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The South Lakes Group

Your local off-road cycle touring club

 For cyclists who love off road leisure cycling in South Lakes and Yorkshire Dales

Part of the ‘Where the Brew Stop? The off-road cycle touring website’. The site about off-road cycle touring routes, cyclist’s cafes, local group events , the South Lakes Group and good photos.

Past Ride Reports of January, February and March 2011

1st January: A ride over Cocklaw Fell and down Longsleddale (18.32 miles)

It was not surprising that I was only person to turn up for the start of the ride at Ashes Lane, its a bit of hit and miss affair when you organize a ride on New Year Day weather folk will turn up for the ride or not! So after adjusting my front brakes on my bike, I headed along Ashes Lane and then down the Crook Road for brew and cake at Wilf’s Cafe in Staveley which was quite for Saturday morning, there must have been a lot thick heads after celebrating the New Year in South Cumbria.

After quick brew, I headed up the road to Kentmere, with a few stops to take photos of the valley before following Lowfield Lane up to Green Quarter where I decide to do the bridleway over Green Quarter Fell and then over Cocklaw Fell down into Longsleddale. The only person I saw on this track was mountain biker coming opposite way down the bridleway into Green Quarter, I did not see another person for the next hour or so until I was in Longsleddale. Anyway the bridleway up and over Green Quarter Fell was quite interesting to do with few wet sections but a lot good views across the lakes and worth doing again on another Group Ride. The bridleway over Cocklaw Fell was wet in few places on the Skeggles Water side of the fell but there was a lot good view as I drop down into the Longsleddale Valley, instead of following the bridleway down to Sadgill, I decide followed the bridleway down to Till’s Hole Farm which for me was a bit to steep to ride.

At Till’s Hole Farm after looking at the map and my watch, I decide to follow the bridleway down the west side of the dale towards Garrnett Bridge, which was interesting as had not done the northern part of the bridleway before and I had have few map stops to check that I was going the right way put the track was well sign posted and when the ground is bit drier most folk should able to ride most of this bridleway with no problems. I stop for some late lunch at the side of the bridleway near Beech Hill Wood.

Then after lunch continue down the bridleway through Kilnstones where there was a lot of logs in the fields waiting to be cut up into smaller sections to be transport out of dale. After passing through Kilnstones, I continue the bridleway down to Docker Nook where I decide it was time to rejoin the tarmac, so followed the main valley road down to Garrnett Bridge and then the Garnett Bridge Road down to Burnside. From Burnside I followed Ratherheath Lane up to A591 which a lot easier to do after all training have been doing riding bike back and forwards to work, then it small section on A591 to get me back to Ashes Lane where my van was parked.

Hope to see few more folk out on the ride next weekend and hope you all enjoy New Year celebrations but did miss good ride as you see from the photos of the ride in the photo gallery.

Simeon Orme.

Click here to view the photos of the ride and to click here to check out GPS route files of the ride.

9th January: A ride to Natland (29.80 miles)

After receiving two e-mails one from Peter and the other from Paul saying they were not coming out on the ride it was nice surprise to find five other cyclists waiting for me at the start of the ride at Tewitfield, two of these were new members from Garstang. After chatting for a bit we headed up the A6070 towards Burton-in-Kendel before following the lanes through Cinderbarrow and Hilderstone then Moss Lane across Burton Moss to the A6. After crossing over the A6, we stop for a brew at the Creature Comforts Cafe at the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis near Hale.

After our brew, we follow the lanes around to Hale, where we re cross the A6, then headed along Pye Bridge Lane to the B6384, we did a short section on the B6384 to Elmsfield House, then follow the lane over Chapel Hill to Farleton. We then headed out of Farleton following Nook Lane to Nook Bridge. From Nook Bridge we followed the lane over Doveshouses Bridge where we had to stop for Ian to repair a puncture and only time in the day we had to put some waterproofs on for a few minutes, after Ian finished repairing his puncture we followed the lane down to the A6070 which we followed for a short section to Moss End, where we followed the lane through Wath Sutton to Woodlands where we join the B6385 which we follow for about minute to cross over A590 before following the lane past Lane Farm (just after Lane Farm there stone walling school worth stopping to looking at just looking at different styles of the stone walls in the field that the pupils of the school have built) to Stainton Bridge End then around to Stainton where we stop look at the ford. We then crossed over Stainton Beck using the small pack horse bridge. From Stainton we followed the lanes through to Crosscrake where Ian left us to head back to Tewitfield as he had go to work in the afternoon. After saying our goodbyes to Ian, we continue on the lane from Crosscrake to Barrows Green before lanes into Natland for lunch on the village green.

