On Friday morning I got up early to say goodbye to my hosts in Pudsey near Bradford, namely Angus, Vicky, Evie, Harry and cats Steve and Frank!
It was a very foggy morning and I was informed that this was the ‘Pudsey Fog’. Apparently it’s a common occurrence there in the mornings. So, I had to go for full lights for safety as I headed out into the rush hour traffic.
Man it was freezing!!! I wished I’d had my full gloves with me as my fingers gradually froze to the bars. There wasn’t a great deal of choice for routes from Bradford to Wakefield and found myself on busy main roads. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant start to the day.
It was only 18 miles to Wakefield though and I rolled up to the cathedral at around 10am just as the sun finally won over the fog. I was greeted by a lovely lady called Elizabeth Jenkins who escorted me to the cathedral cafe where they produced an enormous pot of Yorkshire Tea – they do not mess about with tea up here! – and some breakfast rolls to fuel me up.
The cathedral is right in the heart of the city, surrounded by shops and pedestrianised streets. The east end of the cathedral is undergoing major renovation. I loved the interior which had a very warm feel.
The sun was warming the day nicely as I set off south towards Sheffield via the A61 Barnsley Road. The scenery was much nicer on this road as I passed places such as Newmiller Dam but it was hilly, and I mean really hilly! I was on day 6 now having ridden nearly 600 miles, so I wasn’t keen on lots of climbing. But you don’t have a choice so I just cracked on!
After passing over the M1 I headed towards Sheffield via Chapeltown which again was tough terrain. I spent ages trying to navigate the one way streets and pedestrianised areas towards the cathedral and was struggling to find a way in. Eventually though I climbed up to it via a lovely steep cobbled road called Paradise Street.
Sheffield Cathdral sits right next to the High Street with substantial grounds and areas for people to sit and chill. The sun was hot now and there were lots of folk milling around.
I was greeted inside by The Dean who showed me around and then took me to the cathedral cafe and bought me lunch. How kind!
The cathedral is currently hosting an art exhibition so I wasn’t permitted to take photos. There is a lovely light and modern west end which was added in the 60s and has recently been renovated. It had a really light and welcoming feel.
There were more hills as I headed out of Sheffield but once I crossed the M1 onto the A616 the road mercifully flattened out. So, I was able to crank up the speed as I passed places like Creswell and Sherwood Forest and eventually to Newark, where the castle looked amazing in the sunset reflected in the River Trent.
I checked into Premier Inn Newark, had some dinner there and then headed into town where I met an old musician friend, Jason Ashworth for a couple of pints of ‘Slap in the Face’ from local brewery Totally Brewed.
On my long trips I have stayed overnight with friends and local B n Bs but I have found Premier Inns to be a good reliable choice when I wasn’t sure where to stay.
They are bike friendly (they allow you to take your bike to your room), comfortable and they offer the #goodnightguarantee which basically means they will offer a refund if you don’t get a good night’s kip.
Well…. I was sound asleep when I was rudely awoken by an ear-splitting fire alarm going off in my room at 4.00am! I got up and got dressed only to find out that it was a false alarm. I struggled to get back to sleep….
I brought this up when I checked out and apparently a guest had decided to have a shower at 4.00am and left the bathroom door open, which set the alarms off. Anyway…. I pointed out that I hadn’t had a very restful night and true to their word, Premier Inn refunded my room bill. So, fair play to them I say!
Next day was the final day and cathedral…
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