Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 20, 2021

Golden Wedding Cycle Tour 2021

OK it isnt actually our 50th wedding anniversary until later in the year but that wont be a good time for a long cycle tour so we decided to do it in May and June.

May 21st. The weather could only be described as dire – wet and decidedly chilly. Not even 10C so we left the house early in full wet weather gear . We even had on 2 jackets each!!

We took our usual route up through Yarm and then at Appleton Wiske , we climbed up to Great Smeaton and then along through East Cowton and along to Great Langton. Here we joined NCN71 and followed it across through Leeming and into Bedale. By now the rain was only a drizzle and we stopped at a bakers and bought bread buns and some meat in the local butchers to have later as a sandwich.

The route had been fairly flat but the small climbs began after this as we journeyed on to Thornton Watlass and then took the smaller quieter road to Masham. There was a car park at Hack Falls but it was just too wet to walk to see the falls.

Hack Falls car Park

The rain began to come on heavier again and as we came into the village of Grewelthorpe, the rain was pounding down. We spotted a small community run cafe in the village hall ad I went in to ask if they had any hot chocolate. Although the chap had cashed up- being such a rotten day- he let us in and made us a drink and we had a home made brownie each. It was so welcome in that rain.

After this, it was back out into te not quite as heavy rain as we climbed up to Kirby Malzeard and across the moors of Nidderdale to our first nights campsite just outside of Pateley Bridge. This small farm site, New Causeway Farm is one of the small certificated sites of the Camping and Caravanning club. We were given a warm welcome and got pitched up. The tumble dryer was offered for our use and we did dry off our waterproofs when the rain died down a bit. Across the valley we could see the ‘golf balls’ of Menwith Hill.

We were able to put up our tarp to give us more room to cook under out of the rain.

tent and tarp.

Saturday 22nd May 2021

Well, although it was cool , at least it wasn’t raining at the start of the day. We got packed up and rode down into the valley and then up into Pateley Bridge. Then the climbing began. I am so thankful for my lovely Koga e-bike that allows me to cope with hills.

I have longed to go up to Coldstone Cut but again the weather was against us. Coldstone is apparently Yorkshire’s Machu Picchu, but an art installation. Rain was now coming down cold at the top of Greenhow Hill and there was no way I was going up with a full load. So another day we will go there.

Greenhow Hill near Coldstone Cut.
God’s own country

Thankfully, just after this , is a nice long descent that goes down to Appletreewick on NCN 688. As we got lower, the rain abated a bit and it was fairly pleasant going into Burnsall and a bit later we found a bus shelter at Hippings Lane end where we sat to have a bite to eat. Carrying on we passed through Cracoe, where we once stayed on a horrible wet day, and down into Gargrave. By now , it started to warm up a bit and there were plenty of cyclists about. The local public toilets here have been taken over by a charitable trust to keep them open.

We continued on along what became NCN68, the Pennine Cycleway before turning off to cycle along to Guisburn and Chatburn and into Clitheroe. We even passed Waddow Hall where we hope to meet up with other cycle touring friends in September, all going well. In Waddington, we got a little confused but finally got on the correct route according to Komoot on the Old Clitheroe roadbut ended up climbing Birdy Brow. Apparently , this is not the best way to go and DH had to get off an push his bike. At this point I should explain he had a lot of weight carrying 4 extra batteries for us both as well as all the other heavy stuff.

By now the sun was shining as we climbed again and then I had a phone call. It was my friend Kate whose husband thought he saw us passing the road end. She thought at first he was joking, but I was ever so glad to stop and go back down to their farm. So ended day 2 on the road.

nearing the Clitheroe

Sunday 23rd May 2021

Kate asked which route we were riding and we told her we had allowed Komoot to decided. She said she would come with us across to Chorley where we wanted to take photographs of the temple we usually attend. I have to say, she did a brilliant job keeping up with us on her non electric touring bike but probably the extra weight on our bikes compensated for the empty bike she was riding.

It really was up hill and down dale heading through Ribchester and then crossing the River Ribble and climbing once more up above Blackburn.

a view of Pendle Hill (I believe)

Then we dropped down onto the Leeds Liverpool towpath before coming up and having to negotiate one of those really annoying barriers where we had to strip off panniers etc to get through. However, we could see the temple just across the way.

Preston temple , Chorley
Kate at the gate

Then it was round and into the temple grounds.

we cycled to temple no1

After having lunch on a bench , we said our farewells to Kate who decided to return a much flatter way home via Preston and we carried on south.

We had the promise of another bed for the night near Warrington and so rode through Chorley to pick up the Leeds Liverpool Canal again. It was alright to start with but once on the outskirts of Adlington, we had a bit of a problem finding the way back onto the canal. Eventually , we did but came across so many difficult cycle impeding barriers , that we finally had enough and found a different route.

trying and failing to get onto the cycle route.

The barriers meant we had to upload completely, get the bikes into a gate with a groove that the back wheel was supposed to fit into, close the gate and then then go through. Seems I was too busy getting through these that I didnt take a photo. Even without luggage it would have been a problem as the ‘groove ‘ was narrow ‘ and the back end had to be lifted to stop fouling the gear hanger.

Eventually we arrived at our 90 yo kayaking friend’s home to be greeted with Lancashire hotpot for tea. She is doing so well.

our lovely old kayaking friend from years ago.

These friendships, forged over years of mutual help on land and sea , last over the years. Thank you Nora.


  1. inspiring stuff, gnarly……keep it up

    best regards

    ian ( irish koga rider in france….motor packed in…..)

    On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 4:35 PM cyclinginthesixthdecade wrote:

    > brendaintheboro posted: ” OK it isnt actually our 50th wedding anniversary > until later in the year but that wont be a good time for a long cycle tour > so we decided to do it in May and June. May 21st. The weather could only be > described as dire – wet and decidedly chilly. Not e” >

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