Left home and made my way up to just outside Mansfield to meet up with Rob & Coleen, from there we made our way to Denis and Christine’s house. It was pointed out by Rob that both his and my bike were returning home as they had both previously belonged to Denis. The weather so far was reasonable, not cold, but threatening rain. From Denis’s we made our way to Castleford where Rob had arranged to have his brake recall checked out. We left Castleford and made our way to Lancaster via Skipton where we stopped by the canal for coffee. We arrived at the Holiday Inn without getting too wet to see that there were a couple of bikes already parked up.
We all met up in the bar before dinner and were joined by Mike & Nettie, Alan & Gill, Nigel & Sue, Roger & Edit and new members Grenville and Jan. After dinner Richard announced there would be no quiz and gave us some detail of the planned route for the following day. We then retired to the bar.
The weather was not good. It was raining and very windy, but as dedicated bikers we set off at the agreed time to the Lakes. The route took us up the M6 through Kendal onto the sweeping A6 to Shap. Our first coffee stop was at Pooley Bridge at the head of Ullswater. We then went on to Culgaith on the B6412 and up to the A686 which has been voted the most scenic road in England. The weather was really windy so it was not easy to appreciate the beautiful scenery. We then made our way to our lunch stop at the Talkin Tarne country park where the sun came out although it was still cold. Leaving Talkin we then made our way to Bowness on Windemere via the Kirkstone Pass for our afternoon stop before making our way back to the hotel.
Dinner was at 8.00 and we were joined by Nigel & Joanna and David & Janet. A quiz was held which went to a tie break and was eventually won by the team of Sue and her playboys – made up of Sue, Nigel and Joe. The runners up were Nigel & Joanna and David & Janet.
What a difference to Friday. A bright blue sky, sun shining and promising a good start to a great bike ride. Waiting to join the group were Spencer & Debbie who are relatively new members. They had joined us for the Easter Weekend which we ended up doing in cars as the weather was too bad to go on the bikes. We left the hotel on time and followed the route through the Forrest of Bowland-Dunsop Bridge-Sladeeburn-Settle to Hawes where we stopped at the cheese factory for coffee and met up with Ian & Denise. From Hawes we joined the B6259 making our way to the Hartside Cafe on A686 the highest cafe in England and enjoyed a spectacular view. The sun was shining and the cafe was full of bikes. The views were truly magnificent. We left the Hartside Cafe and drove down the A686 taking a route via the A6 to Orton & Tebay to Kirby Lonsdale Rugby Club for the afternoon stop. The North West Goldwing club were having their long weekend there together with a Bar-B-Q and a Hot Air Balloon show. We had a stroll into Kirby Lonsdale and had coffee and cakes before setting off for a short journey back to the hotel.
We all met up for dinner and another quiz, this one organised by Rob and testing our knowledge of the Lake District and the Goldwing. The quiz was won by Mark & Pam. Richard gave a brief chat about the route planned for the following day and advised that we would not be taking the route over the Hardknott Pass. We retired to the bar where Richard received a text from Celia (the other she who must be obeyed) asking who would do the trip report. I won.
Woke up to another bright sunny morning with not a cloud in the sky. We left the hotel on the M6 for a quick ride to catch the ferry across Windermere. We all arrived just as a ferry was getting ready to go and all managed to get on without upsetting any car drivers. On leaving the ferry we did a tour around Coniston Water then made our way to the Bluebird Cafe for morning coffee. After a debate about paying for parking we were informed by the staff that bikes don’t pay so another saving.
Heading north up the A593 we made our way via Little Langdale & Wrynose Pass to the start of the Hardknott Pass. We continued along some very narrow and busy tracks to where the tracks join. At this point we stopped to re- group and had a clear view of the traffic on the Hardknott Pass. It was very congested. We made our way to our lunch stop at the Bridge Inn Buttermere. As it was a bank holiday and the weather was exceptionally good, the Inn and surrounding area was very busy and crowded but we all managed to find somewhere to eat. After lunch we followed the B5289 to Honiston Pass-Keswick and down the A591 to Grassmere for a coffee & ice cream stop in Ambleside. We found a great place that dips your ice cream in chocolate as well as the flake, delicious. At this point some decided to make their way back to the hotel via different routes.
We all met up for dinner and another quiz, which was won by Mike & Nettie. We then retired to the bar.
The weather was still fine and dry but the forecast was that the rain would arrive around 10.00 so everyone was anxious to be on their way. With all the farewells over, we made our way home via different routes. There were 5 bikes that went with Ian over the moors taking a very picturesque scenic route with hardly any traffic. We stopped for lunch at McDonalds near Tankersly by the M1 where we split up on continued on home.
I have not been too descriptive about the route or the scenery as it is impossible to describe the wonderful scenery and views that we encountered over the weekend. This route was one of the best that I have done and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys biking and appreciates the true beauty of our countryside. I will keep these routes for a future visit.
A very big thank you to Richard & Christine for all their hard work in organising the trip and also to Rob who assisted.