A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘train’

Norfolk Holiday – Day 5 – Norwich

Posted by Alan on October 10, 2010

 

Ready for home

Ready for home

 

With a 4pm train from Norwich to London we were really not in a rush.  A final full breakfast and a gentle roll down to the station put us on the 1046 out of Sheringham.  A much posher train than before –  we could even use our first class tickets! (Yes, I know. The cuts are going to suck.) The cycle stowage area was a bit strange – quite well secured, though you’d struggle to fit a really large framed bike in there and it was probably also the wheelchair space. Still, we retired to the reclining seats of first class and hoped our bikes would still be there when we got off.

 


Well secured

Well secured

 

Thankfully they were.  Arriving into Norwich around 12pm gave us a little time to explore.  Norwich seems to be quite a strange place, some cycling infrastructure but a lot of signs making sure you knew not to cycle on the pavement.  Pretty soon we got bored of being routed on the ring road, found the town square and locked up.  On Pottergate, we found a coffee shop where we picked up the middle bit of the Grauniad with an article featuring ‘the gods of science’. Next stop, The Belgian Monk for some lunch.  We had a go at al fresco dining until the weather rolled in – still the beer was excellent.

 


Beer fit for gods

Beer, fit for gods

 

From here we headed back towards the station ready for early boarding (still no reservations!) encountering some cycle rage.   Still, we made it back safely.  Getting back into London, the railway line skirts the edge of the Olympics site – an unexpected stop allowed a few photos from afar – the work is coming along nicely. It won’t be long before everything is finished – I hope!

 


Olympic Stadium

Olympic stadium

 

Advertisements

Posted in 2010 North Norfolk Holiday, Cycling, Food and Drink | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Norfolk Holiday – Day 2 – Holt, Cromer

Posted by Alan on September 22, 2010

Breakfast in the B&B at a very leisurely 10 to 9. Mmm full breakfast. At 1030 we boarded the steam train to Holt around 5 miles around the coast from Sheringham. Apparently there was a lot of space in the 1950s for things like bikes!


Bike space on the steam train

Bike space on the steam train


The current Holt station is on the edge of town – about 1.25 miles (2km) so only a short hop by bike. We found ourselves a lovely brew in a cafe called Byfords. Pretty damn good and with an excellent deli on the site – here I picked up the local “Yetman’s stout” to try sometime. Brew supped, we headed back out on the main road past Holt station and picked up the sustran’s regional route 30. This took us through the countryside – mostly fields – along quiet single track roads all the way to Cromer.

Ruth, cycling through Gresham

Ruth, cycling through Gresham


The Norfolk countryside around here is actually rather undulating – not quite the flat plain we had imagined! Still, I’d be very surprised if we topped 200″ (60m) above sea level all day.

Cromer is a busy little town. On our visit it was hosting some steam cars – a little bit strange – chuffing slowly along the promenade and with the occasional loud bang. Picking up some provisions in the Morrisons (complete with bike stands) we grabbed some chips on the sea front (as one must) before going for a half in the Dolphin. Woodforde’s wherry was very tasty!


Cromer from the pier

Cromer from the pier


The final leg of our cycling adventure took us out of Cromer onto the A149 – the coastal road – over the steep cliffs above towards the north west. But after a further 2.14 miles (3.4km) spotting a sign for West Runton station we decided to give up and take the train back to Sherringham (just 1 stop and £1.25 each!). Back in Sheringham and it was time for tea. Tonight, The Lobster was the venue. Sadly, disappointing. In 5 words: overcooked food and flat beer. Shame, it was a promising pub from the outside. So, back to the Windham arms for a good beer!


Wolf: howling' good beer

Wolf: howling' good beer

And with that off to bed!

Trip Miles Kilometres
Holt Station – Holt 1.25mi 2km
Holt – Holt Station 1.25mi 2km
Holt Station – Cromer via sustrans RCN 30 11.14mi 17.82km
Cromer – West Runton via coast road (A149) 2.14mi 3.42km
Total: 15.78mi 25.25km

Summary

Date: 08/09/2010

Posted in 2010 North Norfolk Holiday, Cycling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Cycle reservation

Posted by Alan on September 14, 2010

Cycle reservation, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

We never managed to get a cycle reservation in the end, despite National Express’s website promising we could – this one was attached to a bike we shared the cycle space with between Norwich and Sheringham.

I was expecting taking the bikes on the train to be much more of a palaver than it was (aside the last journey, see: cycle rage!). I will get around to explaining the various facilities we found a little later…for now I have more work to attend to.

Lame.

Posted in Cycling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cycle Rage

Posted by Alan on September 11, 2010

I am angry.

Pretty livid in fact, when really I should be calm and happy.  Moments ago I got back from a short break in Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast where we went cycling. (Naturally the netbook and some milk were the first things unpacked – priorities!) It was lovely. I should be happy. But I am not.

First off, in Norwich I encountered my first anti-cyclist rage. Sworn at by a motorist because I happened to cross her path – she happened to be indicating to turn left into the ‘no entry’ street we were in and as she appeared to be slowing I figured I should get out of the way. Never quite sure about these motorists and if they will obey the rules.  This got me an earful of abuse. Never mind, get to the station onto the London train all would be fine.

Sadly the last leg of the journey on the Chingford train up to the ‘stow was utter hell.  We got on as soon as it was announced and tried our best not to be in the way, as much as you can with two adult sized bikes and fully laden pannier bags. As the train filled up, people piled in and managed to find seats around where we had our bikes. It didn’t help much that 2 families with huge prams also chose our section of the train to travel in – but we all managed to fit in.

By the time we got to Clapton, a couple with the man leading pipe up “she’s got to pass” and then proceed to argue about the fact that we are in the way. I protest that there is nowhere for me to go in a polite way but that still gets me called an arsehole and when the bloke decides to do the ‘gentlemanly thing’ and lift his significant other’s bag around my front wheel (which coincidently was twisted in such away not to block the gangway allowing people to walk past – but sadly, not enough space for wheely shopping bags) he deliberately swings it towards me in attempt to hit me. He missed me but felt the need to shout arsehole again much to the disgust of the families around me.

Next at St James’ St, a more mature (probably in their 60s) couple get on. I move my wheel round to allow them into the next bay of seats which are free. When they sit down, I overhear “tut, tut, bicycles – shouldn’t be allowed”.  Luckily my better self did not rise to the bait. I noticed they were carrying Christian bookshop bags. Am I misled in believing that religious dogma usually carries with it understanding and tolerance?

Sure, the local trains around here are not designed for bikes.  They don’t have spaces – that I’ve noticed in the few times I have used them before I wanted to take my bike places.  It’s best guess when you get on as to whether that carriage might fill up. But come on people of London, is it really so hard to walk up one carriage if you see a compartment with bikes and prams in it? Surely that would be easier than just cramming on because you know door is where the exit is at your stop…

Posted in Issues, Rant, Transport Rant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »