London to Plymouth by bike and train
Setting off from Brixton to the heart of Dartmoor
(Photos/words © urban75, May 2007)
Here's some photographs from our weekend away with the urban75 walk club, where we took on the bleak desolation of the high lands and moors around Princetown, Dartmoor, Devon.
And drank a lot, of course.
Our 'wheels o'steel' for the holiday.
Eme's is the "pretty" red one on the left, while mine is the beefy, suspension-toting affair on the right sporting a manly titanium paint job and no girly bike rack or mudguards. No sir!
(Photo from our trip to Southwold earlier in the month).
Heading from downtown Brixton towards Paddington through Hyde Park, past a snoozing park bench dweller before cruising through an empty Speaker's Corner.
Arriving at Brunel's impressive 1854 train shed at Paddington.
We couldn't get reserved seats so we positioned ourselves by the usual departure gates, only to hear a last minute platform change coming over the Tannoy.
Cue: mass stampede of wheeled suitcase-toting holidaymakers, disgruntled business travellers, backpackers and, of course two folding bike wielders.
We were lucky enough to get seats for the entire journey (no mean feat these days) and sat back to enjoy one of my favourite UK train trips.
Here the train heads to the sea along the east bank of the River Exe.
Passing the lonely Red Rock Cafe on the (ahem) 'Devon Riviera.'
I love travelling along this stretch of the old Great Western main line between Dawlish and Teignmouth, (carefully) sticking my head out of the window to breathe in the sea air.
The train hurtles along just metres from the sea, and in winter you can expect to get a faceful of briny for your trouble if the weather's bad.
A pedestrian walkway runs alongside the track and in mid summer there's usually no shortage of children waving to the train as it passes.
It's been said that global warming and rising sea levels may eventually necessitate the rerouting of the line away from the coastline, which would be a real shame.
The train plunges into a succession of sandstone tunnels as it hurtles along at high speed.
Just before Teignmouth, the train turns sharply west. You can make out the pier in the distance.
Plymouth station interior, a modern and rather characterless place.
These emblems above the station entrance honour the city's long association with the Navy.
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