Tag Archives: Virgin

York…….a velocopedic adventure

Carol and I are planning on cycling the Garonne and Midi canals in France over 2 weeks in July.  Catching some sun and some days of Le Tour.  We travelled to York part holiday and part travel experiment at hauling bikes on and off trains and in and out hotels all useful stuff for the summer.

We left Kirkcaldy on a Tuesday on a local train, no booking required, to Edinburgh then changed onto a Cross country train which required booking. The transfer went without a hitch with the bike reservation tickets safely attached to the bikes and our seats not far from them.  A swift trip to York and we were wheeling our bikes through darkened streets in no time.  Carol had booked us into the Best Western right outside the Minster and with that edifice looming over the city it was not a problem finding our hotel.  The staff could not have been more helpful storing our bikes for us and helping with our panniers

We did not have a lot planned apart from walking the city walls, completing the treasure hunt similar to what we had done in Edinburgh, a visit to the Minster and some cycling.  Happily we got all this done and more.

On Wednesday we walked around the City wall something that has been on our bucket list for a wee while.  The wall is not complete so you come down off it a few times but a bonus is that it is well signed with plenty of information boards almost all of which I have forgotten of course!

We came off the wall and walked down by the river.  Although the worst of the flooding was over. There had been flooding at the weekend which had left some of the riverbank under a few feet of water.

We visited the Minster on Shrove Wednesday and were informed that it was free that day, unfortunately the undercroft was closed.  We elected to pay the fee and climb the 200+ steps to the top of the Central tower which afforded amazing views for miles on a startlingly clear day.

Inside the Minster was pretty amazing as well, they have a crew working full time on restoration with an apprentice scheme for stonemasons.

 On Thursday we went out for a cycle. Following cycle paths, signage and our noses.  On the way we found an amazing cycle emporium called Cycle Heaven and it was.  This shop had indoor bike parking and an amazing cafe as well as being chock full of shiny attractive bikes, books, clothing and accessories everything you could want.  Strangely it was Carol who came out the shop with a purchase and not I!

The break was drawing to a close and with our last day we completed a York treasure map from hunt fun.co.uk. This was similar to the hunt we had done in Edinburgh and was devised by the same company.  These treasure hunts tend to concentrate on areas and attractions that are slightly off the beaten track or off the wall.  Well worth a wee investment if you are heading for a city break and would like a small distraction.

Unfortunately the journey back with Virgin was not as uneventful as our trip down.  The train was almost an hour late and never made up any time.  Thankfully we were travelling first class so some free nutrition was very welcome.

During our time in York we ate at a number of establishments one I would highly recommend for it’s ale and food is House of the Trembling Madness.  Café wise there is afe 68 in Cycle Heaven and Crumbs Cupcakery both amazing.  A bit of a disappointment was the Reading café in Rowntree park.



A catch up…

It’s been a while since I just posted a general “this is life in retired land” post so here it is.

Things are going well I have been out a bit more than usual and drinking a bit more than usual and eating a bit more than usual all linked in with this period of time and celebration we call Christmas and Hogmanay!

Carol is on holiday from her work  and she has been busy preparing for Xmas or rather Xmas eve meal at hers which was lovely.  We spent the evening together with her son and daughter eating and opening presents in the continental way.  While she was off we took the chance to visit the European market in Edinburgh and see the Virgin light display which was pretty good.

We went to a carol service with her mother, you don’t always know how things will go when you take Toni out and Carol was on tenterhooks but apart from a slight decline in table manners everything went ok and the carols, my first, were good as well.


Rupert the cat AKA as the Roopster seems to have settled in well,  since his little bid for freedom he is never far from my side even when he doesn’t want food.  Of course the penalty he has to pay is that he is constantly rubbed and played with especially with his new Xmas toys! I am led to believe from Carol the cat woman that this is the cause of his grumpy attitude and that if he wants to sleep I should let him.

The weather countrywide has been terrible but Fife seems to have escaped the worst of it so although there are bad spots we have had nothing like the North of England.  Training has continued cycling mainly on the turbo although I have been out on the 29er a few times and as far as running has gone its get wet or don’t go basically!

I have begun to set up a web site for the bike tours I intend guiding in 2016 so watch this space for news of that and if you are reading this and would like to know more about them or have friends that would like to try a guided tour in Scotland get in touch.

That’s all for the mo my next post will be just after Hogmanay a round up of 2015 and a look forward to 2016.