In the shadow of Hartside

The weather forecast was good so I took a punt and booked an air b n b just outside Alston. I thread a route up there via Ripon, Masham, Leyburn stopping for a butty at the Manor cafe, over the moors to Reeth then along B6270 to Kirkby Stephen before heading up Hartside pass, surely one of the best roads around, climbing high to a shade under 2000ft with stunning views across to the lakes and northwards to the Scottish borders

Arriving in Alston late afternoon there is nothing open for food so I grab some supplies and head down to the air b n b, turns out to be a good decision. Susan’s home is simply stunning, with Hartside looming behind the property down country lanes and a gravel track. I have a room at one end of the property, up stone steps with views over the the lakes, fresh coffee on arrival and 30 acres of garden and managed land to mooch around while I am there. The outside world disappears and stays disappeared until I return the following day.

I head north in the morning to Brampton and Longtown, over the Scottish border for ten or so miles then heading east down some quiet country lanes, dropping onto the B6318 hugging Hadrians wall to Hexham

Hexham disappears in the mirrors, Blanchland, Stanhope and Eggleston ahead. Quiet roads before the madness of the A1 and back to the real world. I could have done some more back doubles but two days of riding have taken there toll and I just point the bike at the easy main route option, although I can’t resist one last section of A and B road from Boroughbridge.

Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, Scotland and County Durham all knocked off in about 375 miles over the two days, not too shabby.