After lunch we followed the road through Sedgwick, Hincaster, Woodhouse and Heverham where we cross over A6 to follow the lanes across Milnthorpe Marsh to Milnthorpe Bridge which we use to cross over the River Bela, then it was bit of climb through Dallam Park before following road down to Beetham for after brew at the Old Beetham Post Office Tearoom.

After putting the world to right in the tearoom, we climb up the road to Slack Head, then followed road down to Hale Moss before crossing over the A6 again before heading back through Hilderstone and Cinderbarrow back to Tewitfield.

Simeon Orme


Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to check out GPS route files of the ride.

16th January: A ride to Grange-Over-Sands and up the Winster Valley (16.20 miles)

It was one of those days where I should turn over and gone back to sleep again when alarm when off which sum up the day for cycling. Anyway Peter and  myself were only two members daft enough turn up for the start of the ride at Cartmel, I shall blame it on the weather forecast as look like it was going to clean up in the afternoon over Cumbria but must admit it was dry in Cartmel when we got there! After chatting for few minutes we decide to head for cafe for a brew, so we headed for the nearest one which was about 100 yards from the racecourse car park at the Carmel Village Shop.

After chatting in the cafe for about half a hour, we decide to hit road and headed towards Grange-Over-Sands. We followed the road out of Cartmel over to Allithwaite, then the B 5277 around to Grange-Over-Sands stopping on route to cape up. From Grange-Over-Sands we follow the B5271 which was a bit of climb up to the top Lindale. In Lindale we made our way through the village before following Back of the Fell Road out Lindale up the Winster Valley. At Thorphinsty Hall we decide that day had not improve enough and maybe would be good ideal to head back to Cartmel, so we had bit hard climb up through Crag Wood and then bit more climbing going up Heights Road before dropping down to High Newton where we headed up the old A590 to Low Newton where we stop for lunch at the Hat Trick Cafe at Yew Tree Barn.

After lunch and warm up again, we followed the lanes back to Cartmel.

Simeon Orme


Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to check out GPS route files of the ride.

22nd January 2011: A ride to Cowan Bridge (22.4 miles)

After chatting in Hornby Post Office Tearoom, the three of us headed up the A683 to Melling, then from Melling we followed the public byway to Hill Top and then we followed the lanes through Bull Bank down to Wrayton where we rejoin the A683 for short distance to Greta Bridge. At Greta Bridge we turn on to the A687 which we followed to Cantsfield. In Cantsfield we headed along the bridleway to Tunstall there is nice pack horse bridge half way along this track. From Tunstall we followed the bridleway to Nether Burrow and then from Nether Burrow we headed up Woodman Lane to Cowan Bridge where we made detour along the A65 to look at the old school where Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily Bronte were pupils at in 1824 to 1825.

From Cowan Bridge, we followed the lanes into Leck Village where Ian pointed out where he use to live. After our tour around Leck Village we followed the lanes to Ireby where we stop for some lunch.

After lunch we followed the road down to Jogging Bridge, where we cross over the A65 and then headed along lanes down to Burton-in-Lonsdale. We headed out of Burton-in-Lonsdale on the Bentham Moor Road, the steep climb out of the Greta Valley warm us up, we soon join Bentham Road which we followed into High Bentham for afternoon cafe stop at 37 Main Street Cafe Bar.

After our brew stop, we headed down the B 6480 into Low Bentham, then followed Eskew Lane and Long Lane over to the Hindburn Valley, after riding through Mill Houses and down the Hindburn Valley to Wray where we rejoin the B6480. We headed down the B6480 into the Lune Valley where we join the A683. As all three had rode to the start of the ride, there was no need for us return to Hornby so continue to follow the A683 down the Lune Valley to Bull Beck, then the cycle path back to Lancaster/Halton and part way down the A683 we said our goodbyes to Brian in Claughton where he park his Camper Van..

Simeon Orme

Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to check out GPS route files of the ride.

29th January 2011: A ride to Feizor (22.3 miles)

I was quite please with myself for riding up to start of the ride at 37 Main Street Cafe Bar in High Bentham it took me about one hour and ten minutes to cover the 12 miles from Halton to High Bentham. I was also first one to cafe but was soon join by Nick, Eileen and John. After spending good half hour eating, drinking and chatting in the cafe. We headed out of High Bentham on Bentham Road heading towards Ingleton for short distance before turning on to bridleway at Bentham Golf Club which we followed over to Windy Hill, there was some good views of Ingleborough to enjoy. From Windy Hill we followed Nutgill Lane around to the B6480 and then headed along the B6480 to Green Close Bridge where we followed the lanes across Newby Moor to the A65 which we cross over and then headed through Newby Village. From Newby we headed along Laithbutts Lane to Clapham. Then from Clapham we headed along Thwaite Lane, as we dropping down to Crummack Lane on Thwaite Lane Eileen misjudge the track and end up on the ground. There was no harm done and after dusting her self off we headed up Crummack Lane before following the bridleway down towards Wharfe, stopping for some lunch at the bridge across Austwick Beck.

