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British National Parks Ride 2009

The record of my progress in visiting the National Parks this year.

 

4th April 2009

Visited Dartmoor and Exmoor while on the South West Peninsular Rally.

1. High Moorland Visitor Centre, Princetown, Devon

2. Exmoor National Park Centre, Dulverton, West Somerset

 

18th April

Visited the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales on a tour of Yorkshire, also collecting Round Britain Rally landmarks and checking out a few possible locations for the Brit Butt Light Rally.

3. The Moors National Park Centre, Lodge Lane, Danby, North Yorkshire Moors

4. National Park Centre & Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes, Yorkshire Dales

 

9th May

Visited the Snowdonia Park in the rain on the Welsh Rally.

5. Snowdonia National Park Information Centre, Royal Oak Stables, Betws y Coed, Conwy

 

11th July

Visited the Broads National Park, also picked up three RBR landmarks and went to the IBA R2E at Burnham Deepdale.

6. Toad Hole Cottage Museum, How Hill, Ludham

 

20th July

Visited the New Forest Parks Centre on my way round England on the Counties Ride. I also went right past the park centre at Northumberland but it was 1am in the morning and too dark to take a photograph!

7. New Forest National Park Centre

 

28th August

Visited the Peak District Visitors Centre, as well as Arbor Low (Standing Stones Ride); The Old Thirteenth (Pub Crawl) and several Round Britain Rally landmarks on a tour of the Peaks.

8. Peak District National Park Visitors Centre

 

1st September

Visited the Brecon Beacons and several RBR landmarks on the way down to the Gower.

9. Brecon Beacons National Park Visitors Centre

 

3rd September

Visited the Pembrokeshire centre at Newport and several more RBR landmarks on the way home. Carpenter working next door took the photo for me - didn't mean to do the Stig impression!

10. Pembrokeshire National Park Visitor Centre

 

11th-13th September

Visited four more parks on the weekend of the Scottish Rally.

Got to the Lake District on the way up to the start of the rally.

11. Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole

Visited one of the Scottish parks, the Cairngorms while on the rally,

12. Nethy Bridge Community Centre, Cairngorms

and the other Scottish park of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs shortly after leaving the finish (in the dark!)

13. Gateway Centre, Loch Lomond Shores

I visited the Northumberland for the second time this year, having passed up on the opportunity to photograph it while on the English Counties Ride, because it was dark - this time I decided it didn't bother me as I was not going to go back for a third time!

14. Once Brewed Visitor Centre, Baldon Mill, Hexham

 

4th October

My last park was the newest national park; the South Downs, and the Seven Sisters Country Park at Exceat.

15. South Downs

I spent the day riding down across country to the south coast, collecting seven Round Britain Rally landmarks; a pub in Brighton on the pub crawl ride; and a letterbox in Windsor for the Letter Boxes ride. On getting to the national park I found someone to take my photo but otherwise my celebrations were muted - there was no mobile coverage, I couldn't get anything to eat or drink as the cafe had closed five minutes before I got there at five past 4, and even the shop had closed early at 3.30 because of staff shortages! It was still a very good feeling to have completed the ride and it made me think back to when I had put the idea for it together, ten and a half months ago while laid up in a hospital bed and wondering how long it would be before I would be able to ride a bike again. I became the sixteenth person to complete the ride and obtain a Gold Award this year.

BNPR 2009