Ancient lanes and old main roads

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Cyril Haearn
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Cyril Haearn » 17 Jun 2020, 10:03am

Ireland and Wales intercept the clouds, Lancashire gets a bit of rain if there is any left
Not sure about Yorkshire :wink:
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Sweep
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Sweep » 17 Jun 2020, 12:13pm

reohn2 wrote:There are by far,less days raining than dry and though the summers are Spanish it's not as bad as you make it out to be,not by a long shot.

EDIT,if you want somewhere wet go to Cumbria :)

Paging a defence of cumbria :)
Am not saying lancs is always wet and what you say about the proprtion is right, but there are way way less days completely clear of rain than down south/london.
I should stress that i do love Lancashire, severely truncated as it is.
Once the centre of the world of course, which makes the landscape particularly interesting.
Will look out for that book, maybe being a cheapskate give lancashire libraries a chance to get a copy. I do have a copy of the lancashire cycleway book from cicerone. Recommended.
Last edited by Sweep on 17 Jun 2020, 12:17pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sweep

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Sweep
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Sweep » 17 Jun 2020, 12:14pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Ireland and Wales intercept the clouds, Lancashire gets a bit of rain if there is any left
Not sure about Yorkshire :wink:

From what i recall, meteorological theory and practice makes the west coast wetter.
Sweep

drossall
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby drossall » 17 Jun 2020, 9:35pm

I'd agree that some southern sections of the old A1 and Great North Road can be quite good, having been bypassed rather than built over. Rather remarkably, though probably not quite what the OP intended, the A421 from west of Bedford to the M1 was first upgraded and then bypassed in short order. This has resulted in rather a nice, quiet, dragstrip TT course :D

jackt
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby jackt » 21 Aug 2020, 3:19pm

This website is a good resource for discovering old ways, with a focus on drove roads and saltways:

http://www.localdroveroads.co.uk/
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ikenbikeit
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby ikenbikeit » 21 Aug 2020, 4:52pm

I thought I would revisit the Barrow to Whitby route this summer, but reroute along the upper Lune valley from Tebay, mainly along the old A685. This was the route before the road was rebuilt along the defunct Stainmore rail line. It was a fine ride. There are a couple of crossings over the newer fast road.
There is a short cycle track alongside the main road just after Newbiggin. I went through the gorgeous Ravenstonedale village and onto the Fat Lamb pub on the Sedbergh -Kirkby Stephen road.

The only downside going into Kirkby Stephen was having to cycle a mile or so on the main road.
I also could not find a campsite near Barnard Castle that would take tents so had to divert from Tan Hill down Arkengarthdale to Richmond.
What a glorious run.
I saw one fully laden cyclist in the five day tour, but saw hundreds of carbon fibre lightweights who amused themselves by making quips like" I would give you a tow but........." and "you got the kitchen sink in them bags lad?" Little did they know I had an Ortleib folding bowl in my bag so technically I did!

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mjr
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby mjr » 21 Aug 2020, 6:56pm

jackt wrote:This website is a good resource for discovering old ways, with a focus on drove roads and saltways:

http://www.localdroveroads.co.uk/

Interesting site but patchy coverage and a liking for unpaved sections.
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 Aug 2020, 8:35pm

TBF, unpaved is what I would expect from drove roads. And the site isn't aimed specifically at cyclists - he describes walking and even driving some routes.

Enigmadick
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Enigmadick » 21 Aug 2020, 8:53pm

Apparently the old roads that run parallel to the new roads on Skye are about to be repurposed for cycling - and many would say it's long overdue.

https://www.scotsman.com/heritage-and-retro/heritage/skye-become-cyclists-paradise-post-lockdown-2867796
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mjr
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby mjr » 16 Sep 2020, 3:51pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:Routes like this are often mapped as historic route relations in OSM, though I don’t know of anywhere that renders them. Perhaps I should...

https://historic.place/ now has an experimental layer for historic roads. I'm not sure how long that has been there! Also, it looks like it may be limited use for the UK because historic and modern roads don't follow the same course all that much, although it seems to be mostly Roman roads which have been mapped, with only a few ancient ones mapped, such as the Ridgeway and its connections.
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TrevA
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby TrevA » 16 Sep 2020, 6:46pm

There are sections of the old Great North Road north of Newark. It can be accessed at Cromwell and from Carlton on Trent runs east of the new A1 to Tuxford. It’s quite a pleasant road to ride on, being quite wide and only has local traffic on it.
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pwa
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby pwa » 16 Sep 2020, 7:19pm

Today I was out on a ride and on an impulse I turned down a lane that I have never tried before. I have considered giving it a go but never done it.

