guaranteed to be Crap that time of year.
     
  7. Dormouse

    Dormouse New Member

    You never know, you may get decent weather, British weather is very unpredictable, but unless you are a very hardy type you should go for independent hostels, YHs or B&Bs depending on your budget. Even if it is not wet and windy the nights are very long and camping would be dismal even if you found sites that are open.
     
  8. alicat

    alicat Guru

    Location:
    Staffs
    While it might be possible to cycle from London to Birmingham by canal, I can think of many nicer places to tour in the UK.

    I'd also suggest booking accommodation ahead. Much of it will be either closed or fuller than normal.

    Good luck and keep us posted with your plans.
     
  9. alicat

    alicat Guru

    Location:
    Staffs
    While it might be possible to cycle from London to Birmingham by canal, I can think of many nicer places to tour in the UK.

    I'd also suggest booking accommodation ahead. Much of it will be either closed or fuller than normal.

    Good luck and keep us posted with your plans.
     
  10. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Where are you from mate?

    ...as already said there are much nice rplaces to see than Birmingham & london...but I'm sure you have your reasons for those plans...If you can then my advice would be to do this in the summer or spring. If you do go for it this winter then make sure you bring some serious cold wet weather gear 'cos you are going to need it.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Where are you from mate?

    ...as already said there are much nice rplaces to see than Birmingham & london...but I'm sure you have your reasons for those plans...If you can then my advice would be to do this in the summer or spring. If you do go for it this winter then make sure you bring some serious cold wet weather gear 'cos you are going to need it.

    Good luck.
     
  12. P.H

    P.H Über Member

    Winter touring is great, it's just a matter of being well prepared and flexible. I spent last New Year in the peaks in a camping barn, better weather than in August. London - Birmingham - Exeter would be an ideal route, you'll never be that far away from a decent size town with the option of a B&B. It's also a route well served by trains, so if you fall behind your plans you could use one to catch up - that's what I mean by staying flexible. I don't know the Bristol to Exeter section at all, I have ridden Bristol to Derby a few times and Derby - London - Derby once. I wouldn't fancy canal paths all the way, although I enjoy them I find them hard going especialy if it's been wet. There's a Sustrans route between Birmingham and Milton Keynes (it may go further south) I haven't ridden it as a route, though I've been on several sections which varied between good and OK. Birmingham is easy to leave on the canals, then there's plenty of pleasant lanes down to Bristol. Most of the larger comercial campsites will be shut, those where you're just using a bit of someones field are usually welcoming all year round.
    Have a good ride.

    ----------------- 2038692548_f3164344dd_m.jpg ----------------
    ----------------------New years Day 2007--------------------------
     
  13. P.H

    P.H Über Member

    Winter touring is great, it's just a matter of being well prepared and flexible. I spent last New Year in the peaks in a camping barn, better weather than in August. London - Birmingham - Exeter would be an ideal route, you'll never be that far away from a decent size town with the option of a B&B. It's also a route well served by trains, so if you fall behind your plans you could use one to catch up - that's what I mean by staying flexible. I don't know the Bristol to Exeter section at all, I have ridden Bristol to Derby a few times and Derby - London - Derby once. I wouldn't fancy canal paths all the way, although I enjoy them I find them hard going especialy if it's been wet. There's a Sustrans route between Birmingham and Milton Keynes (it may go further south) I haven't ridden it as a route, though I've been on several sections which varied between good and OK. Birmingham is easy to leave on the canals, then there's plenty of pleasant lanes down to Bristol. Most of the larger comercial campsites will be shut, those where you're just using a bit of someones field are usually welcoming all year round.
    Have a good ride.

    ----------------- 2038692548_f3164344dd_m.jpg ----------------
    ----------------------New years Day 2007--------------------------
     
  14. Septictank

    Septictank New Member

    Thanks all, I know it's a crap time to tour but I may have some unexpected downtime at work and thought I'd make the most of it. xx( It's gonna be a very long time till I get the chance again.;)

    The main purpose of the trip is to catch up with family and friends, hence the choice of destinations. I thought riding tow paths would be a way avoiding some of the urban sprawl and making a more memorable ride. I got hold of an AA route map so I'll try to rough out a route this weekend

    I'm originally from near Brum but I've lived in the US for most of my adult life and don't have experience of cycling the British winter. I don't mind bad weather as long as it's not horizontal. I initially thought of camping because of budget concerns but I think B&B is the sensible choice.
    Is 50 quid a day a reasonable budget for B&B do you think?

    Cheers!
     
  15. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    O' slO'