A second bikepacking trip, this time setting off straight from home for a jaunt around the villages of south Nottinghamshire.

A few drinks the night before may have caused my waking time to be pushed back slightly, but Saturday morning arrived, bikes were packed and we were off! Well, off to the supermarket down the road for some breakfast/lunch, which was eaten by the canal. After that, THEN we were off.

Following the canal down to the river Trent, and then over to Sawley marina – when I suddenly remembered I’d planned to take more photos this trip. Excuse the matchy-matchy tops, I suggested to Niall that the 2 layers he’d brought might not be sufficient for a windy night in the forest, and lent him another. I guess that still doesn’t explain why I have 2 identical tops though…


The rain started to spit a little and we cycled past the boats.


Looping round the Marina, onwards past the power station (still not remembering this take-more-photos malarky) we cycled through Kegworth and Kingston on Soar, before picking up some bridleways for an off-road loop.


The rain started to get a little heavier, but it was about 17° with a stiff breeze, so we didn’t get too wet and the clothes dried quickly.

Fields were crossed…


…and hills were conquered. By some on 2 wheels, by others on 2 legs. Worth it for the view though.


Through the woods and out the other side, it’s downhill from here at least.


Awesome views, shame about the rain/mist/cloud though.


Dropping into East Leake, it was time for a pint of, well, “East Leake”. And a Strongbow.


Think that pint might have done something to Niall…


Emulating the Tour of Britain who used these same roads THIS VERY MORNING, we looped round to Wysall, and spotted this pretty church.


Then as evening approached, and after consulting the map and finding an area that looked suitable for the bivvy, we stopped off for some food. And more drink.


Watered and fed we cycled over to our elected bivvy spot. After scouring this forested area for quite some time, we found this suitable area opposite a woodpile, which provided shelter from the wind and privacy from anyone looking over.

Day one: 24.2 miles according to Strava.

With rain predicted overnight we set up a tarp. And then opened the box of wine.


It started to get cooler, and seeing as we were in a forest surrounded by deadfall, we built a fire. A little bad planning in materials gathering (not enough “weedy sticks”) mean’t it took 4 attempts, but 45 minutes after starting, it was well ablaze.

Feed the beast!


The fire kicked out a fair bit of heat, and having it right in front of our camp meant we could sit in the shelter and keep rather toasty! When we weren’t scavenging for more wood, or dancing round it maniacally that is.


Not a bad sleep in all, it got a little chilly – I need a better sleeping bag, but I already knew that. At least i didn’t generate loads of condensation in my bivvy bag this time!

The morning – and hangovers – came, even with a lie in til 9.30. Off we set, with one minor wrong turn (sorry about that hill Niall).


Off road, through fields, past sheep. Nosey sheep.


We stopped for second-breakfast/lunch in Gotham, and then found this line of pilons which stretching into the far distance – quite difficult to see in this photo.


Over to Barton in Fabis, via one more minor wrong turn, and cows.


Where we picked up the river Trent again.


“Niall, look wistful…”


Crossing the Trent at Wilford, we cycled back through to Attenborough.


After one more long hill, it was back to base. And a hot shower. And cider.

Day two: 24.4 miles according to Strava.