The weather has been hot of late for this part of the world with temperatures reaching 29C. I had decided to take today off work and thought that I might have had an overnight camp but got soaked in a heavy downpour last night. So I checked the Met Office forecast and it seems that Saturday may be overcast with possible rain.
So at 7.00am, I decided to take a train to Bishop Auckland and then cycle home. DH wasn’t feeling up to it but DS1 said he would accompany me. So it was a quick get together of the things I would need for the day out.
We got down to the railway station , bought tickets and were on the 8.20am train from Middlesbrough. It is about a 50 minute ride to Bishop Auckland and the station is being rebuilt. There was another cyclist got on at Darlington , who is employed to promote the use of sustainable transport in the area, but he wasn’t able to help us to find route 20. Such a shame that Sustrans routes aren’t more well known by those who should be more informed.
We did find the route down Escombe Road, past the hospital but some of the signage has been turned around so we went wong before we got out of town. However, by carefully scrutinising our map we got back on track. Road cycling soon gave way to just that, a narrow, bumpy track which was very overgrown.
I don’t know if this has been an old rail track, but the gradual uphill gradient was OK to ride. The route crosses the A68(T) so care is needed to cross. We made a ‘detour’ and ended up on the outskirts of Ingleton. Discussions held us up a little but we turned right and cycled about half a mile to the left turn where we picked up the route signs again. We met another cyclist on this section but it was apparent he was local as he knew all the turns that we had to look for. We had a brief stop for 2nd breakfast just after the hamlet of Langton. After setting off again we followed the road through South Cleatlam and Little Newsham before climbing up to the A67 crossing point.
There is a lovely descent into the village of Whorlton and on down to the river Tees. The suspension bridge will only take light vehicles so we were fine.
Here are views of the river.
The route turns east after the climb up the valley side, and we turned right into the village of Caldwell. The offical route goes through Forsett but we rode into Eppleby. We were glad we did, as a lady has opened a village shop and cafe. Ice creams were the order of the day. I hope other cyclists can support this new venture.
On towards Manfield, we stopped on the village green for lunch and decided we would go back through Darlington. I stopped in at Pauline Hopes fabric stall in the indoor market to thank her for her kindness last week when fabric shopping with my great niece.
We took our usual route back through the Whinnies nature reserve and Elton. We cycled 48 miles today and I felt on top form.