I spent a couple of days in Warwick, and made good use of the time to cycle parts of the grand Union Canal, which links London and Birmingham.
Living in Plymouth, I am not used to canals at all, and the fact that I was not cycling alongside a river was brought home to me when I cycled across the bridge that carries the canal across the river Avon.
I cycled from the Hatton Locks through Warwick, then through Royal Leamington Spa. After some time, I left the canal when I saw a sign pointing out NCN41. Annoyingly, there was quite an obstacle course to get through and I believe trikes, and bikes pulling trailers would not get through, nor would tandems or tagalongs. And I thought NCN was short for National CYCLE Network, implying cycle-friendly infrastructure!
The sign, seen above, seemed to promise a very nice cycle ride, but sadly this wasn’t quite the case. I found the Offchurch Greenway to be of quite poor surface, with a single picnic bench along the way. At the other end it continues after a reasonably busy road, though I opted not to continue along it, but rather to follow the NCN41 markers. It turns out that this was just as well, as the other section of the Offchurch Greenway apparently doesn’t go anywhere!
At the other end there was another gate obstacle course to negotiate, meaning all those other bicycle variants I mentioned above would again not be able to get through – very disappointing, Warwickshire County Council!
Before I offend the entire county, allow me to say that Warwickshire is simply gorgeous, and in both Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa I was pleasantly surprised by the cycling provision. This just makes the obstacles on the Offchurch Greenway so much more disappointing!
After having followed NCN41 for several miles, I turned around and cycled back the way I came. When I got back to Hatton Locks, I simply continued straight on.
|The trusty steed, with Hatton Locks in the background
|Birmingham left, Warwick right