There is something wonderfully liberating about travelling around the country on a bike, covering the miles exposed to the elements: the wind, the rain, the sunshine. In this six-part series Clare Balding sets out on a two-wheel odyssey to rediscover Britain from the saddle of a touring cycle.
She follows the wheel tracks of passionate cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe whose evocative guide books of the late 1940s, snapped up by legions of holidaymakers, lovingly describe a Britain of a bygone era - a world of unspoiled villages, cycle touring clubs and sunny B roads! Carrying a set of Harold's Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own bicycle, Clare embarks on six iconic cycle rides to try and find the world he described - if it's still there.
As she tours the country, region by region, she discovers it's not always picture-postcard perfect. Her first journey takes her to the rugged and beautiful Atlantic coast of north Devon - from Lynmouth, scene of Britain's worst flood disaster in the early 1950s, to Ilfracombe via Little Switzerland, and a hidden silver mine whose riches probably helped England win the Battle of Agincourt. Subsequent bike rides include cycling tours of The Welsh Borders, The Isle of Wight, West Yorkshire, The Cotswolds and the Scottish Highlands.
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