Saturday, 27 October 2012

Once in a Preston Guild

2012 has been a year jam packed with celebration.  The Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and the creme de la creme, the Preston Guild!  I must admit that I did not go to any of the events but joined in belatedly today by cycling the wonderful Preston Guild Wheel.

Tree lined avenue taking you into Preston
21 miles around the outside of Preston doesn't sound all that appealing but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  The riding is easy with only a handful of hills as it is rather flat in that part of Lancashire.  The greenway is really well signposted so you don't really run the risk of getting lost and it introduces you to aspects of Preston that are lovely.

I apologise to those of you out there who have always loved and appreciated Preston,  but up until today I thought it was another sad relic of the 1960s overdevelopment that utterly destroyed the character of so many market towns.  I'd only really been into the centre for shopping and the odd music or theatre trip.  Skirting around the outside gives a whole different view of the place.
Preston Docklands - Looks as good as any city I've ever been to.  Who would have thought?
The surrounding countryside is beautiful and, as we had a gorgeous sunny day, was the very picture of glorious autumnal colour and splendour.  The route follows the River Ribble and that too is a much grander affair that it is around my part of Lancashire.  Avenham Park is simply lovely. The docklands area is fabulous and I have no idea why I have never got around to looking at it before.  I will go back again sometime.

We started and finished at Brockholes which is a recently created wetlands reserve right next to the M6 Motorway but at the same time feels a million miles away from anywhere.  I saw a black swan on the lake there.  There was also a food and craft fair going on so got some yummy plum jam while I was there.
Interesting sculpture en route
So the riding was easy, the views were stunning at times and I have come away with a whole new opinion of Preston.

Who knew? Preston is a city of character and charm!

No comments: