Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 16, 2019

Ten Pence Train Ticket Tour

In August our son  got a flash sale come up on his phone that Northern Rail had thousands of  train tickets in the north for 10p. Well, who could resist? There were 2 available for the 12th September when we had the time to go off on another short tour.

We decided to head across to Carlisle on the 5.45am train arriving just after 8.30am , so giving us the full day to cycle. We did meet another cyclist who got on at Newcastle who also had a 10p ticket and he had intended going to Whitehaven to ride the C2C in one day. However, as we got further west the sky was becoming increasingly gloomy and he kept checking the weather forecast. When he saw it would be rain, he abandoned, the idea and alighted at Hexham for a dry ride home.

Not us though! Actually, I had the foresight to book a Travelodge in Cockermouth and they were brilliant.  More of that later.

Setting off from Carlisle it was dry but overcast and then when we had ridden about 4 miles, the rain started very lightly, but we soon had to don the waterproofs. The roads around the Solway area are  fairly flat so not too strenuous. Taking a direct line would have been too short a day, so we headed across to Abbeytown to have a look at the remains of the abbey there.

The dissolution of the monasteries saw Holme Cultrum  Abbey founded in 1150 by Cistercian monks , saw it fall into disrepair apart from part which was retained as the parish church. In 2006 , it was further damaged  when the church had an arson attack. It has since been repaired and has some nice stained glass windows.



The front entrance is huge and we could get the bikes and trailers inside. There was atea rooms advertised but not on the day we were there. The toilet facilities were   open though.  So we sat and ate 2nd breakfast and had a look at the very good exhibition before braving the elements once again.

Once in Cockermouth, we found the hotel and I have to say they were really kind. WE washed the cycles and trailers off with an outside tap and small hose and dried them off with supplied towels. We were then able to take the bikes into our ground floor room. I had a line strung up and so we were able to get the wet clothes dry. They even supplied us with paper to stuff our wet shoes with.



Friday 13th September

The day dawned sunny and after an all you can eat breakfast, we set off following the Komoot app towards Low Abbey. All was well , as it wasn’t too steep and then we came to an off road section we werent expecting. We thought we had checked but we hadn’t done  carefully enough.  Still, it didn’t look too bad, as it was a bridle track .

It got worse though when we came to a downhill section. It might have been OK on a full suspension mountain bike but on a touring e-bike pulling a trailer, it wasn’t so easy. In fact, we had to start walking and then as we came down to a logging road , DH had to take the bikes down, as I was a bit scared.

Once down at the bottom, we were pleased to be on old roads and we soon got into Keswick but the cycle track is still not open and being repaired. So we had to find another way on the Penrith Road which was closed to motor vehicles. We weren’t the only ones though and we cycled up the very steep road to Castlerigg Stone circle. The e-bikes really were brilliant getting us up there.

We had decided to visit old kayaking friends as they are no longer able to get out as much as they once did. We expected to be there at the village of Helton between 1-2pm but knew that the way in Pooley Bridge was also under repair.

Komoot showed a route avoiding the village. It again showed a way over a very wobbly footbridge which wasn’t too bad and another bridleway. What a mistake that was. I didn’t even take any photos but it was across a cow filled field, through gorse bushes and almost bog like conditions.  It took us about 2 hours to take the cycles and trailers across. Yes, we were mental to not turn back!!!

Still, we got to see our friends and ate lunch at 3.45pm. It was pleasant to look at photos and remember other old friends who are no longer with us. Still we had to make Kendal so set off just before 5.30pm and cycled up to the village of Shap and then began the climb up and over the 1400ft Shap summit on the A6. There is a memorial to the lorry drivers who risked and lost their lives hauling goods over summit. Even in an English summer , it can be very cold and sleety up there. We were in luck and once over the climb , it was almost downhill all the way to the campsite, just before Kendal town.

We did notice the Shap Fell Bothy just before the summit and the views are stunning.


