Ambleside September 2014 (5th -14th)
Met Alison, at usual place & time, Tesco Dereham 5am.Again dark damp and foggy, she was reprimanded for being late, by a few minutes, blamed me for the unsociable time of the day.
Taking the A47, A17, A1 and A1M after a few early stops to adjust Alison’s luggage, re-adjusting the rucksack she had bunged on, Alison packed for England.
A left hand turn just before Sutton Bridge the wrong direction, we had another stop to re-adjust baggage, turning around heading back for Sutton Bridge.
8:20am stop for breakfast off the A1, a Little Chef and as little Chef’s go this one was not too bad. Back on the bikes, still foggy and drizzly, up the A1 and A1M to Ripon then heading for Pateley Bridge, Grassington, B6160 to Buckden and on to the A684, some fabulous roads, heading to Aysgarth.
A stop at Aysgarth Falls Hotel, sitting outside at the back of the pub overlooking the beautiful country side and hills, we have stopped here before, so if you are ever in the area, we highly recommend you have a pit stop here.
We rode onto Hawes, on the A684, in the warm sunshine, through Sedbergh to Kendal, turned onto the A591 to our destination in Ambleside town centre, a lovely self –catering cottage, with all mod-cons with beautiful comfy open plan living area, 2 beds rooms and 2 en–suite shower rooms .Unlashed the bikes, weather getting hotter, this is where Alison discovers she has not packed any shorts. A cup of coffee and a walk onto town to do a bit of retail shopping, an hour later Alison has two pairs of shorts and four T shirts.
We headed for the Filling Mill, a wine bar, hoping for an ice cold pint of Guinness, it was in the title wine bar, guess what no Guinness. So, had to, settled for a large glass of wine and a pint of Coke for Alison 6pm and still warm. A wonder back, through town, to base camp where we perused the maps for next day’s ride. Showered and changed, and back into town for dinner at Zeffiellis restaurant, well Ambleside has some great eating places and we can recommend all the ones we went into, wonderful meal of pasta with 2 non-alcoholic drinks. Sitting outside, watching the world going by, as we dined. Yet again it was lovely and warm. We were good girls and refused desert, this time. Wondered back to base camp looking over the maps again and off to bed at 11 pm.
Wake early to good weather, took a cup of tea back to bed, then a quick walk to the bakery for fresh bread, Alison laid the table and made a cafeteria of coffee, all very civilised. Out riding by 8:30am on the A591 out of Ambleside up to Patterdale, an area Alison had not been back to since a school holiday aged 11, and of cause did not recognise it. Great riding and lovely roads then onto A66 to Keswick taking the B5292 to Whenlatter Pass turned down onto B5289 to Buttermere another wonderful road.
Oh no, another lunch stop at the Croft House Farm Café, sausage bap for Alison and brie & cranberry baguette for me, followed by double scoops of home-made ice cream, no wonder we are having problems fitting in our biking gear. Then off again via B5289 past Crummock Water to Honister Pass. Passed the busy slate mines back to Keswick, passed Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwent Lake, onto Thirlmere for a tea stop at the Kings Head, still very warm and sunny, as we head back into Ambleside we hit all the work traffic. A cheeky glass of wine to chill out while checking out next day’s route to Moffat with an over night’s stay.
8am breakfast and heading to Moffat via A591, A684and A6 great roads again sweeping bends and not many cars, just bikes, sun is shining, into the clouds for a chilly ride then back down to the warmth. Quick stop then onto M6, Junction 44, Langholm, A7 and B709 to Eskdalemuir fabulous roads, no traffic for miles, in the back of beyond, beautiful countryside passed Ettrick onto Yarrowford. Lots of bikes about and had to keep a watchful eye out for the wondering sheep. Overnight stay at great B&B, The Buchan Guest House, very welcoming hosts, great bedrooms en suite, large sitting room to use. All with tea, coffee, and bottles of water, biscuits and bowls of sweats 10/10 highly recommend .
Overlooking the bowling green and hills. Unpacked and wandered into Moffat as Alison had forgotten to pack any trousers. Another quick 20minutes shopping trip, I must teach her what to pack, a short walk to burn off some of the calories from over indulging. Low and behold I catch a glimpse of young Ian Soulsby, my observer ,whizzing by on his bike. All those miles from home and you spot someone you know, what a small world.
Up at 7 am wonderful breakfast too much food to list .Bikes packed and on our way, sunny and bright heading on the A701& A72 to Pebbles and Selkirk, A7, A689, B6277 to Newbiggin. Then A66 to Brough via Appleby-in-Westmorland, A685 back to Kendal arriving back at Ambleside at 7.30pm. A long day but some great biking roads. We will return, to Moffat, in 2015.
10am, thought a lay in was in order, left for Windermere, Kendal and Sedbergh. Stop off at Fairfield Mill, a place we have visited before, for coffee and lovely homemade cakes. Onward on the A685 and B6259 to Kirby Stephens, high police presence, took a right to Muker, Grinton, Reeth and Tan Hill, fabulous roads but far too many sheep wandering about. Last stop off in Windermere to look at the lake.
Off via Sebergh to Hawes stopped for coffee, at the local bikers hang out, and a chat. Rode onto Long Preston, Kirby Lonsdale and stopped at Devils Bridge. As usual Alison got chatting to the local bikers, while I went off to take photographs of the scenery. Followed a young lad on a 125cc, on our way back, carrying everything except the kitchen sink, with what looked like a fishing rod or rifle across his chest wobbling and weaving along. He decided to wave us past on a bend, we did not take up the offer to overtake.
Off via Windermere, Kendal and Sedbergh to Dent then beautiful Deepdale. No traffic about, lovely warm sunny day, onto small narrow unclassified roads into the small quant village of Stone. We rode onto Slaidburn, empty roads again, whizzing along with the wind in our hair! Ok… well not exactly, but through the vents in our gear, as weather getting warmer throughout the day. Riding down passed the Fells, avoiding the sheep yet again that had obviously escaped from behind enemy lines, heading towards Rubbleshead viaduct, where a few more sheep were loitering.
Another coffee stop and Alison, again, chatting with fellow bikers from Preston, out as the weather so good. Off to Alison’s favourite pie shop /café at Waddington for lunch, they do make wonderful homemade pies; we had to wait for a table outside to sit in the wonderful sun still warm with clear blue skies. Back on the road A59 and A65 getting very tired and hot we stopped to try and revive ourselves at a brassiere, several coffees later with no affect, we lie on the grass verge and fell asleep hoping this would revive us. We then headed onto Ingleton, via a petrol station for a Red Bull, then via Kirby Lonsdale and back to base camp.
Our final day of a wonderful holiday could not have asked for better weather, accommodation or roads back the way we went, a most enjoyable time was had by all and back home safe and sound.
If anyone needs recommendations for coffee, lunch or dinner stops please ask as this would have been 3 times as long if I had mentioned them all.