The central England is full of “Canals” which people dug up hundred years ago to direct water to irrigate lands in the center of the island. From London all the way to Northampton and Birmingham or even more north, you can ride along those canals to avoid busy transport on the main road.
My friends suggested me to try on that, but be aware of tyre puncture because of the prickles from berries plants along the way. I paid extra attention to that, but there were other things on the way annoyed me, that made me hate riding along canals. I really don’t recommend you to try that if you were carrying lots of luggage on your bike. Here are the reasons:
- Narrow sandy/rocky road: The lanes are all so narrow that couldn’t even fit 2 persons walking side by side, and it was so bumpy that one pit hole could throw you into the canal.
- Bloody plants prickle your arms and legs: There were nobody did a bit gardening along the way, the plants are protruding out and prickle you easily, especially the nettle plants, which the prickle makes your leg numb and painful for long time!
- Push your bike onto bridges: Whenever there is a bridge across the canal, I had to disarm my bike and push as they were intensely steep slope. Some of them even required me to lift my bike through the steps onto the bridge, ridiculous!
At some point, I jumped back to ride on the main road towards Northampton, more windings and more cars, but safer than the damn canal roads.
Northampton doesn’t have much to offer for tourists, except it was a shoe making town long time ago where you can see some museums showcasing the procedures of making shoes.
Luckily, my host drove me to another nearest town Milton Keynes which you can find more historical ruins, as well as special designed buildings there.
Peace Pagoda inside Willen Park
Japanese style temple
And there is a Tree Cathedral in town, which is quite amazing.
The next day I continued towards another small town called Rugby, that is only 25km away. Rugby is the originated place for the sport Rugby, William Webb Ellis was a great player who helped spreading this sport to the world in the 19th century.
The Rugby School is very old and classical.
Thanks my host Andy and his 2 beautiful daughters, I felt like being at home by their warm hospitality.
London to Northampton 90km
Northampton to Rugby 25km