The Way of The Roses

Old skool map!

I was really pleased when Susan and Jo from Atalanta Adventures (Goddesses of Adventure) put this extended Coast to Coast tour on this July because it’s been on my list for a while.

The scenery is pretty spectacular, particularly the first two days from the west through Morecambe and the Yorkshire Dales. Day 3, going through York is (mercifully) flat and the final stretch is undulated, hilly at times.

Before anyone asks… Yes, I did this tour on my ebike but it was still pretty tough! I am full of admiration for those super-humans who do it on regular bikes, fuelled by scones, huffing and chuffing!

Day 1 – Morecambe to Grassington

This is an epic day of cycling with the climbs starting gently and progressing as the day goes on. The first few miles through Lancaster were a breeze up the Lune valley where the scenery got rather pretty. We got lucky at lunchtime and dinner as both of the pubs we went to didn’t really want to serve us food, (staff shortages?).

Having not read the plan properly beforehand, I thought we were stopping in Giggleswick/Settle just before a 20% incline on cobbles out of Settle… Oh no! Grassington was just a wee bit further up a mahoosive hill. All together, it was a rather slow but satisfying day with three seasons’ worth of weather to contend with. Even Susan was tired when we reached the front door of Grassington Lodge, hammering the right code in to the wrong receiver for quite some time 🙂

Day 2 – Grassington to Boroughbridge

After a night at Grassington Lodge – apparently a winner of “Four in a Bed”, we had breakfast at The Devonshire Arms in Grassington. More massive hills today and a spectacular scone stop at Stump Cross Caverns – a proper treasure trove. Just before we set off, I noticed that my back tyre was punctured so the five of us all worked together until it was fixed. (Thank you so much ladies). The steep descent into Pateley Bridge was not only disappointing but massively terrifying, causing my disc brakes to squeal with the heat. We probably should have walked! After that, the hills went up and up to Brimham Rocks NT but from there onwards, we glided downhill through Fountains Abbey, Studley Park to Ripon. We arrived at The Grantham Arms in Boroughbridge, pretty exhausted but the young man running the place, Joseph, could not have been more welcoming and we all fell in love with him!

Day 3 – Boroughbridge to Pocklington

A sad goodbye to the wonderful Joseph and short, flat day of cycling… Just a pootle in to York and out the other side. Today we left the lush green hills behind us as we pushed on past yellow wheatfields and identical brick farms! I felt a bit sad, leaving the wetter, greener, west of England. Beningborough Hall NT cafe was closed on a Monday so we had an early lunch opposite York cathedral, followed by afternoon tea in Stamford Bridge. Our hotel for the night was an American-style motel just outside Pocklington and it suited our needs just fine.

Day 4

The final day with a 6 mile gradual climb up an incline in the Millington valley… a very quiet place with no access to GPS or discernible landmarks. At Huggate the trail became a more pleasant rollercoaster to Driffield. Bridlington was just another 20 miles or so in mixed weather… well, maybe in some rain. I left the others in Driffield and was pretty sad on the train home… even more so when I had to cycle home on route 6 and the Trans Pennine Trail from Doncaster station with no energy left!

Driffield to Bridlington and Flamborough Head

These photographs are from a previous trip. Also see the blog…

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