Author Scottish Borders and back..  (Read 1180 times)

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  • Online af1-windy   gb

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    Scottish Borders and back..
    on: August 15, 2022, 10:34:36 am
    August 15, 2022, 10:34:36 am
    My partner and I have just had a week away in Buckland st. Mary, near Taunton, Somerset, but we had to cut it short for a hospital appointment for my better half, she's been waiting over a year so there was no way we were turning it down. Anyway, she said I should clear off on the bike for the weekend, seeing as I'd missed a day's holiday, I didn't need telling twice.  :001:

    Antares, joined me Saturday morning, in Leeds, to make use of my garage and tools, to replace his front and rear pads, while I took his front wheel to have his new tyre fitted. We managed to get away about 13:00hr and set off for Caldbeck and the camp site;

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Caldbeck+Camping/@54.7500447,-3.0480962,16.25z/data=!4m8!3m7!1s0x487d21d004352f9b:0xf08a1df385c4ead4!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d54.7498417!4d-3.0483659?hl=en-GB

    Suffice to say, we took a very twisty route (Antares can post the route if anyone wants to see it  :084:) and arrived around 19:00hr after stopping of at 'The Crown' Pub for some food. They were very accommodating, all tables reserved but they said if we could be done for 18:30hr, it was about 17:50hr, we could have a table, 40 minutes was enough time to eat so we said, "yes please" and got seated. Great service and food. Can't remember where it was exactly, maybe Antares can post the details? We didn't have any cooking gear with us so we needed to fill up and make it last until breakfast the next day. The Campsite is basic but has toilets and showers, £7.50 each for the night, music to a Yorkshire man's ears..  :152: :034: :008:

    I slept well, as did Antares, as far as I know. 06:00hr start, packed up the tents, headed out on a bright, fresh morning to find somewhere for breakfast. After about 40 minutes (?) or so, Antares pulled off the road to a Pub, 'The Cross Keys Hotel', popped in and asked if they did walk in breakfasts? They did, and it turned out to be a very good breakfast to boot. The owners were really nice and welcoming, set us up a table and told us to help ourselves to cereals and fruit juice while breakfast was cooked. Served us a very nice cup of coffee, then breakfast arrived, 2 bacon, sausage, beans, hash brown, mushrooms, black pudding, haggis, fried egg, grilled tomatoes and toast.. £10.00 Very highly recommended. And for some odd reason, all the locals visiting the little shop/post office next door were very interested in our bikes and where we were heading, had some very nice compliments on the bikes, but they are both RED (fastest colour  :008:) so it's to be expected  :034: :015:

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Cross+Keys+Hotel/@55.0763793,-2.9560876,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m8!3m7!1s0x487d1366db676299:0x8d73d509e3f98428!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d55.0763728!4d-2.9539432?hl=en-GB

    From there we headed to Kielder Reservoir, called in for a coffee, which we had to get from a machine in the shop. Word of warning, don't head here for breakfast before 11:00hr on a Sunday, that's when the café opens, good job we stopped off earlier, initially, we were going try and make it to the café.

    After this we just hit the twisty roads, again, I'm sure Antares can furnish you with the routes but I have to say, this one and a half day's riding has made it into my top 3 best UK rides of all times  :020: It was a tough couple of days, 6 hours on Saturday and just over 7 hours on Sunday, longest breaks where evening meal Saturday, 40 minutes and about the same time for Breakfast on Sunday, other than that it was just short breaks while we filled up and had a drink of water.

    I can't wait to do it all over again, hopefully, very soon.  :821: windy

    A few photos..  :028:











    Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 11:50:00 am by af1-windy
    "When I’m riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive. When I stop riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive" Neil Peart.

  • Offline Antares   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #1 on: August 16, 2022, 10:11:12 am
    August 16, 2022, 10:11:12 am
    Thanks for the great trip once again, was very enjoyable route with plenty of opportunities to have fun, I particularly enjoyed the loads of crests we came across on the road haha.

    I'll try to put the exact route we took and a few comments on each bit later this week, there were some extremely nice bits, just to name a few: the forests of Kielder, the rough topography of the Lake district, the sparkling road straight out of a fairy tale between Saughtree and Deadwater.

    I think for a first run this route was superb and in all honesty I left most of it down to BMW's Navi. There is definitely room for improvement, the distance is just about right, but next time around I'd avoid a few bits like the road along Ullswater because you just get people parking halfway into the road or doing 15mph in a 60 in Range Rovers and panicking everytime someone comes the opposite way on a road that'd put some dual carriage ways to shame...

    Food was great, especially breakfast, if I were to do it again I'd probably stretch the days a little further get a proper lunch and maybe dinner in, set off a little earlier and arrive back a little later on Sunday, but we were under time constraints and still managed to run late on Sunday. So all in all, with what time we had we definitely did good.

     :152: :152:

    Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 10:11:45 am by Antares

  • Online af1-windy   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #2 on: August 16, 2022, 11:10:54 am
    August 16, 2022, 11:10:54 am
    Just one question... when are we going back..  :187:  :001:

    Agree, we need to set off earlier on the Saturday but that shouldn't be an issue next time. I enjoyed the early start Sunday, arriving back at 15:00hr is about right for me, gives me time to chill and get ready for work on Monday  :015: besides, if we cut out Ulswater obstacle course, we'll save ourselves an hour.. 

    I'll check out my free weekends in September.  :007: :028:

     :821: windy
    Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 11:12:25 am by af1-windy
    "When I’m riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive. When I stop riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive" Neil Peart.

