I'd arrived in Scarborough by train (from Brighton) the previous day, and spent the night at the Youth Hostel, where entertainment was provided by an enthusiastic hosteller singing “ging-gang-gooley” to his young son & daughter while his wife helped them with a jigsaw. Went to bed early.
Through the North York Moors to Pickering. A landscape of hidden valleys, winding rivers and remote villages, punctuated by the occasional steep climb and descent. Detour to visit Rievaulx Abbey, an atmospheric ruin set in a beautiful and tranquil valley. A very steep road takes you down there, so, of course, a very steep road to takes you out again to the top of Sutton Bank, which provides an almost scarily steep descent to Thirsk. Staying with my friend, Vicky, who lives in a cottage in Sowerby.
Departed Thirsk on a cold, crisp morning. Spent half an hour at the lovely Jervaulx Abbey (yes, another ruin, with its floor of green grass and ceiling open to the blue sky). Too early for many visitors, so for a while it was just me and the sheep, me munching brazil nuts while they munched grass. Lunch at Aysgarth then off through the Yorkshire Dales via Garsdale (which is very pretty) to Kendal, where my dad lives.
The shortest day in terms of mileage, but with the only serious climbs of the route. Firstly, though, over to Ambleside, round Windermere and up to Little Langdale. From there, the narrow road to the top of Wrynose Pass is a tough slog: quite a sense of achievement sitting at the top. Very beautiful mountain landscape between the two Passes, and pretty much the whole place to myself. Then up the ridiculously steep Hardknott Pass. Had to push up the steepest section, but I’m not too embarrassed about that. Fabulous downhill into Eskdale, home of the popular steam railway, and along the river Esk to meet the West Coast at Ravenglass. Then back to Kendal for a lazy weekend with my dad and his wife Renée.
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