Ghostriders 8 Day England Coast to Coast Adventure
Commenced 1st July 2014

This is not a travel log where the events of every day are detailed. Instead, I have presented some of the highlights, lowlights, unusual, humorous and embarrassing events of the trip along with relevant photos and some opinions.

Others may have seen things differently but this is the way I saw things. Anything I say about anyone or anything is purely in fun. Some information and photos I obtained from others on the trip. I may have enhanced some of the information I gathered. Anything that is blatantly incorrect please let me know. All photos used have been converted to a smaller size for faster downloading.

Words, photos or video can never convey the visual impact and "feeling" of some of the places we visited. You have to be there.

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Trip Summary
A modified Coast to Coast ride through England that included the "Cumbrian Way" and the "Coast to Coast" (C2C) cycle routes. Commencing in Ulverston, cycling through the Lakes District and meeting the C2C route in Keswick and then through to Sunderland situated on the East Coast. 10 people took part. A total of 232km.

Gonny & John
Gael & Gerry
Angela & Lou

This was a self guided tour. On the Cumbrian Way, we followed a guide book and on the Coast to Coast we followed the "C2C" signs. The guide book was average. The "C2C" signs were very easy to follow.

The English countryside and quaint towns.

There were none.

Best Meals

  • For dinner at the "Rose & Crown" hotel in Ulverston. The plate sizes were large and good quality food. See this photo of spare ribs.that someone in our group had. We were there two nights.

  • The best breakfast was at the Virginia Guest house we used in Ulverston. The usual cereals and cooked stuff but they also had a large selection of fruit including berries.

The Easy Way to Ride
When went to pick up our bikes at the bike shop in Ulverston, Gonny enquired about getting electric bikes. For an extra 25 pounds/day, they could supply them so Gonny and Angela decided to take them. They proved very good and never ran out of charge. They beat me up the hills.

Drizzling when we left Keswick. Eased off for a while but then got very heavy and windy after we left Beckside. Stopped by the time we reached Greystoke.

I fell off my bike once and grazed my knee. Was doing  0 km/hr at the time.

Lost, Broken, Embarrassing and Mistakes

  • In Ulverston the locals were not happy about us riding our bikes the wrong way up a one way street.

  • Angela lost a camera case near Threlkeld.

  • At Threlkeld, we stopped for coffee at a hotel with a 10.30 opening sign. After hunting around for someone, she told me they don't open till 11.00.

  • Gonny lost her pannier along the Tilberthwaite Bridleway. Luckily, Lou was riding behind her and picked it up.

  • At Beckside, we stopped at the Mill Inn hotel and asked if they serve coffee. The lady was not enthusiastic but did serve us. It was the 4th of July and the rooms were festooned with 4th of July banners. Raining at the time.

  • On the day we rode between Edenhall and Allenheads, riding along a country road, the road made a sudden turn and up. Gonny misjudged the turn and ended up down the side of the road upside down still on her bike. She was not injured but could not stop laughing.

Paul (68)/Angela (56).

Where We Stayed
Accommodation was pre-arranged and our luggage was transported to the next hotel by a courier. It worked well. Bikes were stored overnight on the premises of the place we were staying at. At the last hotel were told that someone would pick up the bikes.

  • Virginia House in Ulverston. Stayed two nights. A lovely guest house. Great host. Close to town and delicious breakfast.

  • Chestnut Villa in Grasmere. Pleasant simple rooms in a converted house. Our twin bed room was very squishy. The shower and toilet were in a converted double wardrobe. Not close to town but there was a nice hotel nearby where we went for dinner.

  • Keswick Park Hotel in Keswick. Old hotel with very large rooms. Close to town. Went to Italian restaurant for dinner. The "w" in Keswick is silent like in Berwick in Victoria, Australia.

  • Edenhall Country House in Edenhall. Pleasant hotel. Not close to town or any shops. Had dinner in the hotel restaurant.

  • The Old School House in Allenheads. Converted schoolhouse with separate living areas for guests and owners. Took us a while to find it but was helped when the owner noticed us and drove down to meet us. It was the only accommodation in Allenheads that could accommodate us. We had two four bunk bed rooms and two twin bed rooms. A large kitchen/lounge area. We decided that myself, Paul, Dennis & Gerry would have one bunk room and Janna & Gael the other. Gonny & John one twin room and Lou & Angela the other. There were two bathrooms so we designated one mens and one ladies. It all worked well. Breakfast was help yourself cereal, toast & tea/coffee and the owner brought in large plates of hot food.
    The electrical work at the schoolhouse was interesting. See this photo.
    For dinner we all went to the Allenheads hotel where I had a lovely steak pie. The proprietor of the hotel (a lady) loved my Australian accent.

