Oh the benefits of retirement. Jane and I had a free day today so we decided to take a trip out to Watermead park in Leicester and see how Sustrans have been spending their Connect2 money, and at the same time we (well me anyway) wanted to try out NCN 6 through the middle of Leicester. Well what a great day we had. Watermead is a great place - lots of water!, great cycle tracks and hardly anybody there.
I struggled initially to find any maps, but eventually stumbled across this leaflet http://www.leics.gov.uk/watermead_connect2_print.pdf which shows the proposed scheme. We decided to try and cycle from just outside Cossington into Watermead. This is shown on the map as a new path but unfortunately it was not really much more than a footpath. I don't know if anything will be done about it in the future - we talked to some other cyclists who use the route regularly from Silesby and were very keen to see it upgraded. Anyway we managed to ride a bit and walk a bit and once we reached the River Wreake we managed to cycle and just had to lift the bikes up a few steps at one bridge.
We had a very nice pub stop at the White Lion at Birstall which is pretty much where we picked up route 6. From here NCN 6 follows some very pretty waterside including Abbey Park which was lovely. NCN 6 across the city itself is also pretty good. Plenty of twists and turns to keep off busy roads, but it is all well signed (well done Leicester Rangers). A little way past De Montford Uni, NCN 6 joins the Great Central Way to get you out of the centre of the city to the world beyond.
At this point however it was time for us to turn around as Andy Murray was soon due on court for his quarter final. We made it home just in time and a win for Andy capped a great day out.