After our lunch stop, we continue down the bridleway into Wharfe. After heading through Wharfe we rejoin the tarmac for about mile before following the bridleway up to Lower Bark House where we join the Pennine Bridleway which we followed over to Feizor where we stop at Elaine’s Tearooms for afternoon brew.

After our afternoon brew stop we continue along the Pennine Bridleway and  then Wood Lane into Austwick. From Austwick, we followed the lanes down to Harden Bridge where we cross over the A65, then followed  Orcaber Lane, Fummerber Lane and Mewith Lane back to High Bentham.

Simeon Orme

Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to check out GPS route files of the ride.

5th February 2011: A ride to Ambleside (28.65 miles)

Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to check out GPS route files of the ride.

Sunday 13th February 2011. A ride to Arnside.

Meeting at the Close Encounter tea rooms at Carnforth Station Simeon and I welcomed Brian Marsh, from Euxton, and new member Norman who`d had a hard freewheel from his home nearby.

The morning was`damp` as we rode via Keer Bridge to Warton and, by track and tarmac, through the Yealands and across White Moss. Following a chat with a couple of mountain bikers, sorting out a puncture, we made for the RSPB cafe at Leighton Moss and had an early lunch.

Rain abated we rode via Silverdale to Far Arnside and took the track through the woods to New Barns. After that it was all road work till Simeon decided on a last track near Borwick. This was `somewhat claggy` and the bikes needed de-gunging at the end. Then we parted and rode off into the sunset.  

Peter Kenner.

Click here to view the photos of the ride.

Sunday 20th February. A ride around the Howgills.

6 of us took the Kirby Stephen road out of Sedbergh and turned South West up the steep climb towards Murthwaite. Turning back northwards we took the track which takes you up above Adamthwaite and onto the minor road to Ravenstonedale. With all the recent rains this was very boggy and my `waterproof` Shimano shoes didn`t live upto their billing. Down through RSD Simeon led us across some muddy fields to a fishery`s cafe at Newbiggin for lunch.

From there it was all roads albeit minor ones. We managed all of 7 miles to Tebay before succumbing to the lure of the tea room there for brew 3. Then it was back to Sedbergh on the switchback Roman Road alongside the Western flanks of the Howgills.

Peter Kenner.

Click here to view the photos of the ride.

Saturday 26th February: A ride to Pilling and Grize Dale (31.1 miles).

Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to check out the GPS route files of the ride.

Saturday 5th March: A ride to Horton-in-Ribblesdale (28.6 miles)

Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to checkout the GPS route files of the ride.

Sunday 13th March: A ride to Chipping and Mellor Knoll (49.5 miles)

After some chatting and eating in the Cafe d’Lune, the four of us followed the lanes from Conder Green to Galgate, then from Galgate some more road work as we followed road through the Wyre valley and as we climbing out of the Wyre Valley we passed by group of road cyclists who soon ran out of steam as we pass them about mile further up the road. We then continue climbing, as we followed the road over Harrisend Fell and then headed through Oakenclough. From Oakenclough we headed along Delph Lane dropping down into the Brock Valley. After passing through Higher Brock Mill, we followed the lanes into Chipping where we stop for some lunch.

After our lunch stop in Chipping, Charlie left us to head back to Conder Green while myself, Peter and Norman did bit more road work to Leagram Mill where we followed the bridleway over to Higher Greystonely, then another short section on the tarmac before following the bridleway over Mellor Knoll which was wet in places but we rewarded with fine view of the Hodder and Langden Valleys. After dropping down into the Langden Valley we stop for a brew at the snack bar near Sykes Farm.

After our brew stop we followed the road through the Trough of Bowland and then down the Marshaw Wyre Valley into the Wyre Valley. After heading through Abbeystead, we followed the road from Lower Green Bank over to Quernmore where Peter left us to head back to Lancaster. Norman and myself headed through Quernmore down to Caton then along the Lune cycleway to Halton where we said our goodbyes.

Simeon Orme


Click here to view the photos of the ride and click here to checkout GPS route files of the ride.

Past Ride Reports in April, May and June.

