Blackford - The seventh step - London to Edinburgh via Land's End and John o'Groats - CycleBlaze

June 26, 2019


The view over the hills from our campsite.
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Last night our campsite became pretty full of Form 6 students from various schools doing some outdoor work.  For beastly teenagers they were mostly well behaved apart from one podgy Irish kid whom we nicknamed "Potty Mouth".  The campsite was empty soon after eight o'clock this morning so we enjoyed our breakfast in peace. 

The first twenty kilometers of today's route was a gentle climb mixed with the usual sudden dips and rises.  At Threlkeld, just a few kilometers into the ride, we met an English cycle tourist doing the C2C or Coast-to-Coast route.  He was initially extremely shy but soon started chatting as we cycled along with each other until Mungrisdale where our paths split.  Most of this section, apart from a bit where we accidently ended up on the A66 for about a kilometer, was on lovely quiet farm roads with a gate every few hundred meters as we passed from farm to farm.  At one of these gates I had to rescue a sheep that had caught it horns in the gate.

In inadvertent detour onto the A66. This is the point where it joined up with the path we should have been on.
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But soon we were back on quiet roads, this one a simple farm road through bracken covered hillsides.
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A farmhouse along the way.
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After that we climbed and dipped until, after about twenty kilometers, we started an undulating downhill to Carlisle.  The north-easterly was blowing quite strongly so even though we were mainly losing altitude we still had to work hard up the short climbs and into the wind.

Outside the Briudge End Inn, a few kilometers south of Dalston, we came across Paul and Elizabeth, the couple from Johannesburg whom we had met yesterday.  They were having their lunch on a grassy patch opposite the pub and recovering from the tough ride they had endured.  They had decided to take the westerly route through Bassenthwaite to Carlisle which seemed to have had less gently gradients than our route.  It was quite remarkable that we met where we did because they were cutting eastwards at that point and we had started heading for the western entrance into Carlisle via Dalston.

Elizabeth and Paul.
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Carlisle seems to be an uncomplicated little city and we passed through it quite easily.

Carlilse Castle.
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About half an hour after we had settled into Dandy Dinmont Caravan Park (what a name!) near Blackford north of Carlisle, an affable German couple a few years older than us cycled in.  They were nearing the end of a month in Scotland, including heading up to the Orkneys.  They warned us to be prepared for midges.  Oh dear !!!

Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 1,523 km (946 miles)

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