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Eden Valley and the North Pennines

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

6 days

Prices from

$1,385 P.P.
United Kingdom

Eden Valley and the North Pennines

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

6 days

Prices from

$1,385 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Nestling inconspicuously between the fells of the Lake District to the west and the Pennine Hills to the east, the beautiful Eden Valley is one of England's best kept secrets.
 
Home to the country's most scenic railway, surrounded by lush green countryside and peppered with attractive traditional towns and pretty sandstone villages, the region has much to offer even the most casual day tripper. 
 
For two-wheeled visitors with the time to spend a few days exploring its extensive network of quiet roads and country lanes however, the Eden Valley is an absolute joy.
 
We spend our time based in a pleasant rural hotel situated just a few minutes' drive away from Penrith, on the outskirts of the quaint Cumbrian village of Langwathby. Our hotel is ideally located for accessing some of the best riding in the north of England, as we head out to explore in different directions for each of the four days.
 
Being centre-based for the duration we can relax, forget about daily packing and unpacking and concentrate on what we came here to do; enjoy a few days of fantastic road cycling.
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Highlights

  • Admiring the rugged natural beauty of the North Pennines
  • Riding up to the top of Hartside – a Tour of Britain favourite – from both directions
  • Miles and miles of quiet picturesque valleys and dramatic moorland
  • A stop at High Force, one of the most impressive waterfalls in England
  • Pedalling up to Alston, the ‘joint highest market town’ in England
  • Enjoying a well deserved pint of Sneck Lifter at the end of a day in the saddle

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Non Riding Day
Non Riding Day
  • Ascent: Non Riding Day

We arrive today at our perfectly situated hotel ready for a week of great riding through Cumbria, Northumberland and the Yorkshire Dales. Those choosing to drive to our base in the Eden Valley will be able to leave their vehicle safely in the hotel’s ample parking area for the duration of holiday. Rail travellers will be collected from Penrith station at pre-arranged, scheduled times and transferred by minibus to the hotel.

There are no guided rides scheduled for the arrival day however, depending on arrival times, those bringing their own bikes may wish to stretch their legs around the local lanes.

We’ll meet in the hotel bar or beer garden before dinner for introductions and an initial briefing from the Skedaddle team before enjoying our first evening meal together.

Day 2
Hartside & Alston - Welcome to the Pennines
54 Miles / 86 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1000 Metres Approx.

The fun, and the challenges, begin almost immediately as we set out from the hotel, crossing the River Eden for the first time before we’ve barely completed our first kilometre. Having crossed the river at such an early stage, it should come as no surprise when the road starts heading uphill, which it does, as soon as we’ve ridden through Langwathby village centre, and continues to rise for 15km as we tackle the magnificent Hartside Pass.

At only 580m above sea level, Hartside could never be described as “a giant” but with its multiple switchbacks, steady gradient and wide-open views it certainly has the feel of something much bigger and it’s easy to understand why it has become a regular fixture in the Tour of Britain.

Having reached the summit, we will take a few minutes to admire the far-reaching vistas over the Lake District and beyond before preparing for the fantastic, rip-roaring descent into Alston, the “joint highest market town in England“, a title it shares with Buxton in Derbyshire.

At Alston we take a left turn and head west along a rolling road in the direction of Brampton, before joining a maze of minor lanes which lead us, ultimately back to where we started.

Day 3
Appleby-In-Westmorland & the North Pennines
83 Miles / 133 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1800 Metres Approx.

We head out this morning to revisit the Pennines but this time in the opposite direction, travelling to the southeast initially as we warm ourselves up for the longest and most challenging day of the week.

We climb gradually as we weave our way through numerous small villages via gently rolling minor roads, reaching Appleby-In-Westmorland, itself straddling the River Eden and, at 32 kilometres into our ride, the perfect spot for a mid-morning coffee. Appleby-In Westmorland is renowned for the world-famous Appleby Horse Fair, the annual four-day event dates back to the 18th century and these days draws up to an estimated 40,000 visitors. Things will hopefully be a little quieter during our visit!

The roads continue to roll for a further 20kms until we reach Brough where we begin to rise out of the valley once again and head back into the Pennines. Here the gradients begin to increase and although not extreme we will experience double digits a few times before we reach our first significant summit 7kms along the road.

Our efforts are rewarded with 6kms of generally descending roads which lead us to Middleton-In-Teesdale where we cross the River Tees at a point that, historically, marked the boundary between County Durham to the north and Riding of North Yorkshire to the south.