23rd April: A ride to Cam End Fell

Being a Bank Holiday Weekend and also with the Easter Meet of the Rough-Stuff Fellowship on across the border in Scotland, there were no other takers for the ride other than myself, so after finishing my coffee at the Hornby Post Office Tearoom, I headed out of Hornby towards Wray after short section on the B6480, I soon turn on to Back Lane which was the first track of the day which I followed into Wray where spend sometime looking around the village at all the Scarecrows on display for the Annual Wray Scarecrow Festival.

From Wray I headed up the Hinderburn Valley to Mill Houses, then that climb out of the valley which seems to got a lot easier over the past year with all the training I have been doing riding my bike to work and home again, I have been doing over 100 miles some weeks, you can checkout how I am doing on Daily Miles, anyway getting back to ride continue to head towards Low Bentham for about mile before turning on to Mewith Lane where stop to chat with another cyclist who was staying at Ingleton Youth Hostel for the week and doing day rides out from there and before you ask I did’t have any Rough-Stuff Journal in my saddlebag to handout. After passing the time of day I carry along Mewith Lane which changes its name to Bloe Beck Lane then Reebys Lane as you get nearer Keasden, as you can tell from the ride photos I did stop on route a few times to take some photos. In Keasden, I followed the road down across Clapham Moor to Clapham Station then bit more road work up to A65 which I cross over before carrying on into Clapham. After quick visit to the National Park toilets, I head out of Clapham up Thwaite Lane and then followed Long Lane up Clapdale. From the top of Clapdale I followed the bridleway around to Sulber Gate where stop to look at the view and eat my pack lunch.

From Sulber Gate, I continue along the bridleway heading down into Ribbledale, stopping to take a few photos of colony of Bird’s eye primrose which are getting quite rare to find, after taking the photos I was soon at the B6479 where I decide to go have look at new part of Pennine Briddleway across the River Ribble, which I think will officially open in the next month or so as bit of landscaping to do and signs to put up! After crossing to other side of the valley, I followed the road up to Old Ing, then headed along the track to cross over Cam Beck at Old Gill Bridge and continue up the track to Cam End. From Cam End, I follow the track down into Ribbledale, there was no need use footbridge at the ford in the valley bottom  to cross over the beck, as there no water in the beck, looks like some hosepipe bans coming soon! Once I was back on tarmac again I look at the map and decide to do Black Rake Road over into Dentdale which is bit walk in places put enjoyable to do! From Dent Head I headed down Dentdale stopping on the main valley road, in Dent stop for brew at the Meadowside Cafe Bar where got chatting to cyclists from Kendal.

After putting the world to right, I headed down Dentdale to Gawthorpe where I headed up the steep climb to the top of Barbondale, then it was fast ride down Bardondale there quite few folk wild camping in the dale. From the bottom of Barbondale, I followed the Roman Road through to Casterton, then the lanes down to Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale for a eat up!

From Kirkby Lonsdale, I followed the B6254 and Kirkby Lonsdale Road back to Halton, there quite a lot traffic on the B6254 due it was throwing out time at the Whittingham races put once I make it home I had done 61 miles.

Simeon Orme

Click here to checkout the photos of the ride.

1st May: A ride to Levens

After few hours at work raking bunkers, I headed along the cycle path along side the Lancaster Canal to Carnforth for a brew at the Refeshment Room at Carnforth Railway Station.

After coffee and cake at the Refreshment Room, I headed out of Carnforth crossing over River Keer by cycle/ foot bridge, then headed towards Silverdale stopping at Crag Foot to take few photos of the reed beds of the newer part of Leighton Moss Bird Reserve, then continue towards Silverdale, after crossing over railway, I followed the road up to The Row, stopping to take a few photos of Bank Well which is worth stopping at look at the wildlife and the wild flowers around the pond.

From the Row, I headed pass Waterslack Farm which is still up for sale, then another mile of road work with views of Hawes Water through the woods, I stop again at Coldwell Parrock Nature Reserve to have go taking few flower photos. From there more road work through Storth and Sandside, then short section on the B 5282 before following the lanes across Milnthorpe Marsh, then a mile and bit on the A6 before following the road up to Levens. After heading through Levens, I followed  road the towards Brigsteer, just before Brigsteer Park turning on to the first track of the day which I followed up to the church above Brigsteer, there was plenty Early Purple Orchids and Cowslips in flower at side of the bridleway, with some good views when I turn around to look back down the track towards Morecambe Bay. Once I got end of the track by the church there some good views looking down into the Lyth and beyond towards the Lakes and if it had not be so windy, I would have stop had my pack lunch at this point of the ride but decide to carry on and followed the next bridleway across to Briggs House Farm which is bridleway through several fields with few nice view of the Kent Valley below.