  • Offline bobdave   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #3 on: August 16, 2022, 01:28:10 pm
    August 16, 2022, 01:28:10 pm
    sounds like a great weekend, apart from maybe the camping (think I'd be too full of aches and pains in the morning to jump on the bike and do a full days riding!).

  • Offline wessie   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #4 on: August 16, 2022, 02:03:17 pm
    August 16, 2022, 02:03:17 pm
    Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway and the English Counties of Cumbria and Northumberland are great fun and so much quieter than the Highlands, Lakes and Yorkshire Dales.

    On my way up from the south west I like to take a loop into the Forest of Bowland after passing by Manchester on the M6. I prefer Bowland to the Lakes. Then cut across Lancashire into the Dales. The route across the Pennines via Teasdale is lovely. Then you are into Kielder and beyond.

    No tents for me. Brampton on Hadrian's Wall in Cumbria is a great base. Howard Arms is excellent.  Further north, Moffat allows loops around the Borders and D&G. The Buccleuch Arms Hotel is good or maybe one of the B&Bs on Beechgrove if you want somewhere more modest, and cheaper. Rockhill was good last September.
    https://goo.gl/maps/LJ315oy4n1QiDjLn6

    If anyone wants some route suggestions, just ask, but it is not hard to drop onto great roads in superb scenery.

  • Offline Antares   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #5 on: August 16, 2022, 02:05:23 pm
    August 16, 2022, 02:05:23 pm
    *Originally Posted by bobdave [+]
    sounds like a great weekend, apart from maybe the camping (think I'd be too full of aches and pains in the morning to jump on the bike and do a full days riding!).

    Absolutely wasn't the case for us. For me that's what made the whole thing so great. In fact if we had a little more time it'd have been nice to do a little BBQ and chill out for a little longer. I think it really gave the "just set out into the wilderness" feel for the trip, as you can see on some of the pictures we (well I personally) didn't really take a lot of gear, just a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and a foam mat, although I've already gone and bought a smaller and more comfortable replacement to that. The luggage didn't even affect handling in any appreciable way. Still had plenty of fun!

    Also weirdest thing of all is the various types of sheep you come across, some ran half a mile away hearing our bikes, panicking jumping over rocks and bushes, meanwhile some other just didn't give a flip and as windy said: "it's like we're dodging traffic cones" not even budging when I rode past them 2 feet away with aftermarket headers.
    Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 02:08:41 pm by Antares

  • Online af1-windy   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #6 on: August 16, 2022, 02:39:15 pm
    August 16, 2022, 02:39:15 pm
    *Originally Posted by Antares [+]
    Absolutely wasn't the case for us. For me that's what made the whole thing so great. In fact if we had a little more time it'd have been nice to do a little BBQ and chill out for a little longer. I think it really gave the "just set out into the wilderness" feel for the trip, as you can see on some of the pictures we (well I personally) didn't really take a lot of gear, just a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and a foam mat, although I've already gone and bought a smaller and more comfortable replacement to that. The luggage didn't even affect handling in any appreciable way. Still had plenty of fun!

    Also weirdest thing of all is the various types of sheep you come across, some ran half a mile away hearing our bikes, panicking jumping over rocks and bushes, meanwhile some other just didn't give a flip and as windy said: "it's like we're dodging traffic cones" not even budging when I rode past them 2 feet away with aftermarket headers.

     :008: Those sheep were pretty brave, or stupid.. it was exactly like weaving in and out of cones..  :015:

    I don't mind riding with panniers, top box etc. so would be happy to load up with a meal or 2, plus cooking stove, I have it all in the garage.  :028:

    As for camping, I'm no spring chicken  and it was a tad uncomfortable at times, especially when I woke up to turn over, but getting up at 6am in to a cool crisp day, fresh air and the knowledge of a great ride ahead is priceless and to me, worth a few aches and a little pain. Most of us, and definitely me, lead a very clinically clean, sedentary life  :800: so it's good to get back to nature and roughing it a little.. well, that's how I feel..  :164:

     :821: windy
    Last Edit: August 16, 2022, 02:44:46 pm by af1-windy
    "When I’m riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive. When I stop riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive" Neil Peart.

  • Offline Fitz   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #7 on: August 18, 2022, 01:03:07 pm
    August 18, 2022, 01:03:07 pm
    Sounds like a perfect trip, loving the pictures.

    I remember playing golf years ago in Dundee, all on one hole we had beautiful sunshine, which changed to thick fog, and then finally sheets of snow, all in about 10 minutes.  Amazing place. 

  • Online af1-windy   gb

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #8 on: August 18, 2022, 02:27:30 pm
    August 18, 2022, 02:27:30 pm
    *Originally Posted by Fitz [+]
    Sounds like a perfect trip, loving the pictures.

    I remember playing golf years ago in Dundee, all on one hole we had beautiful sunshine, which changed to thick fog, and then finally sheets of snow, all in about 10 minutes.  Amazing place.

    You should join us.. my Brother will be with us on the next trip and he'll be coming over from Alsager, he has the Wilbraham Arms and the Steak restaurant in the town.. he's a golfer too but I try not to mention that..  :008:
    "When I’m riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive. When I stop riding my motorcycle, I’m glad to be alive" Neil Peart.

  • Offline fozz   england

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    Re: Scottish Borders and back..
    Reply #9 on: August 23, 2022, 08:13:11 am
    August 23, 2022, 08:13:11 am
    Looks like you had a great trip. My wife skipped our tent about 15 years ago and threatened me with death if i ever bought another one :003: Trouble is weekends away get very expensive.