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Cycling the London Underground, Part VI

Central Line – Friday 12th November, 8:15am Stations: 49 Distance: 74km (by train); 99km (by bike, plus 12km from Harlow to Epping) Grey, grey, grey. Uniform grey. Offensive grey. Dementor-like, life-sucking grey. Such are the...



Cycling the London Underground, Part V

District Line – Saturday 25th September, 10:30am Stations: 60 Distance: 64km (by train); 99.3km (by bike) It’s taken five months of my challenge to meet this true test of endurance, the District line. I didn’t expect it...



Cycling the London Underground, Part IV

Northern Line – Saturday 17th July, 8:30am Stations: 50 Distance: 58km (by train); 77.3km (by bike) It took me rather longer to complete the Northern line than expected. 64 days, to be precise. On my first attempt, a grey and...



Cycling the London Underground, Part III

Victoria Line – Friday 23rd April, 3:15pm Stations: 16 Distance: 21km (by train); 25.3km (by bike) Sufficiently recovered from a gruelling opening adventure, my second cross-London sojourn promises less graft, and infinitely...



Cycling the London Underground, Part II

Jubilee Line – Saturday 10th April, 2:45pm Stations: 27 Distance: 36.2km (by train); 56.2km (by bike, plus accidental detours) My return journey begins in leafy Stanmore, on the cusp of Greater London. Long-time home to Prime...



Cycling the London Underground, Part I

As I child obsessed with geography, maps and endless gazetteers of facts – in short, a proud nerd – the London Underground encompassed all that was sacred. When I was seven or eight, I could not fathom a more enjoyable day out...



Why we must stay cheerful amid the coronavirus lockdown

As we enter the bleak realm of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s remarkable to consider how quickly the barometers of life have shifted. Just three weeks ago I remember enjoying the dividends from a £25 pub quiz bar tab on a...



2017's 12 Days of Christmas

2017 has been another year to suspend belief, exceed expectations and defy prediction – or, in the case of Donald Trump, a year to meet expectations by continuously defying what could never be predicted of a sitting U.S. president....



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Notes from the American South

America is the pre-eminent power in the world in one surprising field. Not economic power. Not military power. Certainly not the function of democracy. It’s museums. The United States know how to create fascinating, challenging,...



Fat man sitting down wearing a vest with the American flag

Travels to the Land of the Free(ly Expanding Waistlines)

It is a struggle to write a travel diary, particularly in the United States, without thinking of the prescient and utterly hilarious work of Bill Bryson, who will be the stimulus throughout my visit to the American Deep South. I...