From Briggs House Farm, there some more road down to the A591 which I cross over and followed the road down to Hawes Bridge which is worth stopping at to look at the River Kent on both sides of the bridge. From there I headed up into Natland where some new houses being built where the Garden Centre/ Nursery use to be! At Cracult House I followed the bridleway back down to River Kent at Wilson Place where I’ve stop to have my lunch by the River Kent where quite few families were set up camp to spend afternoon by the river.

From Wilson Place, I followed the road pass Sedgwick House and into Sedgwick village. After riding through Sedgwick I followed the lanes through Crosscrake and down to Stainton where I cross over Stainton Beck by the pack horse bridge. From Stainton, I followed the lanes through Stainton Bridge End, Field End and Woodlands for coffee and cake at the Farleton View Tearoom at Wath Sutton where handout a copy of the Rough-Stuff Journal to another cyclist.

So after finish chatting and eating, with the wind blowing in direction for a change, I followed the lanes back through Farleton, Holme, Holme Mill, Hilderstone and Cinderbarrow then short section on A 6070 before heading back to Halton through Tewitfield and Over Kellet.

I had done about 47 mile and had good ride.

Simeon Orme

Click here to check out the photos of the ride.

15th May: A ride to Beck Foot

Quite often on South Lakes Group rides the destination is a hope may be pipe dream but about fifty percent of the time we usually get there but not case on this week ride with rain forecast for the day and cloud level over the Lakeland Fells and Mountains there was not much hope of getting to Mosedale Cottage.

Anyway getting back to ride, I was running late due to slow puncture in the front tyre at Kellet Lane Bridge which ended up changing the tube and after about 20 minutes of messing around I was back on the road and had to bash down Kellet Lane to Tewitfield, then up the A 6070 and was about ten minutes late getting to Farleton View Tearoom. Ian from Blackburn was the only person waiting for me!

After chatting, eating cake and drinking coffee and watching the rain on the windows of the Tearoom, we decide to head out on the ride.

From Wath Sutton we followed the lane up to Woodlands where we join the B 6385 for short section to cross over A590 the highway to the hotspots of the National Park. Then it was back on lanes again heading through Field End and Stainton Bridge End and around to Stainton where stop to look at the ford across Stainton Beck but we took easy option and cross over the Beck via the pack horse bridge.

From Stainton there more lanes as we headed through Crosscrake where there a bit of climb out of the hamlet before following the lanes into Barrows Green where we cross over the A65 and had bit more climbing to do to get pass Helm Mount Farm then was bit of freewheeling before another climb pass Underhelm Wood. Then we did short section on Oxenholme Road before joining national cycle route 68 which we followed for next several miles towards the Lune Valley this due to looking across the Kent Valley and looking at all the rain clouds over the National Park.

There was was plenty of up and downs as we followed national cycle route 68 into Lune Valley. At Beck Foot we left the cycle route and also had put our capes on due to rain. From Beck Foot we followed the B 6257 down the west of valley through Firbank and stopping at Waterside for a few minutes to look at Lune Viaduct and workman ship which when into building the Viaduct across the River Lune.

From Waterside there was short section on A684 to Black Horse then about mile on the B 6256 before we back on quite lanes again heading down the west side of the valley towards Kirkby Lonsdale which is bit up and down route with some nice views of the valley which a lot folk miss as they head into the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District as you can happily spent quite few days exploring Lune Valley and all side dales which are just as good cycle touring as the two national parks and also quite all year round.

With 20 plus miles under our belts we decide to stop under shelter woods at High Rigg Brown for some lunch.

After our lunch we continue to followed the lanes down the valley through Ringmaden Park and Kearstwick into Kirkby Lonsdale for afternoon brew at ‘The Cariad’ as the South Lakes Group at Victoria’s Tearoom is now closed. There was two signs on the cloths shop next to ‘The Cariad’ asking cyclists not leave against the paint work of the cloths shop, I should taken a photo of them put I was more interest coffee and cake and getting out of the rain.

After putting world to right, we head out of Kirkby Lonsdale through High Biggins then the lanes towards Burton-in-Kendal with detour through Dalton before dropping down to Burton-in-Kendal which we headed through to Holme Station where we said our goodbyes. It had been enjoyable ride in rain with good company and once got back home I had done 57 miles which is not bad for day with weather conditions.

Simeon Orme

Click here to check out the photos of the ride.

