Touring

This page brings together experiences of public transport with a bike away from the Chesterfield area. It is compiled by members of the Campaign and no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of the information. If you can add to this resource please do so.

If you are travelling to another town it is always worth doing a search on the internet to see if they have an online cycle map, failing that contact the Tourist Office or Cycling/Sustainability officer.

Sustrans has good online mapping.

Virtually all railway companies will carry bikes but rarely more than two or four.

Most of the preserved/steam railways in this country are more than happy to carry you and your bike. Narrow gauge railways often have limited space but will happily add a van to their trains given prior warning. Some of those that members have used are;

Taly-Llyn Railway  in mid Wales
Great Central Railway - Leicester to Loughborough, useful as a return trip after cycling on the Sustrans route from Derby to Leicester
Bodmin Steam Railway - useful for getting to Bodmin from Bodmin Parkway station avoiding very steep hills before cycling along the lovely Camel Trail to Padstow!

Should you need to cross London this can be less scary than thought. one local family crossed between St Pancras and Liverpool St. Two childrens bikes and a Brompton went by one taxi, one adult and children in another. The other adult cycled towing a trailer. The first part up Pentonville road was difficult but soon after there was a cycle lane and little traffic and the journey took 20 minutes. Now that cycling has become so commonplace in London it is much easier to cycle around plus the new superhighways are gradually expanding. London cycle maps are free. 

From St Pancras to Marylebone you can access the Regents Canal towpath just north of King's Cross and cycle virtually all the way along the canal passing through London Zoo en route. In the middle of the route Campden Market has taken over the tow path so you need to negotiate a way round. London cycle maps (link to how to obtain above) are necessary.

To venture into Europe with your bike there are several options from Chesterfield. Most ferries are reasonably bike friendly but one point to be aware of is that bikes are usually the last off so watch out for exhaust fumes on the car deck.

To get to continental ferries you have the choice of Cross Country Trains to Newcastle and then follow the Sustrans route along the north bank of the Tyne (some steep climbs) to the ferry terminal. It is about 5 miles away.

Hull can be got to by changing trains at Doncaster and then a short cycle to the ferry or cycle all the way on the Trans Pennine Trail.

To get to Harwich it is possible to go to Norwich and then another two trains but probably easiest to catch a train to London, cycle across to Liverpool Street and catch a train from there to Harwich. There is a station at the ferry terminal (as described above).

Ferries from Dover entail a more difficult crossing of London between terminals or multiple changes.

Eurotunnel Shuttle trains from the Folkestone terminal carry bicycles. The riders are transported by minibus whilst on the shuttle train.

By the far the best way to get to Belgium and France is to train to St Pancras and then use Eurostar to Paris or Brussels. Eurostar charge £20 per bike per trip. The down side of all this is that high speed trains in Europe rarely carry bikes. The latest German ICE trains now have a compartment for 8 bikes.

Once into Europe most night trains will take bikes. See The Man in Seat 61 or specific bike pages.