My second Mercian, 20 years old, still going strong and handles like a dream, in its native Derbyshire hills on the way from Gloucestershire to Cape Wrath in 2014. The last few miles out to the end beyond the ferry are a bit rugged (the ferryman said I’d need a “mountain bike” whatever that is) but you can take a proper lightweight steel touring bike anywhere. If you can’t ride it you can carry it….
All the best to everyone at Mercian Cycles past & present. Thanks for many years of happy touring.