Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Billinge by Bus (and train)


#1

I had fancied attempting Billinge Hill by public transport for a while and today was the day. The GMPTE Wayfarer Ticket reaches Billinge from Macclesfield - although at £13.80 for an adult and child it did seem a bit costly. Two trains and two buses were required to get there. Fortunately the journey went well with all the connections timed perfectly.

The ascent of Billinge Hill from Billinge was a pleasant change from the usual plod round the edge of a field. My daughter felt that it was all too easy though. The main hazards on the summit were potential sunburn and dogs trying to steal our lunch. I set up a 2m vertical aerial on the opposite side of the building to the masts and soon had over 20 contacts in the log. S2S contacts with The Cloud, Raw Head and Pendle Hill were very welcome. Thanks to the various people activating these hills.

Time passed quickly in the sunshine and too soon we had to descend in time for a visit to the pub before catching the bus back. The Eagle and Child in Billinge had a good real ale on (some name with rabbits in it - can’t recall).

We used a slightly more complex route back involving three trains and three buses - again it all went well.

The trip took all day (0920-1730 door-to-door) so it wasn’t fast but we did have a nice relaxing time. Recommended.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#2

In reply to G3CWI:
I was interested to read your accounts of activations by public transport.
I recall a previous account of your trip to Winter Hill by public transport.
For oldies ,like me,there is the added incentive that bus travel is now free !!
My last activation of Win Green, SC-008 on 13th March was by scooter and bus.
The scooter was required to get me to the bus station in Andover in time to catch the 0725 to Salisbury. There is a bus from my home to Andover but the first bus would be too late to catch the required Salisbury bus.
From Salisbury I caught the bus to Shaftsbury getting off in the village of Ludwell at 1018.
45 minutes to walk to the trig point at Win Green.
Set up and making my first QSO at 1116.
Sandwiches sat on the hilltop followed by a leisurely walk down the hill to Ludwell in time to catch the 1425 bus back to Salisbury.
Eventually arrived back home on scooter from Andover at around 1730.
It was a long day 0655-1730 but quite stress free.
The bus routes are rather indirect which is why they take so long to go a relatively short distance.
I have since worked out that I can get a bus from home at 0850 and arrive back home at 1810 which will give me about 60 mins less time on site but still enough time for an activation. I intend to do this trip by bus again sometime.
A nice clear winter day when its cold and frosty on the ground perhaps.
73
David
G3RDQ


#3

In reply to G3RDQ:

Like you I find it a rather stress-free way of doing things. In fact I am often dismayed by the efficiency of the public transport system. It all works far too well. I am happy to wait for the next bus if one is cancelled. I never waste the time but instead carry out extensive research into local beers. Sadly the buses and trains seem to turn up without fail :frowning:

I use the Transport Direct website http://www.transportdirect.info/ for planning. It is a bit fiddly but does have lots of info.

Maybe I should aim for all the SPs by public transport? That would be quite a feat.

73

Richard
G3CWI


#4

In reply to G3CWI: I also find bus and train travel less stressful than driving. Unfortunately things in this part of the world (Cumbria) have changed a lot since the days when A Wainwright wrote his guides and travelled all over the district by bus. It’s a lot more expensive by bus than using the car too (since I don’t qualify for a free bus pass yet.) So much for encouraging people to use greener forms of transport!


#5

In reply to G3CWI:
Hi Richard.Have you considered the Settle to Carlisle railway.Stopping at Horton in Rbblesdale Selside Ribblehead Dent Garsdale head ETC.ATB Geoff


#6

In reply to G3CWI:

Myself and Roy G0HDX have done most of the SP summits by public transport so have White Hill and Wards Stone left to do, have a route planned for White Hill
but have so far failed to find a workable route for Wards Stone.

Phil G1OPV


#7

In reply to G1OPV:

Hi Phil

That’s very impressive. I imagine that planning some of those was tricky. Any tips for the more tricky ones? Do you use the Transport Direct site - and is it the best option for planning I wonder? Have you had to use taxis?

73

Richard
G3CWI


#8

In reply to G3CWI:

Use a combination of sites including the transport Direct and National Rail websites for timetable infomation also find the the county council sites usually have public transport maps hidden away somewhere.

not had to use taxis yet, some summits are very easy ie easington fell there is a bus the B10 that will drop you at the carpark

Phil G1OPV


#9

In reply to G3CWI:

In reply to G3RDQ:

Like you I find it a rather stress-free way of doing things. In fact I
am often dismayed by the efficiency of the public transport system. It
all works far too well. I am happy to wait for the next bus if one is
cancelled. I never waste the time but instead carry out extensive
research into local beers. Sadly the buses and trains seem to turn up
without fail :frowning:

I use the Transport Direct website http://www.transportdirect.info/
for planning. It is a bit fiddly but does have lots of info.

Maybe I should aim for all the SPs by public transport? That would be
quite a feat.

73

Richard
G3CWI

Hi Richard
The SPs are not mutch of a feat by public transport. Phil G1OPV and I have done all but Ward Stone, which is proving to be a difficulty at the moment, and White Hill which are have sorted for the next month.

Black Hill took some sorting but was eventually acheived from Marsden with of course a brew pub for a reward at on the return, Riverhead Brewery with eight or ten beers on the bar.
Three trains were involved as I recall but fairly streight forward.

Just off to do a few SEs by public transport today, lets see what we can do in a week, buses seem to be reasonable.
Roy G0HDX


#10

In reply to G1OPV:
You are forgetting Easington Phil when we used a taxi from Clitheroe some years agoe. Before we started walking silly miles to do it.


#11

In reply to G0HDX:

The SPs are not much of a feat by public transport.

Roy

I disagree; you are far too modest! Activating that many SPs by public transport is quite amazing. For many of the SPs, Transport Direct shows no possible routes from my QTH. You and Phil are doing a great job with pioneering a particular style of activation.

Good luck with your SE trip- you may find it a struggle on VHF/UHF down there!

73

Richard
G3CWI