  • The Mourings Hotel in Hett Hills. Very enthusiastic owner. Not close to town. We had a lovely evening meal in the restaurant beside the hotel. Bit slow with breakfast. The hotel and bar/restaurant are completely separate buildings because the land is on a very old title and between the buildings is a public walkway.

  • The Chaise Guest House in Sunderland. Large rooms. Good host and breakfast. Had dinner at nearby Italian restaurant.

No Place
Was a town we passed through. Saw it on the map but did not see any signs or any buildings.

Most Depressing Towns

  • Barrow on Furness. Whilst in Ulverston, myself, Janna & Paul caught the bus there and back. About a 45 min trip. The city centre was not bad but we walked out onto the island where they build (or used to build) submarines and the area was a bit depressing. Nice bus trip back along the coast.

  • Nenthead. It was very run down and depressing. The notice board summed it up. See this photo. Luckily, they had some visitors that brightened the place up. See this photo. Did have a nice hot chocolate from the community store there.
    The highest point on the ride was Black Hill, a long steep climb out of Nenthead. See this photo of some ladies I saw at Black Hall sitting behind a stone wall to escape the wind. They looked very happy after the long climb. Then a steep descent into Allemheads, a nice town.

  • Sunderland. Once a thriving industrial city. Now very quiet

The Aliens Have Landed
We stayed one night at a town called Allenheads. On the way there, I noticed a signpost that had been altered. The second letter "l" had been altered so the sign read Alienheads. See this photo.

Dipping The Bikes
It is the custom to dip the back wheel of your bike in the ocean at the start of the coast to coast ride and dip the front wheel in the ocean at the end. Some of us did this near where the canal meets the sea at Ulverston and at Sunderland. See these photos.

We Got Lost

  • Soon after we left Ulverston we took a wrong turn. With the help of an iPhone map, paper map and a passing cyclist, we got back on track. Most English country road junctions did not have signs displaying road names which we found annoying.

  • Trying to find the way off the bike track to the Mourings hotel in Hett Hills proved frustrating. Dennis rode ahead of the group and announced via the 2-way radio that he had found the hotel. Turns out we had ridden past the turnoff but we managed to locate the hotel via a long winded route.

Interesting and Unusual Things

  • See this photo of the toilet in the Cycle Cafe in Greystoke. It was the most cluttered toilet I have ever been in. Signs and crap festooned the toilet and walls.

  • Also this photo of the toilet in our hotel in Sunderland. Notice where the toilet roll holder is. Way above your head.

  • This photo of a split building with a modern window in it. Not sure what was going on there.

  • See this photo of a sign in Ulverston that we could not figure out what it meant.

  • I sat in a first class carriage on the train going from London to Ulverston. Like on a plane, an attendant walked down the aisle offering food and drink and it was all FREE.

  • Angela & Gael had a good idea for helmet rain protection. They put shower caps over their helmets.

  • At Lowick, we stopped to look at a lovely church and graveyard. Dennis noticed a stone grave with a hole on the side. Put his hand in and pretended that his hand was being pulled in. Had some of us worried for a while. See this photo.

  • In England they are very hot on cleaning up your dogs doings. Signs everywhere. See these photos.

  • On the bike track near Hett Hills there was an interesting monument to the industrial age. See this photo.

  • At Greystoke, we stopped for lunch at the "Cycle Cafe". A higgledy piggledy place, Crap everywhere including the toilet. Lunch simple but good. See this photo.


Other Interesting Things We Did

  • In Ulverston, myself, Dennis & Paul visited the Laurel & Hardy museum. It was interesting. Watched an old film of them and had a good laugh. Managed to avoid paying (not deliberately) because there was nobody at the paying desk. See this photo.

  • In Ulverston, Dennis, Paul and I climbed up to the John Barrow monument at the top of Hoad hill that overlooks the town. I initially thought it was a lighthouse. See this photo of Dennis admiring the view.

  • In Keswick, Paul and I visited the Cumberland Pencil Museum. We got there just after 4.00 pm after it closed. After explaining to the lady that we had come all the way from Australia she let us in. Spent one hour there. It was interesting. See this photo.

  • Near Keswick, we visited the Castlerigg Stone Circle. A smaller version of Stonehenge.

The Bikes
The bikes were excellent. Had no flats or major mechanical problems. The panniers supplied were 100% waterproof and clipped easily onto the rack on the rear of the bike. The panniers would not clip onto the racks on the rear of the electric bikes. After a few dropped panniers, we had to tape them on.
I believe everyone brought their own helmets and we all wore them even though it is not compulsory to wear them in England. I cringed a lot looking at many of those not wearing helmets. However, I did notice that the dedicated riders, particularly those on the main roads, all wore helmets.
I brought my own clip-on pedals and lights.

Thank You
To everyone on the trip for your fantastic company. Dennis for arranging the trip.

Final Word
My rating of this trip is 8/10.