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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2022 issue

Matt Cook’s cycle trip

Continuing our series on Matt Cook’s epic bike trip

Wednesday 15th September – (Day 16) –

103 miles, 650m climbing so a relatively flat day. Started off at 8am from Prestatyn then to Oaken Holt and around the Wirral peninsula through West Kirkby, Hoylake, Wallasey to Birkenhead and on to Ellesmere Port and Frodsham across the Silver Jubilee Bridge past Runcorn, Liverpool and Bootle going along a disused railway line for quite a way and on to Formby Point Caravan Park arriving at 4pm.

Steve and I travelled from Prestatyn to Chester and did some food shopping and went to the Crematorium at Wrexham to see the memorial plaque we had done for Mum and Dad before travelling to Formby. First time we’ve seen Matt on the road.  He overtook us as we were stuck in a long queue!

Thursday 16th September – (Day 17) –

113.7 miles, 866m climbing - a long day left at 8am and arrived 5ish and a puncture on the way. Cycled from Formby to Southport, round to Preston, Lytham St Anne’s and along the promenade to Blackpool. Hoped to catch the Fleetwood ferry but not running because of the tide. Cycled back down to Skippool, Hambleton, Pilling, Lancaster, Carnforth, Milnthorpe, Levens and down to Grange-over-Sands and onto the Haven Campsite at Flookburgh where we are staying tonight.

Steve and I took George for a walk before we left Formby in the hope of seeing some red squirrels but no luck.

Friday 17th September – (Day 18) –

95 miles, 1598m climbing. Matt left the campsite at 8am and cycled to Abhaverthwaite, Woolverstone, Rampside, Barrow-in-Furness up to Grizebeck, Broughton-in-Furness, Millon, Bootle, Ravensglass, Egremont, Whitehaven, Workington and on to Maryport where we are staying in a field on the Netherhall Estate with 4 other vans. We have electric but no other facilities.

Steve and I drove along the side of Lake Windermere and stopped at Bowness-on-Windermere for a walk around. Then drove through some beautiful scenery past Grasmere and Thirlmere lakes and on to Keswick and Maryport.

Saturday 18th September – (Day 19) –

And we're now in Scotland. Matt left at 8.15am and cycled 95.6 miles today with 1096m climbing. Cycled up to Allenby, Abbeytown, Fingland, Kirkandrew skirted Carlisle then on to Gretna, along to Annan, Ruthwell, Dumfries and on to Haugh of Urr, Lauriston, Darngarroch and on to Anwoth Holiday Park, Gatehouse of Fleet. He said he had an enjoyable day's cycling with some beautiful scenery.

Steve and I drove from Maryport, skirting Carlisle and stopped at Gretna Green on the way, passing Dumfries and Castle Douglas.

Sunday 19th September – (Day 20) –

102.9 miles, 1202m climbing. Matt left at 8.20am and arrived at the campsite at Stranraer at 4.30pm. Poured with rain most of the night and he got quite wet for the first 40 miles but then turned into a warm sunny day. Cycled to Castramont, Cretown, Newton Stewart, Wigtown, Isle of Whithorn, Port William, Glenluce, Sandhead, Dinvin, round to Knocknain, Kirkcolm and up to Stranraer.

Steve and I drove the 15 miles to Newton Stewart to visit Jules (who I used to work with in Alton), Ron and Amy in their new house. They moved up here in Feb from Cornwall and have done some great renovations to the house they bought so it was great to see them. Matt has a REST DAY tomorrow.

Jane Cook

This account of Matt’s epic cycle ride is being serialised, and the journey will continue in the next magazine with lots more glorious photos of the UK coastline.