The cafe at Jodrell Bank is used not only by those who've gone to explore the Observatory but also as a pit stop for passing cyclists in the Cheshire countryside. The decor includes clocks telling you what the time it is on Mars, Venus or in a black hole. It has an appetising array of cakes with lots of gluten free options too. Not only that but they serve you a huge pot of tea with whole milk from the local farm and, even better than this, the waiter came over and offered to top up the hot water for us- absolute bliss!
Jodrell Bank Observatory, the University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL
+44 (0)1477 571321
Just inland from the expensive and ram-packed Amalfi is the town of Agerola, which translates to something along the lines of picnic basket. With stunning sea views, lots of local market shops it was an incredibly peaceful place to stay. There is lots of walking in the area, particularly popular is the 'Path of the Gods.' However, if you need to a bit more relaxation, there are regular buses directly to Amalfi - which is perfect as parking is a nightmare. Although if you prefer a stroll you can always go down the 3,000 steps to the beach at Duoglio. Staying at the 'Beata Soltitudo' offers a lot of different accommodation options for campers, hostellers, or people who just want a private room. Moreover, the host is very friendly and willing to help you out with any activities you might want to plan when staying there.
The C2C is an excellent middle distance for the inexperienced cyclist. Being one myself, I didn't expect such a spectacular ride across England through some of the most stunning rural scenery the north of has to offer. We started in Workington, dipping our wheels in the Irish sea and spent the first night in the Borrowdale YHA- then onto Renwick where we stayed at the wonderful Scalehouse Farm B&B, the excellent home-cooked food with scrambled eggs made from the bantam hens in the garden set us up for Hartside the highest ascent on the C2C of 1903ft. After this it was a cycle through the eerily abandoned mining villages around Rookhope and a gentle cycle along the undulating Waskerley Way. There was a true feeling of exhilaration when crossing the Gateshead Millennium bridge in Newcastle to the final dip in the sea at South Shields.
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