Start and finish: Keswick.
Distance :26.5 miles.
Elevation: 1726 feet.
Coffee Stop: Allerdean Court Hotel
Leaving Keswick and joining the Bassenthwaite road on a sunny May morning, a slight breeze blowing the wild flowers, leading the way all along this perfect cycle ride. A speedy flat section passing under the steep slopes of Skiddaw and Dodd wood famous for the Osprey. The speed was fast, to spot one of the pair that are nesting at the moment. Down towards the Lake passing St Bega church through woodlands and a glimpses of the lake and Barf in the distance.
A brief sharp uphill to the Castle Inn, before a super downhill past Armthwaite Hall and over the bridge. A quick stop, to lean over and spot a wild trout in the clear water below. Passing Lakes Distillery a popular spot for lunch and a tasting tour, but not today. A friendly bunch of cyclists are passed and the speed quickens, Embleton to Cockermouth on the quiet road above A66. Fresh Eggs for sale at the old farmhouse, and delicious Lemon curd. The head is down and peddling picks up momentum, cyclists racing along dreaming of Tour de Britain starting in Cockermouth a few months before.
A well earned excellent cappuccino stop with homemade Shortcake biscuits at the very friendly Allerdale court hotel. With seats outside to watch the world go by. Pass beside the Church and along Kirkgate in an easy gear, a stunning road begins to head down to Lorton. Crummock water mountain tops bathed in sunshine fills the skyline. A ridge of shapely peaks leads the way.
Whinlatter pass can know be seen, turn off for Lorton and begin the steady accent through shaded trees, and a few typical cumbrian white farmhouses perched high on the road. The bridge is reached and the going gets slower a few switchbacks with a near 20 % after catching the breath the road gets easier. A beautiful quiet ride to the top of the Whinlatter forest, forget me not, wild garlic and golden gorse, brightly lead the way.
A breath at the top, with even a coffee stop if required before the long steep descent passing the ice cream van at the scenic car park with views far below. Down into Braithwaite pass the shallow, bubbling stream that roared with the floods and caused destruction to many homes.
Back to Keswick along the fast cycle path and a wonderful cycle ride, that wants you wanting more.