Past Ride Reports in July, August and September

17th July 2011: A ride over Green Quarter and Cocklaw Fells

I felt the intensity of the rain justified my decision to make a cup of tea and return to bed to read my book!  However, after considering that the book was “The Man Who Cycled the Americas” and that Mark Beaumont would not have let a bit of precipitation prevent another day in the saddle, I quickly made a packed lunch, loaded the car and set off for Staveley.  Realising that time was on my side I parked up in Levens to ride the nine miles to Wilfs Cafe.  The rain had actually stopped when I left the car but before long I had to stop to don waterproof leggings and overshoes.  Just outside Staveley I spotted the infamous yellow cape of Simeon making its way (with Simeon inside it I presumed) to the end of Ashes Lane and we rode the last mile to Wilfs Cafe together.  Tea, coffee and cakes consumed and with no more RSF riders we headed north.  As we approached Kentmere we branched right onto Lowfield Lane and then right again onto the bridlepath that would take us over Green Quarter Fell into the neighbouring valley of Longsleddale.  It was a tough push up most of the way with only a few stretches of rideable terrain.  Even these were precarious as there were plenty of slippery wet rocks and water filled dips that were just the size of a front wheel.  The rain fell steadily all of the time and trying to avoid wet feet was a fruitless task.  Descending over Cocklaw Fell you couldn’t fail to be impressed with the view of Longsleddale even with the low cloud.  We decided to take the bridlepath through Sadgill Wood to bring us to the road at Sadgill.  At this point the rain had stopped so lunch was taken on a bench overlooking the bridge and the start of the by-way to Gatescarth Pass but within five minutes of sitting down the rain began again!  We decided that a return to Staveley on the road was the better option so after a brisk ride down Longsleddale we arrived at Garnett Bridge where the water cascading over rocks and under the bridge itself was well worth observing for a few minutes.  With the rain holding off again we felt brave enough to pack away the wet gear and rode on down Garnett Bridge Lane and then turned west along Potter Fell Road.  Brightening skies gave us clear views south to Kendal and beyond.  Arriving back in Staveley we decided to avoid the Sunday afternoon queue at Wilfs and try the Wedge Hall Tearoom and Cakery. This was confirmed as a good choice by the display of cakes and instant friendly service.  Setting off for home we parted company just outside Staveley, Simeon to dodge the puddles of Ashes Lane and myself to return to Levens via Crook, Underbarrow and Brigsteer, but the rain had the last word as within five minutes of us going our separate ways the heavens opened yet again but I was too damp to bother stopping to put on the rain gear.  An enjoyable ride despite the weather and it being a bit on the short side!

Norman Butler

Click here to check out the photos of the ride and click here to download the GPS route files of the route.

23rd July 2011: A ride to Kitridding and over Scout Hill

Due to the imminent closure of Deerslet Tearoom this was to be the last time that the South Lakes met at this venue.  The expected heavy holiday traffic meant that the planned destination of Cartmel was quickly replaced with a ride around bridlepaths and by-ways closer to home and generally in an area to the north-east of our starting point.  Coffee and tea consumed, the group headed north to Burton-in-Kendal.  A short loop through Holme brought us to the first rough stuff of the day, a 1.5 climb from the A6070 at Holme Park Farm up through Holmepark Fell.  From there we followed quiet lanes and bridleways to reach the A65 at Hollin Hall.  Crossing the road we took a lovely bridlepath past the rather sad sight of the abandoned farm at Fleet and with only a few horseflies to bother us we took an early lunch stop on the side of Tosca Hill. A loop of bridleways and lanes brought us to a new South Lakes Group tea stop at Kitridding Fishery and Tearoom.  After tea (which actually included such delights as chips and an extravagant looking banana split!) we continued on up to the westerly slopes of Scout Hill where views of the Lakeland hills and South to Morecambe Bay were well worth the initial damp and boggy push-up.   A quick descent brought us back to the A65 and after making a quick traffic dodging crossing we were off-road again to the ford crossing of Lupton Beck.  There is a footbridge but Ian (the younger one) decided to try his luck at riding through the water with the inevitable wet feet as a result!  Two more bridleways brought us back into Burton-in-Kendal.  A relatively short ride but neverless very enjoyable made all the better by very pleasant weather and the knowledge that 45% of the route was rough stuff!

Norman Bulter

Click here to see the photos of the ride and click here to download the GPS route files of the route.

30th July 2011: A ride to Crosby Garrett

After meeting up at a Tebay Tearoom without electricity, which resulted in a rather disappointing snack of slightly burnt teacakes and cold crumpets, six of us set off in an easterly direction for just 3 miles before leaving the road for the first off-road track of the day.  This was the first of four bridleways tackled before stopping for lunch on Great Asby Scar.  Our route then took us up to the reservoir at Wander Bank and from here it was east to Crosby Garnett.  This section of bridleway, called Ladle Lane, ended as very enjoyable singletrack between limestone walls with loose rocks and stones to hold our attention.  Just half a mile from the village of Crosby Garett and we were off-road again, this time heading south and turning south-west around the base of Crosby Garrett Fell. Here we found steam enthusiasts with cameras awaiting the passing of “Queen Elizabeth” on the Settle-Carlisle line. From the fell we continued on bridlepaths through Bents Farm, Brownber and Badger Hill to arrive at our tea stop at Newbiggin-on-Lune.  Suitably refreshed with tea, coffee, cake and ice cream we left Newbiggin and headed to Weasdale to link up with a bridleway at Cow Bank that would then take us back to the A685.  At this point a further bridleway, constructed to enable those on horseback to keep off the busy road, was disappointingly overgrown.  However it is this type of bridleway that will always be overgrown unless they are ridden so we battled our way through newly sprouting hedge plants and wild flowers to emerge, after just over 1 mile, back onto the A685. A quiet lane through Midfield took us back to Tebay to complete a ride of around 27 miles with over half it off-road.

Norman Butler

Click here to see the photos of the ride.

6th August 2011: A ride up Hampsfell and around the Cartmel Area

What change in the weather from last weekend ride, the weather report for the day was not brilliant so I was quite surprise to see Paul waiting for me at the Hat Trick Cafe in Low Newton which is new start venue for South Lakes Group.

After chatting in the cafe, we followed the old A590 towards the new bypass out of Low Newton, then headed down Cartmel Lane, before turning on to the first track of the day which we followed towards  Hempsfield Hall which was bit overgrown at the start of the bridleway but improve as we got nearer Hall. We soon back on the tarmac again heading towards Cartmel for about half mile before turning on to next track which we followed through to Longlands, then the bridleway took us through a few fields before starting the climb up Hempsfell which was bit steep and end up pushing the bikes up to start of the open fell where you could ride bits of the track, we did stop a few times to look at the view which is worth doing as you can see quite bit of the South Lakes from Hempsfield. We were soon crossing from Longslands Allotment into Bishop’s Allotment where we lock up the bikes against wall, to walk up to the hospice which built in 1846 by the vicar of Catmel to provide shelter for travellers, you can find bit more information about the hospice at this link. After looking at the four panels inside the hospice and the view from the top of the hospice we headed back to the bikes. After unlocking the bikes we followed the bridleway down the Grange side of the Fell, it did look quite dark and wet in North Lancashire when you stop to look at the views across Morecambe Bay. Once we got down the fell side, instead of following the track towards Grange like did we on a ride in January 2010, we followed the track towards Hempsfield which is Restricted byway which you ride most of it and is worth doing! Once we drop down to Hempsfield we follow the lane through the hamlet to Hollow Lane where we look at the dark clouds to the east of us, we decide it would be good ideal to head west where sky was a bit brighter, so we continue up Hollow Lane and then back down Cartmel Lane, the main valley road into Cartmel where stop for some lunch by the racecourse.

After lunch we followed the bridleway across the racecourse to High Bank Side, then part of the Cistercian Way and then the public byway around Mount Barnard to Howbarrow. From Howbarrow the bridleway to Burns Farm and then from Burns Farm the bridleway to Speel Bank which can wet in places depend time of year. From Speel Bank there was a bit of road work before following the bridleway from Over Ridge to the Great Allotment this track was wet in places and not good ideal to do in wet weather. We were soon back on the tarmac again and headed over Barnsley Hill before dropping down to Backbarrow where Paul left me to head for home in Backbarrow. I followed the bridleway from Backbarrow over to Newby Bridge and I had to cape up on this track for about half n’ hour due to heavy shower of rain. If you don’t like bracken bashing this track is best done in the Spring or in the Autumn. After dropping down to Newby Bridge, I cross over A590, after short section on the A592, I followed the lane into Staveley-in-Cartmel,  from Staveley-in-Cartmel the new cycle track to Ayside which runs along side the A590 for short distance. From Ayside I followed the old A590 back through High Newton to Low Newton where I had park by van.

Simeon Orme

Click here to check out the photos of the ride and click here to down load the GPS route files of the route.

