Friday, July 1, 2011

Towards Scotland

After encountering lots of steep hills on the way up the Ribble Valley we decided to take a different course further north, by following the signposted Lancashire Cycleway west and then a Sustrans NCN route north to Kendal and then Carlisle, before going into
The plan now is to go to the Edinburgh area via Gretna, Moffat & Broxburn (instead of going the hillier route via Langholm, Eskdalemuir & Innerleithen). We plan to follow Sustrans' NCN routes 74 & 75.

So after scaling some more steep hills in the Forest of Bowland, and being rewarded by spectacular scenery, we spent the rest of Tuesday’s ride meandering in attractive undulating country through lots of pretty Lancashire villages before overnighting at Kendal near the Lake District in hilly Cumbria. [Tuesday 28/6: distance 67 km; climbing1089 m]

While having dinner at a bistro in Kendal we took this photo to illustrate what we've seen in various other parts of the country – an evening group bike ride, reflecting that it doesn’t get dark until after 10pm at this time of year (some photos of Kendal follow):

Wednesday's ride went from Kendal through the spectacular scenery of the Lake District in the Cumbrian Mountains to Carlisle, about 20km south of the Scottish border. [Wednesday 29/6: distance 95 km; climbing 1186 m. Cumulative distance so far: 1133 km]

We found the centre of Carlisle attractive and busy.

On Thursday we took another day off to take a bus from Carlisle to visit the ruins of the Birdoswald Roman Fort, one of 16 forts built as part of Hadrian's Wall from 122 - 129 AD. The wall spanned 117kms between the sea at Newcastle in the east to Bowness on the Solway Firth in the west, and was occupied by the Romans for almost 300 years.

We are very pleased we followed the suggestion of a member of the CTC forum to visit this historic site and go through the museum.

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