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Published: 29th SEPTEMBER 2020

Cycling to Scotland from North Wales: 10-year-old Rupert's Story

Rupert, aged 10, recently embarked on an epic cycling adventure. Along with his family, they cycled from North Wales to Scotland in just four days. Here's his story.

family on their bikes

Rupert and his family set off on their adventure from North Wales.

Me and Daddy had an idea. If we were going on holiday to Scotland we could cycle there.

We looked how far it was on the map and worked out how far we could cycle in a day.

It was 317km all the way there so we worked out where we could stop each night.

We didn’t do much planning as we were too busy, so each night we planned our route using as many cycle paths and off-road routes as possible.

We were lucky to have good cycling weather, dry and warm. The route was really varied.

We cycled on rural and urban cycle paths, busy roads, sand dunes, proms, quiet country lanes, a big mountain pass, roman roads, alongside a motorway or a river.

Every day was different.

Day 1: North Wales to Southport (78km)

We left home at about 11 am and headed for the Wirral Way. Polly and Daddy cycled the first 35km to Neston and then Mummy joined me for the next part.

We enjoyed cycling along the seafront. We had to go in the van to go through the Mersey tunnel, as it was too noisy and smelly in there to cycle.

Daddy and I cycled the next part all the way to the campsite.

The cycle paths were full of sand so we had to push and push and 100m took us 10-20 minutes to get through. We decided to join a road that followed the front instead.

Day 2: Southport to Carnforth (103km)

We left the campsite by 10 am. Mummy and Polly came with me. There was a strong headwind along the prom.

After 10km, Polly got back in the van and we carried on towards Preston. The road into Preston wasn’t very nice as it was very busy.

We cycled on the cycle/footpaths a lot and there was a lady with headphones in and we had to scream at the top of our voices so she heard us behind her.

The cycle paths were really annoying as they kept stopping and crossing over the road.

We met Daddy at the north of Preston and Daddy and I cycled to Carnforth.

After Lancaster, the roads got nicer and we went along the canal path for a bit then we pulled off onto some nice quiet roads and followed them to the campsite.

After eating some tea we went to explore the campsite and found a park that we played on.

Boy cycling along traffic-free route lined with trees

"We cycled on rural and urban cycle paths, busy roads, sand dunes, proms, quiet country lanes, a big mountain pass, roman roads, alongside a motorway or a river. Every day was different."

Day 3: Carnforth to Penrith via Kirkstone pass, Lake District (74km)

Mummy and I set off from the campsite early. Daddy and Polly tided up the van and then left a bit after us.

The roads started to get really hilly and I felt a bit tired as it was a very hot day.

We met Daddy and Polly for lunch in Staveley then Daddy and I carried on and went up the Kirkstone Pass.

We met Polly and Mummy at the top and Polly got on her bike to cycle down the Kirkstone pass (32 km to the campsite.)

Halfway down we stopped and put some water on Daddy’s brakes, they hissed because they were so hot.

We cycled along Ullswater lake and met Mummy to have a little paddle in the lake and cool down a bit. We played lots of games in the field at the campsite.

There was a massive thunderstorm that night and there was lots of rain and lightning. It didn’t keep me awake though.

Day 4: Penrith to Gretna Green (62km)

Daddy and I left really early at about 8 am. Mummy and Polly came a bit later.

To start off with, we had a kilometre downhill on nice new tarmac, it was great and then we were going along nice straight roads, which we think were Roman roads.

We went really fast. Mummy and Polly met us to the south of Carlisle and then cycled with me on the cycle paths into Carlisle.

After 15km Daddy picked up Polly by Carlisle Castle and Mummy and I carried on to Gretna Green. There were a few roads that went alongside the motorway.

We arrived at Gretna Green at about 2 pm and I got into the van.

boy on bike next to Scotland sign

"The best part of it all was getting there and riding over the bridge into Scotland!"

I felt great about achieving something so big. The best part of it all was getting there and riding over the bridge into Scotland!

That night we stopped at Loch Lomond and I had a refreshing swim in the lake. Two days later I climbed Ben Nevis.

If anyone else is thinking about doing something like this I would say to them don’t give up. It feels great to get there!

Feeling inspired by Rupert's story? Read our guide on cycling safely with children.

Find your next adventure on the National Cycle Network.

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