14th  August 2011  A ride to Dunsop Bridge via Ouster Rake

A seven strong South Lakes Group headed inland from our start venue of the Cafe d’Lune at Conder Green.  After passing through Galgate and crossing the River Wye at Street we took to the rough stuff near Bracken Lea with the intention of meeting the road opposite Waste Lane.  However some dodgy navigation and the lack of any waymarking brought us back to the road half a mile too soon!  Our route then took us to Marshaw, where we found it necessary to await the passage of a cycle road race doing laps of the Abbeystead circuit.  We continued over the Trough of Bowland to then take the bridleway over Whin Fell to the Brennand valley.  This bridleway includes the steep slopes of Ouster Rake which necessitated carrying the bikes down to the lower slopes.  This was a good point at which to enjoy lunch overlooking the valley with views to Whitendale Fell and Croasdale Fell beyond that.  After a fast descent of the valley to Dunsop Bridge we stopped for tea and cakes at the Puddleduck Cafe before continuing towards Chipping but with a rough stuff diversion from Higher Greystoneley to Leagram Mill.  The roads took us through Chipping, over the climbs of Oakenclough and Harrisonend Fells back to Galgate and then on to Conder Green.

Norman Bulter

Click here to check out the photos of the ride.

21st  August 2011:  A ride along the Old Coach Road

The Old Coach Road, a five mile long by-way from Dockray to St John’s in the Vale was the focus for this South Lakes ride.  The by-way is a very enjoyable track over Threkeld Common with spectacular views of the peaks of the Skiddaw Forest and the valley from Penrith to Keswick.  Unfortunately from our start point of Wilf’s Cafe in Staveley we had to negotiate Kirkstone Pass which, although not a difficult climb in the south to north direction, was made rather uncomfortable by the amount of Sunday holiday traffic.  Following a stop for tea and cake at Low Bridgend Farm we began our return south initially along the quiet road to the west of Thirlmere.  From here though we had to rejoin the holiday traffic over Dunmail Raise to Grasmere and then on to Ambleside. Minor roads and two bridleways, the first over Jenkin Crag, brought us back to the main road at Ings and from there it was a short ride back into Staveley.   

Norman Bulter

Click here to check out the photos of the ride.

27th August 2011: A ride to Borrowdale

Starting out from the Farleton Fishery Tearoom at Wath Sutton Bridge four members of the Souh Lakes Group followed quiet roads north through Gatebeck to New Hutton and then on round the western side of Lambrigg Fell.  Despite being caught in a heavy downpour we continued to near Cowperthwaite from where we negotiated the deep puddles along the by-way through to the A685.  A rapid descent of Grayrigg Common on the A685 brought us to Borrowdale Wood and the start of the four miles of bridleway to the A6 at Huck’s Bridge.  Rocks, loose stone, grass, deep water are all to be encountered along this bridleway half way along which we took time out for lunch.  On meeting the A6 we turned immediately south on to a short bridleway to Ashstead and then took to quiet lanes to Kendal.  After a brief stop at Morrisons supermarket for tea and cake (egg and chips for some!) we escaped Kendal along the cycle track to Natland.  A stretch of bridleway alongside the River Kent and more quiet lanes through Hincaster returned us to Wath Sutton.

Norman Bulter

Click here to check out the photos of the ride.         

11th September 2011: A ride around Lancaster

It was not surprising see any more bikes lock up outside the Close Encounter Refreshment Room or any other members inside the cafe waiting for me, drinking coffee and chatting before the start of the ride with a bad weather report for second weekend in a row, it was case of how many hours of dry cycling weather before it started to rain which would most folk off  about thinking about going out on ride.

After coffee and cake, I decide to follow the shore road from Carnforth to Crag Bank, then after crossing over the A6, I headed along the towpath / cycle path towards Bolton-le-Sands, stopping on route a few times to take photos and being by myself I had time play with the camera as you can tell from the photos. In Bolton-le-Sand I headed along Ancliffe lane towards Beaumont in Lancaster, where I got chatting to another cyclist out with son and told him about the group and gave him a Rough-Stuff Journal to look at!

After crossing over Bottomdale Road the lane turns into interesting track which I followed down into Beaumont. In Beaumont, I rejoin the towpath / cycle path on the Lancaster Canal which followed through the centre of Lancaster to Ashton Road where I followed the cycle route up to University of Lancaster with detour to look at bridleway to Lawson’s Bridge which prove interesting.

From University of Lancaster, I headed through Ellel, to Galgate and then on to Conder Green where I join the Lune Valley cycle track which I followed back through Lancaster to Halton. In Lancaster I had stop for few minutes to cape up due to rain. Once I got home I had 31 miles on the clock.

Simeon Orme

Click here to check out the photos of the ride.

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