Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 7, 2022

A pootle in the Dales

The weather was dry but windy when I set off along the river to ride up into County Durham near Barnard Castle.

I had decided to go off on a little solo camping trip just to take a bit of time for me.

Infinity bridge over the Tees

My route took me across the familiar trails and roads to Long Newton and on to cross the Tees again at Croft. From here I climbed up and along to Barton where I stopped to eat 2nd breakfast at 20 miles. It’s strange , but even solo , I seem to follow familiar patterns of riding and eating.

I had just started riding when rain started to come down. So I stopped and donned full wet weather gear- more in the hope that it would clear up soon. It didn’t last too long and by the time I had got through Melsonby, the rain stopped. I carried on to the crossing of the A66.

This is where I took off the wet weather clothing and took a few photos .

The prevailing winds shaping the trees near A66 crossing

On the way up to the crossing I was passed by 4 or 5 lads from Ferryhill wheelers. They peeled off to cross the main road with the cars and I thought they would be well ahead of me. However, a tree had come down across the descent after the crossing, so they were waiting ,while the road was cleared and we had a nice little chat.

Road down towards Gilling West

At the bottom of the hill, I turned off left and didn’t see the lads again. My way now was on very minor roads and I passed a turning to a tiny village called Hartford. I was just curious so turned down . One thing I saw was a beautiful tree.

I was attracted by the beautiful pale green tree

Starting off again, I returned to my route through Whashton, climbing to Kirby Hill, Gayles, Dalton and Newsham. Along the way , I met a man repairing a dry stone wall.He was happy to haveis photo taken.

Dry stone walling
View looking north

Carrying on climbing, it was on to Barningham with its restored water fountain that was brought back into use in 2004.

My bicycle near the fountain
This side was used for drinking from

I hadn’t been riding long when a lady called Sue flagged me down. She was awaiting 4 vans with furniture as she and her husband are moving into the village. She is also a cyclist who loves hill climbing which is why she has moved here. The road is narrow and they had missed the turning and she knew they would be coming back and there wouldn’t be room on the road.

After a short while, they returned and I was off again and was careful down the bank that DH came off on two years ago. I had forgotten just how hilly it is to ride up to Bowfield farm at Boldron.

Pitched up at Bowfield Farm

I was able to get a hook up and so could charge my batteries.

I was awake early on Thursday 4th August and got packed up. Bowfield farm has a covered washing up area with a kettle so that’s where I ate once packed. At 7.30 am , I set off down the hills crossing Rutherford Bridge.

Rutherford Bridge

Then gentle climbing started up towards Stang Lane. The climb wasn’t too bad at first and I was joined and the overtaken by Ben from the Dales bike centre. As the road pitch increased, I put up the power assist until it was at maximum. Even that wasn’t enough and I remembered DH saying not to fall off. So off I got and used pedal assist as I trudged up the last of the 17% hair pin bend. The views were wonderful.

Climbing the Stang
Near the summit

There had been a strong headwind so it was a joy to have a descent into what I think is Arkengarthdale.

Into Reeth

I was in Reeth, about 10 miles, far quicker than I anticipated so I stopped for a hot chocolate and millionaire’s shortbread at the village shop. I was hoping to see somethings in the craft section of the village but I was too early. I did see these though.

Graculus sculpture
Made from junk

Leaving the village , I crossed the bridge over the Arkle Beck .

Not what you expect to see in a used car place

I was soon at the Dales cycle centre which also has a lovely café so I stopped for more refreshments and chatted to Ben in the workshop. I also chatted with a group who had arrived to hire -bikes. The husband thanked me for reassuring his wife it wasn’t cheating and she would still have to work to get along.

I asked advice about the next climb and was reassured it was no worse than the Stang. Actually, Ben had never ridden it but his boss said it was the best way unless I wanted to add a lot of miles. In a fact , it was easier and I was soon at the Swan campsite and I was really pleased to have only used 2 of the 5 cells in my battery. This is a lovely little site with good clean facilities and I was able to charge the battery in the kitchen area.

Blooming heather on Redmire moor
Down into Wensledale

To be honest , I didn’t do much else all day. A family invited me to a BBQ but I had already eaten. However, I did sit and tell them tales of my travels both by bicycle and kayak. Their little 8 year old daughter and enjoyed ourselves on the swings. Haha I am still a kid at heart. This is a picture she drew for me of my tent, my stove and me on the swing. I was so touched.

Brenda camping

Once there, I stopped to phone DH and a chap told me he had seen a man on a similar bike. Yea it was him looking for sign post. We enjoyed a hot chocolate and I bought some Norwegian brown cheese from a stall on the market. So good to get some.

DH said he would ride out to meet me so again I was off at 7.30am and ride down along Wensleydale. It was another beautiful day but again still a bit breezy. The climbs were easy and I was soon in Leyburn having turned onto the main road at the village of Wensley.

We then followed NCN 71 across to Bedale and Leeming where we had another chatty break with church friends who live there.

Across Wensledale

Then in back roads that are familiar into Romanby for a feed stop before riding home. On Saturday, we did go out for a short ride and that made my total mileage for the week up to 125 miles YTD 2651 miles


  1. A lovely area. I must find out how to use the assist while pushing my bike.

    • On mine there is a button on the top edge. You psh that then hold down the + sign on the controller. There will possibly be a different way on yours

      • I will look for mystery buttons. Thank you.

  2. Well done Brenda, sounds like a very rewarding trip. You have shown some great views.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: