Tom and I drove over to Lancaster yesterday!
Steve is out that way for a week or so, and as it’s only an hour up the motorway from home, it would’ve been rude not too…
The aim was to meet Steve at Glasson Dock (a gentle 30 min ride from base camp for him) in order to take advantage of the lanternoerlune cafe, spitting distance from the car park. Situated right on the dock, it’s a lovely little place. The ‘Full English’ was a bobby dazzler, and the perfect primer for the day ahead!
The weather was suitably overcast and moody, something about being by the coast (particularly this stretch) that makes contrary skies less intimidating than usual. The last time I was here with Steve #GUTM Plan C… it was even moodier! Perhaps the sun will be shining next time, third time lucky?
As always, there was no specific route/itinerary planned. A visit to Sunderland Point was the only concrete move, and that’s where we headed. Free to let the day unfurl before us…
It has such a fantastic atmosphere this place. I’d love to spend some more time here and see it at high tide. I mentioned how it would be a perfect filming location for a crime drama or John Wyndham esque sci-fi.
We watched a starling murmuration, watched skydivers falling out of the clouds and lazily enjoyed the moment. Perfect!
There was talk of Morecambe, Cockersand Abbey, plus a few other ideas. The day was young however, and there is never any rush (not on our rides!)
We trundled back onto the coastal trail and retraced our steps as far as the Lune Millenium Bridge…
Earlier in the day Steve had contacted Ella to see what she was up to? Weekending in the lakes at an MTB gathering she may well be heading in to Lancaster on her journey home. We took full advantage of the fantastic cycleway along the Lune whilst killing time. Dodging runners, out for a 20 mile event (rather them than me!) and a quick nosey in a local bike shop…
…and then we ended up at ‘Woodie’s Crook O’Lune Snacks’. A bustling butty stop at a suitably picturesque part of the river. Fit to bursting with everything and anything refreshment based, really friendly staff, the air thick with the intoxicating smell of bacon. Heaven :-)
It was mug’s (yes mug’s!) of tea all round and Tom’s first ever Chorley Cake!!!! I’ve had a love affair with these delightful circular treats since childhood, so I was very proud to be able to guide Tom through this important life experience.
We met up with Ella and her friend eventually. A lovely meeting atop the rather delightful Lune Aquaduct…
“A navigable aqueduct that carries the Lancaster Canal over the River Lune. Designed by civil engineer John Rennie and constructed by architect Alexander Stevens it was completed in 1797 at a total cost of £48,320 18s 10d. It is a Grade I listed building.
A traditional structure of that time, consisting of five stone arches supporting the stone trough. Within the piers, special volcanic pozzolana powder was imported to be mixed with cement, which allowed the concrete to set under water. Because of the rush to finish the initial stages, before the winter floods, the construction was carried out around the clock and the final bill for the project was £30,000 over budget (2.6 times the original estimate). This vast overspend was the reason that the Lancaster canal was never joined to the main canal network – there wasn’t enough money for the planned aqueduct over the River Ribble at the southern end of the canal”
A few minutes spent catching up and then we were all heading back up the River. Ella and friend were off to find food before catching the train back to Manchester, and we three were to head back to Glasson Dock and possibly another slice of cake to finish off the day!
Another cracking day with cracking people!
Words – Paul Rance
Pictures – Paul Rance & Tom Reynolds