'Where's the Brew Stop? The off-road cycle touring website'.About off- road cycle touring routes, cyclist’s cafes, off-road cycle touring, local group events and good photos.For cyclists who love off-road leisure cycling in Northern England
Greater Willowherb flowering at side of the towpath of the Lancaster Canal
Canal reflection near Lancaster on the Lancaster Canal.
A view of the Lancaster Canal in Lancaster.
The ride report by Simeon OrmeWhat ever view of that football match where England was just not good enough and Italy did deserve to win it due to number of yellow cards they got but I am no football expert but I thought aim of any sport is win by skill but the English media got their knickers in twist about hold event and if English Football want to win international events they need follow example of British Cycling and develop the skills to win.Anyway the football match did not spoil my day and manage to avoid any rain so I think it was quite successful ride and of the 32.58 miles that I did I think around 80 percent of the ride was off road which is quite surprising in Lancashire where bridleway miles are mark in the hundreds and not like Cumbria where bridleway miles are marked in the thousands.Off-road cycle touring is about local knowledge and working out route where you may have push your bike along a foot path to connect up your route like I did on today’s from Bank Houses to Bank End.No one had text me to say they coming on the ride and after watching a bit of the Andrew Marr Show, I lock up and got on my bike which was mainly downhill route through Halton before crossing over the River Lune via the Iron Bridge before turning on to cycle path near Halton Station.The car park next to Halton Station was full of folk getting change to go canoeing down the rapids through Halton Gorge and one reasons why cycle path below the Motorway Bridge into Lancaster had be close for over year and just reopen a few months ago due to flood defenses being built and much improve cycle path to ride along. The reason why Lancaster as flood defenses is because the River Lune has large catchment area and river levels can go up or down in hours depending how heavy rain was further inland and it all as to flow through Halton Gorge and then pass Lancaster where the river get wider before flowing into Morecambe Bay.I was surprise at the number of cyclists heading the other way, has followed the cycle path into Lancaster and it is a quite easy route to follow to get throught County town of Lancashire with investment in cycling over last twenty years in North Lancashire, its quite easy navigate your way along cycle paths in the area, there was only a few minutes of cycling on New Quay Road heading out of Lancaster and rest of ride from Halton Station to the Green Finch Cafe in Condor Green was on cycle pathsIt was first time that stop at Green Finch Cafe after change its name from Cafe d’Lune and its owners. They are still catering to cycling market and there cold water tap for filling water bottles near the cycle rack.You don’t often see another bike park outside a cafe with carradice saddlebag attach to Brook B17 it belong to the male partner of couple heading to Heysham to catch the ferry to go to Isle of Man, so offer a bit advice on getting to Heysham using the cycle paths in the area before continue along the cycle path into Glasson which is slowly motor bikers meeting point at weekendsThere a little bump which Glasson is built around which is called Tithe Barn Hill which good viewing point to look across the Lune Estuary to Sunderland and for me a good photo opportunity to take a panorama view of Sunderland. This was case of me putting the camera on tripod and slowly moving the angle of the camera to take a number of photos of views which could stitch together in Affinity Photo App on my laptop after the ride.After master piece was taken, I headed out Glasson along Marsh Lane which is bridleway which can get flooded at Janson Pool if this does happen you may get some wet feet trying opening gate on the small bridge across Janson Pool, otherwise its boring track across a few fields with sheep in them until to get back on the tarmac at Crook Farm, its like cycling into dramatic film set, has you follow road which is clsss as bridleway along top of sea wall towards Abbey Lighthouse Cottage.From Abbey Lighthouse Cottage there is about good mile of lanes to follow to get to Bank Houses, the lane into Bank Houses is narrow and can busy at weekend due to caravan site being there and had to stop twice to let cars pass me but I still don’t get this Sunday afternoon driving lark and its not cool go out on pointless drive due to the damage cause the environment, if you lucky enough to own caravan leave the car next to it and go exploring the local area on two feet or two wheels, if more folk thought about it and ask them self can I do this journey on two feet or on two wheels we would not be in the environmental mess the planet is currently in. The only reason most folk need use car at weekend is to buy food and you can shop for anything else online and its usually there next day after bought it. The only other reason for using car at weekends is to take you that 20 or 30 miles from home to go exploring another area on two wheels or two feet, car ownership is privilege but not a right and a lot of folk do abuse it! Getting back to the ride, you will notice the remains of what left of Cockersand Abbey on the skyline, has you ride into Bank Houses but if look closely at houses around the area you find a lot of the abbey was recycle into building them.In Bank Houses, I spent a bit time taking a few photos of the wild flowers before pushing my bike along the footpath to Bank End which is about 20 minute walk before getting back on the bike to cycle the short distance to start next bridleway where stop for some late lunch on bench.After my lunch stop, the part of the bridleway is along the access road to Pattys Farm which will discover as interesting sideline in parachute jumping. After you pass Pattys Farm the bridleway turns into grass track following the sea wall around to Cocker Bridge and think its only time its as been dry enough to cycle along it on a bike.At Cocker Bridge, it was case crossing over the A 588 and follow the lane across Cockerham Moss to Moss Edge Farm where turn on to next bridleway which is nothing special it just farm access track to fields on Cockerham Moss but when the right of way crosses over the border between district councils it changes from bridleway into footpath but there know signposts informing of this and don’t think many folk use the right of way that often this year due to long grass at side of the track. I turn on to the tarmac again at Crawley’s Cross Farm and pass a female cyclist near Cogie Hill Farm who shouted that was showing off when I pass her but she was going a lot slower than me.I then followed Island Lane and then Church Lane into Winmarleigh, then School Lane out of Winmarleigh before turning on to the B 5272 which I followed for next good mile before heading up Stony Lane where Roy and Anna Davies had their market garden, Roy one of founders of reform Lancaster CTC section and on many rides in 1980’s it was stopping off point afternoon tea but that was over forty years ago.At Stony Lane Bridge, I turn on to the towpath of the Lancaster Canal, which was dry enough to ride along.Just near Richmond Bridge, I had to get mobile phone out to see if a fellow greenkeeper was in and head soon pop up from canal boat on other side of the canal asking if wanted a cup tea and course you all know the answer to that question is yes, I spend a bit chatting to him, looking at the wooden mushrooms that he had carve, the mushrooms come in all sizes and all for sale.After saying my goodbyes, I continue along the towpath, in places it was like fighting your way through the Amazon Jungle, as the vegetation at side of the towpath had be left to grow but also notice that every several hundred yards there was canal boat moor up along side the towpath. I was soon heading through Deep Cutting and then following the towpath through Lancaster to Lune Aqueduct where I turn off towpath to follow the cycle path back to Halton.You can click here to download 32.58 mile route or you can checkout the What’s New Page to see what’s new on the site.