Tour de Turret – The plan

A couple of months ago I did a 2-day cycle (and campout) to Ditchling Beacon and back with the awesome Fiona Quinn. It was something that i’d not done before and the total of 110 miles felt like quite an achievement for me. But of course, when you break through one barrier, you need to line up the next one.

One bike, four days – where to go?
At the end of my two day trip I was very very tired and the prospect of doing another day on top seemed pretty daunting. So obviously I’ve set myself the goal of doing a four day cycle this time. It scares the hell out of me and there is a real jeopardy of not finishing. However, it is this very fear that will make  this trip worthwhile. Please let this statement be true!

With my current levels of bike fitness (just infrequent commuting into town) I didn’t want to push my mileage too much. I figure, therefore, that 50 miles a day is challenging but doable. The next question is where to go to and from? I very much like the idea of cycling home so if London is the destination where is 200 miles away? My answer is Nottingham!

A Theme?
Very much inspired by the wonderful adventure themes of Helen Proudfoot (Ham sandwich, Wellington Boot and Sauce to sauce) I was keen to do or visit something memorable. I am quite happy to be gimmicky!

I like a bit of history and in particular I quite like to visit castles. Call it a weakness if you like. So if I started in Nottingham, how many castles can I visit on the way? The answer is less than I imagined (most castles are in ‘trouble’ border areas or the coast). If I dodge about the midlands and squeeze in Windsor it looks like I can get in eleven castles. It also helps if I extend my definition to include folly’s, fakes, towers, fortified farms and in Nottingham’s case just being on the site of an iconic castle. The goal is therefore:

Nottingham Castle
Elvaston Castle
Ashby de la Zouche Castle
Tamworth Castle
Maxstoke Castle
Kenilworth Castle
Warwick Castle
Broughton Castle
Boarstall Tower
Windsor castle
Tower of London

I wanted a cool name to go with this trip (obvs). My ideas included ‘Battlement bike-ride’ and ‘Crenelation cycle’. It took the wonderful Helen to come up with ‘Tour de Turret’ which I think we can all agree is the winner!

I’ve booked a train up to Nottingham and given myself four clear days to cycle back to London. It’s now or never. Here goes.


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