Even at 7.00pm, the site manager got us a pitch with a hook-up so we could recharge the bikes. We chatted to another couple of cycle tourists who were camping nearby and they came over to look at our rigs. A lady in a nearby motorhome boiled the kettle for us so I didn’t even have to break out the stove.

Saturday , 14th September 2019

It was a wet pack due to heavy dew but we got away about 8.30am and we called into a supermarket before heading off to climb up to Grayrigg on the A685 but there was very light traffic. It may have been something to do with frequent road closed – Monday to Friday signs.  After this there is another fast descent down towards the Lune Valley with the M6 in the bottom. We hardly had to pedal until the road crossed over to climb up to Tebay.


It was 2nd breakfast time in the little play area.There was a cool wind blowing so we had to put on warm jackets.


As we were leaving , I a spoke to a local chap who told us a way to take the tiny lane that ran parallel with the busy main road. I wasn’t about to be taken on another unknown route by Komoot.

We did have to go on the main road after a while but remembered that the local man had mentioned the village of Ravenstonedale so we called into a pub there for a lemonade. The barmaid gave us detailed instructions to get us to Kirkby Stephen that kept us largely off the A685 and instead after minor roads, onto the A683.  Then at the T junction we only had a short way into Kirkby Stephen.

Then , we had a few miles on to the main road up to Brough and another climb up towards Teesdale. We had a stop about half way up as I needed to change my battery and so had lunch sitting in a parking bay .

I have to say the Koga World Traveller e-bikes coped beautifully with the climbs even though at times I was in the sport mode a lot of the time. When we reached the summit , it was again another fast run down and then we saw a body of water which is Selset reservoir which we had cycled to some years ago on ordinary bikes.

Just outside Middleton in Teesdale we turned and cycled down through the villages of Mickleton, Romalkirk and Cotherstone before getting to the campsite at Lartington. We were really surprised to see it was only 3.45pm. There was no hook-up available but the site managers put our batteries on charge for us.  I didn’t even cook as the Fish and Chip can came and so that is what we had.

The wind was really strong, one of the reasons I didn’t want to cook in the tent and the tent a short way down from us had a pole snap. Our tent was OK, if a little noisy . The wind finally dropped about 4.00am

Sunday  15th September 2019

The one thing about wind is that it tends to make for a dry pack. So we got everything packed and were on the road by about 9.30am as we had a sleep in until 6.30am. Lots of people stopped us as we were packing to talk about our “unusual” way of camping. I think it’s probably the bikes and our age. Still we don’t mind encouraging others who might want to try.

We are on “home “territory here to headed along to Whorlton to find yet another road closed sign. The bridge cannot really take heavy traffic and they have put concrete barriers across but with room to get bikes and pedestrians through.  We did have to unhitch the trailers though.


Once at Eppleby we called in to the café for a hot chocolate and a fruit scone, as it was quite chilly. We carried on through Piecebridge and on to the outskirts of Darlington. We decided to see how Komoot would take us through the town and I have to say this was a way we have never been. It made use of the extensive cycleways along the river Skerne before we came out near Great Burdon. So we were on our usual route alongside the A66 and through Sadberg and on to Elton, Stockton and home by 1.15pm.

I was elated that I had managed such a trip even though my legs are still stiff. Its the age you know.

So  DH and I have a discrepancy in mileage . My moniter says 187 miles – his 192 miles.

so my week is 196mls and YTD 3367miles








  1. All of that….and much more for only 10p…..amazing!

    • yes the hotel cost more but heyho we didn’t spend it on the train fare. had a great short trip

  2. Once more I take off my hat to you and I am reminded of the hymn, “He who would valiant be” though in this case of course it is she who would valiant be.
    Bridleways are a complete lottery.

    • thanks TP. I think I will always have to put in road cycling option but then check that very carefully that it doesn’t try to out us on dangerously fast roads, I still prefer my paper maps

  3. Another great trip! 10p for the train – amazing! I like paper maps too. Have you tried (that looks a bit of an odd website address but it’s correct). Takes you along quiet roads.

  4. An interesting read, thank you.

    • I feel sure you will have loved the 10p for the 2 1/4 hr train trip

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