Park in Allonby for free parking
The starting point of this ride is in Allonby, where you will find free parking in a car park opposite Christ’s church. The path is a dedicated cycleway which goes all the way to Maryport. It’s a brilliant short bike ride and day trip for the family. Ten miles round trip, through some stunning scenery of the Solway Coast Cumbria.
The route is flat and traffic-free, apart from crossing the road twice each way. On a clear day, you can see the Galloway Hills in Scotland. The Solway Coast has been designated An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with its diverse landscape, beaches, wildflowers and wildlife. The expansive lowland peat bogs, mudflats and wet grass flat all provide an essential home for many creatures, birds, flora and fauna.
The path takes you past salt marshes and beaches of the Solway Coast Cumbria, with long shaggy sea-washed grass. You may see a resident Oystercatcher digging in the cockle beds with their long orange beaks hoping to get lucky with a cockle, mussel or an oyster. Listen out for their call; it sounds much like a dog’s squeaky toy. Another bird call, often linked with the sound of summer, is a skylark. A bird that is harder to spot in the grass due to streaky brown colour. However, you won’t miss them in the sky, flying straight up whilst singing their beautiful song.
Between spring and summer, you will be struck by the blues, reds, yellows, pinks and purples of wildflowers along the path. Spot flowers such as Purple Loosestrife, Perennial Cornflower, Harebell and the Pyramidal Orchid.
Maryport Golf Club
Next, you will pass through Maryport Golf Club; watch out for low-flying balls. The approach to Maryport is along the promenade towards the octagonal Victorian Lighthouse on the horizon.
Maryports significance in Roman Britton
In Roman times Maryport was known as (Alauna) and was part of the coastal sea defence and an extension of Hadrian’s wall. The Roman North Western Coastline defence comprised a line of watch towers and forts, including the Roman Fort Alavana, which is accessible via the promenade that you will ride passed. You will also note all the benches along the prom; each has a plaque commemorating a different Roman emperor. If you have time and a bike lock, experience some Roman History by visiting the Fort or The Senhouse Roman Museum, which is situated in Maryport.
The old port
When you reach Maryport, you can ride through the modern redeveloped marina. Imagine how different this once-bustling harbour would have been when it was used to export coal. The old port is a beautiful place to park and wander before returning to Allonby. Ride back the way you have come and enjoy the scenery from another angle. A good selection of Ice cream is available at Twentymans ice cream parlour in Allonby.
Taking water, snacks, and sun cream on a hot day is essential when attempting a bike ride. Remember to take a puncture repair kit and a spare tube. The main thing is to remember to have fun!!
Address: Allonby Car Park, Main Street, Allonby, CA15