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

June 25, 2019


Rydal Hall, now owned by the Diocese of Carlisle, was originally the seat of the Le Flemming Baronets and has quite a place in the history of Rydal and the surrounding area.  In the gardens is a little building, "The Grot", built in 1668 that was apparently a favourite of William Wordsworth as well a succession of visiting artists and writers in the 18th and 19th century.  It is a summerhouse designed for viewing the waterfall on the stream that runs through the gardens.  "The Grot" appears in Wordsworth poem "An Evening Walk".  He settled at Rydal Mount in 1813 and lived there until his death in 1850.

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The gardens themselves are far more modern and were designed in 1909 by the garden designer and landscape architect Thomas Hayton Mawson.

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The ride up to Keswick was expected to be tough but was actually a lot easier with no real steep gradient until almost in Keswick itself and was rideable the whole way.  The headwind was far more of a challenge than the hills.

Just out of Rydal we bumped into another couple of cycle tourists   struggling upwards into the wind.  For the life of me, I have forgotten their names but they were an English couple in the early seventies who live in Johannesburg.  They were also doing a LEJOG slowly.  We passed each other a number of times on the way to and in Keswick so we were able to chat to each other quite a bit.

The hills in this area remind me quite a lot of East Griqualand, although they are probably half the altitude.  Overall, I have really enjoyed the Lake District, despite the crowds of visitors.  

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We spent quite a bit of time in Keswick firstly picking up a tarp from Nordic Outdoor and then enjoying a large takeaway fish and chips in the town square.  The tarp is more stuff for me to carry but it will be a great shelter for cooking under when camping in the rain.  It is an idea I got watching other campers in Japan last year.  We really could have done with it in the first half of June.  I guess we should be grateful that the last week has been dry.  We are camping about five kilometers east of Keswick and will head up towards Gretna Green tomorrow.

Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 1,475 km (916 miles)

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