Long time no sea

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew.  He is visiting Hull and met these Roman bakers.

roman bakers

We had another sunny day today although it was markedly cooler in the morning, thanks perhaps to the north wind.

The fine weather persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that a cycle outing would be a good idea and after some early work in the greenhouse before breakfast and a quick look round after breakfast she left the garden to look after itself for a day and we set out.

I had a quick look round  before we left and saw a frog in the pond…

frog in pond

…was happy to see the lupins standing up straight as they had wilted in the heat a few days ago…


…and was impressed by the great show of poached eggs plants beside the pond.

poached egg flowers

We put our two bikes in the back of the Kangoo, a great car for transporting bikes as you can get two in the back standing up side by side with the wheels on, and drove down to the English shore of the Solway Firth.

We parked at Port Carlisle and had a coffee in the pub there before getting the bikes out and setting off to round round the coast.

garmin route 5 June 2018

If the tide is in, the sea fills the Firth and comes right to the edge of the green bit on the map.  Today, the sea was not at home….

solway firth tide out

…and the gap between England and Scotland was almost all filled with sand.  I have been very unfortunate with my timing lately and every time that I visit the Solway shore, on either side of the firth, the tide seems to be out.

Still, you can see from the elevation profile on the map that our route was extremely flat and with the wind behind us, it was unalloyed pleasure to cycle along the shore in beautiful sunshine, past ruminative cattle…

near bowness

…and sand wandering sheep….

sheep on solway sands

…round the great radio transmitter at Anthorn….


….and past this little Congregational chapel built in 1869…

chapel at anthorn

…until we found a well sited bench on the bank of the River Whampool, where we paused and ate our lunch.

lunch view at anthorn

We were screened from inquisitive sea birds by this elegant grass.

anthorn garsses

We had a little walk and saw thrift, wild iris and hawkweed…

anthorn wild flowers

…before cycling on to cross the River Whampool by this delightful bridge.

Whampool bridge

I took a view from the bridge…

view from Whampool bridge

…but when Mrs Tootlepedal went up to take a look, more traffic than we had met in the whole ride crossed the narrow bridge in a steady stream.  We think it must have been lunch time traffic returning to work.

We had a a few miles on a normally busy road to follow but it was fortunately very quiet and then we turned off onto a back road….

Mrs T cycling

…which took us back over the Carlisle Canal (disused)….

Carlisle canal

….from which Port Carlisle gets its name and cycled back to the car past more cattle grazing on the marsh.

solway cattle

The tide showed no sign at all of coming in.

By this time the sun was getting quite hot and we were grateful for the light breeze which had kept us cool as we pedalled.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day and more beautiful surroundings for a gentle bike ride.

We managed to visit a bird food shop and a garden centre with a cafe on our way home so the whole outing was a treat from start to finish.

When we got back, the temperature was above 20°C and quite a lot of things needed watering.  After I had done a bit of watering, I took the camera out and looked at the clematis round the back door with wonder.


The orange hawkweed is often known as the fox and cubs and the cubs are just coming out to join the foxes.

orange hawkweed

The  roses are enjoying the sunshine (and the watering).


I put the camera  away and mowed the middle lawn which was showing good growth and then sat down and contemplated the sweet rocket while I got my breath back.

sweet rocket

I had a moment to look at the birds and noticed a sparrow with a bit of white on it.

white sparrow

I hope that our weather will let Mrs Tootlepedal and me go out for other rides this summer as it is very enjoyable to go out at a gentle speed with added conversation and company and we tend to go to other places than my usual rides.

I didn’t have much luck with a flying bird today as time was limited  so this siskin leaving at speed was the best that I could do.

flying siskin



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Long time no sea

  1. I can see why you’d enjoy a ride like the one today, nice weather, nice scenery, and some one to share it with as you went along.

    The images from both the cycle outing and from the garden tell the tale of yet another wonderful day in the life of the Tootlepedals.

  2. Spent the day in NYC (where I live…) Nice to come from from work to this lovely ride!

  3. I’d love to see the tide come in. I can’t remember ever seeing it.
    The clematis over the back door is beautiful and so is that pink single rose.
    I’m glad you and Mrs. T had time to cycle together on such a wonderful day. The weather gods seem to be smiling upon you this year,

  4. A beautiful series of photos. The fox and cubs hawkweed photo is outstanding! A fine ride, and another fine frog. You have away of capturing their expressions, like the birds.

  5. Such a lovely outing together …lovely photos to record it all and a map for us to share…perfect. Your brother gets around too…love the bakers!

  6. Having also read tomorrow’s post I’m amazed at what Hull has to offer – my experience of it has mainly been the bridge and a selection of fearsome rugby league clubs where Number Two son was frequently bent but never quite broken. 🙂

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