This year’s epic tour of Scotland began with the 11:50 train from Newton Abbot to London via Bath. We were travelling to Scotland on the overnight sleeper from London and had booked an early train up because we had been told the bikes would be leaving three hours earlier than the sleeper, on a special courier. They subsequently found room for the bikes on the sleeper train, so now we had some time on our hands to enjoy some of the London sights.
Both Jude and Dillan prefer countryside and wildlife to the bustle of city life, so we rode to Regent’s Park and enjoyed drinks and cakes outside the Boathouse Café: Dillan enjoyed a quarter-slice a watermelon and Jude’s Lavender Cake was apparently nicer than it sounds! The weather was quite warm so we stumped up the £21 required for a half hour pedal boat session on the lake - Michael let the boys do all the pedalling though.
Next stop was the tiny Pizza Hut in Baker Street where Jude naughtily sent a photo to his Mum of Dillan with two pizzas and suggested he was having both of them to himself – he refused to retract it, saying his Mum would know it was a joke, but I’m not at all sure she did.
A short ride of a mile and a half brought us to Euston station for around 7pm, and after a wait of about an hour and a half we were finally allowed to board the sleeper train. Sadly the introduction of new trains had been delayed until the autumn so we had the same old cramped berths that we had in 2010, but we had everything we needed and it was a bit of an adventure.
Everyone got a good night’s sleep except Michael, who was woken up at 4am to move the bikes. The very long train from London splits into three sections at Edinburgh, each going to a different destination, and the guard’s van for our Fort William section could not be taken all the way from London. So Michael volunteered to get up and move all three bikes singlehandedly from one end of the train to the other so that the others didn’t have to get up.
Paddington Rail Station, London
Regents Park, London
Jude enjoys Lavender Cake at the Boathouse Café, Regents Park, London
Dillan and Jude pedal hard on the Regents Park Boating Lake
Regents Park Boating Lake
HD video footage from today's ride