Down the line

Near the place I’m renting in Rugby is a section of the disused Great Central Line (it used to run from Manchester to Marylebone via Sheffield and Nottingham, and the only bit still in use is between Aylesbury and London).

The Rugby part is in a long cutting, and has been turned into a nature reserve. It’s also part of route 41 of the National Cycle Network. So this afternoon I dusted off the bike and tried it out. Despite not having ridden for many months (certainly since last year), I found it fairly easy to get down to Draycote Water, a large reservoir about 5 miles out of town. There are some great views of the Warwickshire countryside on the way, and I saw some Alpacas at Toft.

2 Responses to “Down the line”

  1. Loz Says:

    I think it must be quite a common use of old railway lines. I saw a programme recently on the BBC about a really beautiful walk in Scotland, from Glasgow to Inverness, much of it on a disused railway. Old railways are a great way of getting people into unspoilt countryside, with no tarmac, noise or steep inclines!

    There’s an ex-railway nature reserve very near me called Horton Country Park. There used to be several asylums between Epsom and Chessington which used to receive deliveries by light railway. When the asylums closed in the 1970s, the council bought the land (can you imagine a council *buying* land these days?!), the tracks became the paths through the reserve, and it has been very well looked after. It’s a very special asset for the community and I love going there.

    It’s partly ruined by a golf course, but at least it’s open to the public and not members-only; and it’s got a great Youngs pub. And that’s why I love going there 🙂

  2. Danivon Says:

    Loz!!! Hi dude! Haven’t seen you for ages, mate.

    Looks like Rugby BC bought the land here as well, again in the 1970s. I’ve seen old railways used in Northampton and between Crawley and East Grinstead as good cycle routes into the countryside. Perhaps we should be thanking that Dr Beeching fella after all?

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