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4356699 ... 6?hl=en-GB

It is a route that was once a regular country lane with tarmac but has long been demoted, now rating just a dotted line on OS maps indicating some undefined access rights. For a few hundred metres I could ride it on my 35mm tyres, with care. But then it became tall grass with a hedge on either side, so I was off and walking. Then the hedge became more brambly with strands overhanging. By that point I had put in too much effort to give up and go back so I pushed on. Things got worse. The ground underfoot became a gully cut by water (though now dry), with banks of nettles and brambles pressing in from the sides. Needless to say, I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, so I was soon scratched and strung extensively. Swarms of flies began to take an interest. I knew the far end of the track was not far off, so I pushed through and after a couple of hundred metres of that I finally emerged, with relief.

I checked the bike over, rubbing the tyres to remove any possible thorns, looking at the quick releases to make sure they had not been dragged into the open position by the undergrowth.

I won't be doing that one again but in a strange way I am glad I did it.

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foxyrider
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby foxyrider » 16 Sep 2020, 8:03pm

TrevA wrote:There are sections of the old Great North Road north of Newark. It can be accessed at Cromwell and from Carlton on Trent runs east of the new A1 to Tuxford. It’s quite a pleasant road to ride on, being quite wide and only has local traffic on it.


Of course, you can follow the 'old Great North Road' much further than that stretch, there are stretches running parallel to the current road between Newark and Grantham then through the town and there is more parallel as you head for Stamford although some bits are only joined by the modern road without some sort of detour.

North of Tuxford though you can follow it up to Matkham Moor, Retford, Bawtry and then through Doncaster to Redhouse. You then get a gap up to Ferrybridge (the modern road uses the original route still) but the old road is still extant up to Tadcaster and across to Wetherby, you might even be able to follow the old road as fae as Boroughbridge but beyond that and as far as Scotch Corner you might have to be a little 'creative' with your route, particularly with the 'motorway upgrades' recently carried out :lol:

In less trafficked times i've ridden almost all the dual carriageway length from London Colney to Scotch Corner at one time or other and a short bit north of Newcastle, it seems every year a bit more is nibbled away from non motorway traffic. A more bike friendly route these days would be the A19 from Doncaster, Selby, York, Thirsk and beyond which circumvents all the 'improvements' on the A1(M) routing, much of that being on the course of Roman routes too.
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 16 Sep 2020, 8:54pm

pwa wrote:I won't be doing that one again but in a strange way I am glad I did it.


In that spirit...

A couple of weeks ago I rode NCN 46 from Swansea to Abergavenny. There is notoriously a missing bit between Hirwaun and Merthyr where there's no alternative other than to go on the A465 (the fast, busy Heads of the Valleys Road). I'd spotted a nearby track on the map which I thought was worth investigating. The gradients looked ludicrous, but maybe it would be more pleasant to push here than to ride along the A465?

Spoiler: it wasn't. It was an incredibly rough rubble track, entirely unrideable (and I was on the gravel bike), difficult even to push. By its width and "hollow way" character it was clearly a track of some antiquity. I'm glad I did it. But I won't be doing it again.

On the other hand, the descent was kind of fun, from 400m to 200m with stretches at 15%+...

https://cycle.travel/map/?from=51.7225, ... 68,-3.3982
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pwa
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Re: Ancient lanes and old main roads

Postby pwa » 16 Sep 2020, 9:56pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
pwa wrote:I won't be doing that one again but in a strange way I am glad I did it.


In that spirit...

A couple of weeks ago I rode NCN 46 from Swansea to Abergavenny. There is notoriously a missing bit between Hirwaun and Merthyr where there's no alternative other than to go on the A465 (the fast, busy Heads of the Valleys Road). I'd spotted a nearby track on the map which I thought was worth investigating. The gradients looked ludicrous, but maybe it would be more pleasant to push here than to ride along the A465?

Spoiler: it wasn't. It was an incredibly rough rubble track, entirely unrideable (and I was on the gravel bike), difficult even to push. By its width and "hollow way" character it was clearly a track of some antiquity. I'm glad I did it. But I won't be doing it again.

On the other hand, the descent was kind of fun, from 400m to 200m with stretches at 15%+...

https://cycle.travel/map/?from=51.7225, ... 68,-3.3982

Heolgerrig translates as "stony road" :lol: