Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cycling the Lake District

Check out all the photos by clicking the picture above

My brother said thanks for waking him at 5:45am and for a change I got up pretty much then. I couldn’t believe the sun was shining. We packed the car ad put the bikes on the bake. Time to hit the road. What do you mean your not taking the top down. We’ll do it when we are up there. We pull into the Esso garage and I start filling up, whilst a lady comes over looks at the car with a quizzical eye and then say “nice morning for it”. When I release I’ve left my camera batteries at home we head back south before getting on the M6 and heading north.

A break in some services past Blackpool.

We check the tail lights are still functioning and then we are off.

Soon enough we are off the motorway and onto the ain road towards Kendal and Ambleside.

And ogf course we spot Lake Windermere

The phone sat nav wants us to take a right. I ask my brother who has the map open is this right, yes it is.

Rob I’m telling you this is a white road and not a yellow road on the map, ggg look at the bikes wobble.

We stop for a pit stop for my brother. I look at the map guess what…we are on a white back road taking a “short cut”!

And so we get back on track missing the sheep en route. We pull up to a shop in Chapel Stile and I go in to get some more essentials, whilst the people outside look at the car in an unbelievable manner. I come out with two O.S maps

Like my mate said, we would miss the turning into the camp site. We reversed and turned in. Holy moly the dirt track isn’t MX5 friendly, especially fully laden with some bikes on too. As we keep grounded in the bottom of the car we turn a bend and see a hump bridge. I have visions on see sawing at the top. OL6 and OL7, 4 Tiger beers, 6 san Miguel's and some Muesli and orange juice and milk and…

This doesn't prove to be the case though and we can see the field of tents ahead of us.

We drive up to the farm house. I go and see the helpful lady, who tells me I can pitch anywhere I can find. I ask is there anywhere that isn’t bogey. But she doesn't seem to understand the predicament.

We get in the car and drive into the top field as I have a found a spot in this field near the facilities block. Then me and my brother look at each other. Er if we go any further well never get out. And so back to the top of the field.

We park up here and decide that well put up with all the cars coming to park up for the facilities block. Up goes the tent and my brother claims to have never seen the Tenby Tent I. He’s impressed about how quick it is to put up and in fact how roomy it is for two people. Odd that considering its ‘meant’ to be a four man tent! Note that there no phone signal here. In fact we arn’t going to get a phone signal all weekend We get changed and

check out the cycle routes I’d picked up at the shop. We chose route 2 as we are not far from Elterwater.

Looks do-able and not too short.

I have even got my brother to put his pannier set on I got him for his last birthday.

And so down the track to the bridge

over the bridge

Down the road

past the local pub “The Wainwright Inn”

and onto course

We head towards the south side of Ambleside.

And after a lot of peddling there it is!

From here to the waterside and the pier area.

We enjoy the views while we park up for a while.

I go and order some lovely lovely ah so lovely ice creams to realise I’ve left my wallet in my bike bag. I tell the lady  I will be back in a moment for the ice creams and go and get the cash.

Back in the saddle and we are now on the B5286 on the West Side of Lake Windermere heading south.

Lovely quiet roads

But some upward riding.

We get to the gate of Wray Castle

And head down the drive towards it.

From here you can see where we have come from over the otherside of the lake.

Enough of this and we are off.

enjoying the views.

Hold on whats up with my brother.

Ah mechanical faults with his expensive bike again. Hurray for Maintenance Free Chinese Rubbish bikes.

I enjoy the wildlife, well at this point I believe his chain has just come off.

Oh and we are off again, the sun beating down and a gentle cooling breeze.

We near Hawkshead

a nice little town.

with some backwater cobbles and pubs.

Before you know it we are out the other side. Erm what is this.

Well where are they all then? From here it is to Hawkshead Hill and its all in the name.

By the time we get here we have cycled up the Hawkeshead Hill, a mountain of a hill and I’ll be honest whilst I don’t like getting off my bike to go up hills and waling it did come to that. We stop and chat to this chap, who loves to tell me up here is more up hill. Is it worth I say. He smiles and says yes. I knew he would.

Another junction to

which leads to not only to Tarn Hows but also

More up hill!

Eventually after a long chug up hill we arrive at Tarn Hows

Yey a Lake is here, who would have expected that!

It was nice though.

Click the picture above to get a full view of it.

Was it worth it? Well it was about to become worth it.

There was a car park and in it were a couple of vans. An Ice Cream Van, A NAtion Trust Van and

we parked up all because of

yew Tree farm van.

Cooking fresh burgers to order made from his own farm cattle.

I order a beefy one and my brother a porky one along with a cup of tea each.

Apart from that ice cream earlier this is the first thing I have eaten for 10 hours! An boy was the cup of tea and burger just perfect. The chap told us where to buy some burgers from – his farm, and I pondered if he’d noted that we’d come on our bikes. Its not far away apparently. Good news is he told me it would be down hill from here!


So that was Tarn Hows. Good bye farwell

Over the cattle grid and onwards

YEs down hill

Me posing with the map – it this way of course.

And yes it was down hill, a long way down hill and all I can say is thankgod I changed those brake blocks.


From here we head towards Coniston

and guess what this is?

Yep Lake Coniston. Look at that water. Ah so inviting.

From here the is a cycle path

Yes I’m loving it.

Ah I think we are here.

At Coniston we stop at the facilities, I also go in the Tourist Information centre and get some post cards. They don’t sell any stamps here but she gives me directions with a lovely smile. I’m not sure what she is thinking but at this time of afternoon the post office has no chance of being open, no matter how much she smiles at me.

We cycle off toward the pier, note this Yellow Lotus.

At the pier area

We stop

Get off our bikes and take a breather.

Well my brother needs it

Just how much further are you taking us for gods sake!

Calm down, take it easy Bro. This is as far south as we go. Now its just a long way back.

We’ll do it, we’ve got all evening.

Look at those boats floating over there isn’t it just tranquil.

I also want to paddle, but don’t want to cycle with wet feet.

Back on our bkies and we head to where the shops are.

I stop at the Co-Op and get 2 litres of water as we are dry in our bottles, and and they have stamps, yay, not a book of stamps nope they have single stamps. We drink some water and fill our bottles. now that was refreshing.

We are on the move once more now heading north along the A593.

and at a good pace

I see a side path and suggest we get off the road.

My brother asks does it go where we want to go. I look at the map for a brief moment and say yeah of course it does.

My brother loves offroad.

ah blue bells Rob isn’t that nice.

I whizz through the wood area.

Wow your fast in the wood area.

We come to the end of it and a junction. Now where?

Wow you fast through there.

This way well use this path

You know where we are now don’t you?


Yew tree farm where those burgers came from.

Next stop was Tom Gill. There were some waterfalls here but my brother didn’t explain that did he.

And we were off once more

Ah look here we are at Yee Tree Tarn.

Nice or what.

Erm tranquil. Shall we cycle round it. But its says its a footpath only.

good enough.

Oh a tough climb, off your bikes then.

No we can’t get the bikes through here.

No prblem brother I’ll lift them over. No chance there to heavey. 1-2-3 done.

What a lovely wood.

with the sun light trying to get though the branches

absolutely wonderful

Which way now you ask. That way of course. What do you mean it doesn’t look good.

Come on

an we head off

Oh we had to resort to walking some of it.

Now at Home Fell

We leave the track and get back on the road.

And that's all up hill anyway.

And my brother is off his bike again.

In fact he wants rest.

So we stop and grab 5 mintues

Once recharged we are off.

And it is a brisk ride again.

On the home run.

And down hill for a while he gets away

Until I catch him up.

At the Eltswater Inn

at Elteswater. Here we come to a junction with the Britannia Inn.

And yep we don’t know where to go. I bring up that we never cycled to Loughrigg Tarn.

And so off we went.

So we make the climb up the hills

and up

and off our bikes.

until we get there.

Where he gets off his bike.

Well this is it. Do you want to get closer to it.

Not with what that sign says.

I plan a route back to the camp site.

And off we set – uphill.

The view is nice, but it is uphill.

Past a man and his wolf hound. Walking up hill.

I keep puffing and panting.

At the top of the hill I say this is it. This is going to be fun. Down hill ALL the way now.

Wow what a ride.

brakes brakes brakes!

Lovely views

And speed


past the nice flowers

and into Chapel Stile.

Where I decide we should get some provisions for tomorrow if they are still open.

And they are.

Well my brother isn’t impressed by all the stuff I get but there not really much here just a lot of bags. I fill his panniers and take four carriers myself.


I’m carfull with the bags not to get them trapped in the forks.

nearly back

and here the turning

down the track

over the bridge

over the cattle grid

along the field

and into the camp site.

We lock the bikes up

and have a beer while the kettle is on for a nice cup of tea.

While it boils we enjoy the evening veiws

and make pasta for tea.

And then afterall this exercise we go for a walk

to the pub down the short cut path I was told about by the lad at work.

True enough we were there in not time. And just as I put my foot in the door I get the cramp in the top of my right leg. Agggg I’m in trouble. I stomp around the patio area trying to get control of it while my brother goes to the bar.

When it gets cold we head indoors. I write some cards and oh no the cramp again. I quickly eat two packets of salted crips and hope that will help.

We leave the Wainwirght Inn happy and our way to the path I here some one calling from behind.

“Are you going to the campsite?”. “Yeah follow us this path is far shorter than the road way”. When we get to the bridge and cattle grid some is already trying to wlak over it. I catch them in my torch light just as there leg disappears into it ad they fall. “Sod it there has to be someone around when this happens – my own fault I should have used the gate” He gets out with the aid of the light and we all walk back to the camp site.

So off to bed it was. I remember a couple of things. How gooddam cold it was in my micro mummy sleeping bag. And the fact that having cramp 3 times in the night is especially awkward in a tent in a tight fitting mummy sleeping bag. Most of all though I remember just how dam cold it was Winking smile

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"Nowhere Near The End Of the Rainbow"
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 Near The End Of The Rainbow

An account of something that may one day turn out to be wonderful.......