After two days of riding from Chelmsford to Seaton it was time to go and see Lake District, the reason we started this whole trip. And finally, I was able to take some good photos of this four day trip!
Stage 3 – Lake District run
Sunday finally arrived and the sun still had not abandoned us, its glorious shine was everywhere! We wolfed down our breakfast, had several cups of tea and said bye to the extremely hungover bikers still trying to remember what day it was. We left about 10 in the morning and took the Military road (B6318) from Heddon on the Wall to Greenhead where got back on A69 to Carlisle. The Military road follows the line of Hadrian’s wall, well what’s left of it anyways. There are a couple of piles of rubble and some rocky mounds that look like they could have belonged to the wall hundreds of years ago. There is not much more left of the Roman forts and temples, mostly rocky blueprints. It also runs parallel to the aforementioned A69 which we followed to the turning onto the southbound M6, towards Penrith. M roads are usually quite uneventful and this one was exactly the same.
We took the turning off to A66 and soon got to the Lake District, by most considered one of the most beautiful parts of England and let me tell you, once you get there, you see that people are not wrong, it is absolutely idyllic! We drove to Threlkeld where we turned onto a smaller road that took us down to Thirlmere where we finally saw our first lake! Ooohing and awwwing we got to Grassmere where we stopped for a quick look around. This is where apparently William Wordsworth loved to sit and write. Gotta admit, he picked a pretty decent spot.
Anywho, after a short break we had to move forwards as I had arranged a hotel inspection (work thing) so we had to be in Bowness on Windermere at a certain hour. The ride only became better the deeper we went into the District, the water was splashing happily with the slight breeze, reflecting the sunshine and the sail boats were out in great numbers. The roads were clear until we had to go through the towns of Ambleside and Windermere, they were positively packed and the traffic was stuck. Luckily we were on the bike so we more or less easily filtered through, although that too was a tad problematic as the roads were very narrow.
Once my work thing was done it was already around 15.30 and we headed back to Seaton, only this time we took A592 that took us through the Kirkstone pass, one of many passes found in the District, this one quite easy compared to others, but no less scenic. Snaking up at a leisurely 40ish miles per hour, I got my camera out and took some cracking good photos if I may say so myself. Easy riding makes for quite ok “photos on the move”.
We also stopped by the lake side in Glenridding to refuel ourselves (the bike was fine). Sitting on the shore with a cup of coffee was just the thing we needed after the long rides and before getting on the road back. Our way back was over Penrith M6, Carlisle and A69 all the way to Seaton. By the time we got back, we were famished. If you plan to do the Lake District, don’t forget to grab some food with you. The only places to get food are pubs and small shops in towns and the prices are not budget friendly.
Stage 4 – Newcastle and back home
Last day sneaked up on us. We had a long, long ride in front of us and we were up and ready early in the morning. However, before hitting the road all the way to Chelmsford, we made a little sightseeing detour; we stopped at Newcastle. It’s not like we go this far up north all the time so we squeezed in a bit more of sightseeing before we get back to our boring lives. Usually, parking the bike is quite easy as many cities and towns have a free motorbike parking somewhere in the centre. Not Newcastle though. There are plenty of parking lots and they are quite easy to get to as the signs are plentiful and clear, but they are all paid parking spaces and none are specifically motorbike only (or at least we found none). Nevertheless, we parked up and went for a walk, explored the centre a little bit, saw the Theatre Royal, Newcastle castle, Cathedral, the Tyne Bridge, quayside, etc. We found a tiny cafe, sat down by the river and enjoyed the cloudless sky. There were not many places by the river where you could sit down outside, at least not close to the Tyne bridge. Unfortunately, we did not have time to go any further. We even passed the Seven Stories on the way back to the bike, but did not have time to go in. We left Newcastle at about midday.
Our trip back was pretty straightforward – A1 all the way down by Durham and Leeds. This way you also pass right by The Angel of North on your way out of Newcastle. I wanted to stop but we already lost quite a lot of time so I had to be content with just spreading my arms and pretending to be the angel at the back of the bike. It would have been such a cool photo if anyone was there to take it 😦 Anyways, we stuck to the A1 all the way down to A14.
We got home at about 19.00 We took 3 stops after Newcastle, one longer one and two fuel refills/leg stretching ones. The bike is quite comfortable to ride on and the tank is quite big (21 litre) so we can easily do two hours without stopping. This time frame does shorten the longer we are on the road as you get tired, whether you like it or not and your body starts “complaining” faster. When we got back we realised we did about 1500 kilometres in only four days!!! That is A LOT. I have no idea how some people do massive tours in short periods of time, we were absolutely knackered! I did not even have the mental capacity to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones, I just wanted a bath, cup of tea and my bed. Thank god we had only a 4 day week ahead of us.