July 1st was an unusually hot day but we had only the seven mile ride to Bangor station ahead of us. Arriva normally allow only two bikes to be booked but the loco-hauled sets have plenty of space in the driving van trailer, the timings suited us and this service meant we had only one change. The 13:28 from Bangor arrived 8 minutes late, apparently this is a regular occurrence since it runs so closely behind the London train which was a concern since we had only a 10 minute connection at Warrington. 67022 clawed back the loss and we reached Warrington Bank Quay with plenty of time to board the Edinburgh bound Virgin Voyager which delivered us to Carlisle.
A short ride took us to the temporary YHA hostel which is normally student accommodation. The hostel has secure bike storage and it was well situated for us, close to the city centre but handy for the route we would take. Being able to cook for ourselves was an advantage but there were few pans and there were only 4 chairs so we had to coordinate meal times with two Dutch women walking Hadrians Wall who were staying since there were 6 bedrooms in the flat. We popped out for fruit and veg to accompany the food we’d brought with us from home and I bought a bottle of Sainsburys London Porter to avoid the heavily chlorinated tap water. There was a shortage of pans in the kitchen but we managed to cook, after which we went for a stroll around the city. There are some attractive red sandstone buildings and the cathedral precinct is peaceful but there’s not as much to see as other ancient cities such as York and Chester.
The duvet and pillow smelt none too fresh, they should have been washed between the end of the university term and the start of the temporary hostel period but we were not troubled by noise and still slept well. At £25 each with no towel or breakfast provided, it’s not a great bargain.