A few kilometres beyond Middleton we will, time and weather permitting, stop, change from cycling shoes into “sensible shoes“, and pay a short visit to High Force, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the UK.

Back on the bikes, the day is far from over as we press on to complete two more lengthy climbs, the second of which takes us back over Hartside Pass from the opposite direction before delivering us back to base.

Day 4
Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen & Howgills
78 Miles / 125 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1500 Metres Approx.

Having enjoyed two wonderful days riding in the Pennines, it’s time to head south for an excursion into Howgill Fells in the Yorkshire Dales. The terrain here is noticeably different, equally beautiful but somewhat lower with numerous shorter but punchier little climbs.

The Howgill Fells lie roughly in a triangle between the towns of Tebay, Sedbergh and Kirkby Stephen and our route today will cover two sides of that triangle and take us either through, or very near to, the centres of all three towns.

We begin gently with 20kms of rolling lanes before a series of short sharp shocks take us over the highest point of the day and around and around the western side of Tebay. It’s at this point that we enter the Howgills as we head south via a roller coaster profile, to the lovely, bustling Sedbergh. Thanks to the re-drawing of county boundaries, Sedbergh is a Cumbrian village, sitting within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. However confusing that may be, this most southern point of our tour is a perfect spot to regroup and enjoy a coffee.

A fantastic 15km climb followed by a steep 6km descent follows, taking us to Kirkby Stephen, soon after which we will retrace a short section of yesterday morning’s ride before the final, mainly downhill 20kms lead us home.

Day 5
Carlisle, Penrith and the Northwest
56 Miles / 90 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1200 Metres Approx.

A slightly shorter day lies ahead as we round things off with a route that takes us along much of the northern section of the Eden Valley. 

We change direction before reaching Carlisle in order to avoid riding through the city itself and head for the first time into the region to the northwest of Langwathby. A series of quiet country lanes will lead us into the far northeastern edges of the Lake District National Park where we spend much of the rest of the afternoon riding through delightful and seldom-visited, rural villages such as Heskett Newmarket, Mungrisdale and Greystoke.

We descend down into and through Penrith before one final, steep but short climb delivers us safely back to our hotel where we’ll pack up the bikes before one final evening together.

Day 6
Non Riding Day
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: Non Riding Day

All good things must come to an end and, sadly it is time to bid farewell. Drivers are free to check out and leave as they please and scheduled transfers back to Penrith Station will be arranged for rail passengers.

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The Cycling

Terrain

From our base in the Eden Valley our route takes us over a variety of terrains, ranging from some classic climbs over the wide hills of the North Pennines to the punchiest of short steep climbs and descents.

Road surfaces are generally good, however, as is the case in all rural regions, it is not uncommon to encounter occasional gravelly sections and potholes in some areas. Similarly, cattle grids, wandering sheep and other livestock are frequent. Good bike handling skills and a reasonable level of fitness are required.

For the most part, small, quiet country lanes have been chosen however we do occasionally venture onto larger busier roads. Traffic levels are generally low but can increase during holiday periods.

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Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 - 4: Moderate/ Challenging

Distances between 50-75 miles / 80-120km per day

For more regular riders who like to push themselves a little from time to time

Not extreme but certainly challenging on occasions with some good climbing opportunities

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re an enthusiast. Road cycling is probably your main hobby and you ride regularly at weekends, staying on the bike for much of the day. You’re in pretty good shape, and you might also participate in cylo-sportive events. You also love a challenge and are looking for a tour with some good climbing, preferably with an opportunity to tick off some famous Tour de France cols, or the like. You’re a competent descender, and you’re not afraid of speed, but you ride safely and within your limits at all times. You understand road etiquette and you’re comfortable riding in a bunch. You might even take a stint at the front of the pack if the need arises.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
25/09/2022
Guaranteed
Return Date
30/09/2022
Duration
6 days
Price
$1,385.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full support service including a guide qualified in First Aid and a back up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike

D) GPX files available upon request

E) Scheduled train station transfers on arrival and departure days

What's not Included Cross

A) Personal clothing and equipment

B) Travel insurance

C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

D) Bike & helmet rental (available if required)

E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

F) Single room option (may be available if required)

G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres

H) Other optional activities

I) Train station transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

The arrival point is Langwathby. If you choose to drive, you will be able to leave your car for the duration of the trip. If travelling by train we ask that you arrive into and depart from Penrith Train Station. Train station transfers are included in the holiday cost and there will be a Skedaddle transfer at 16.00 from the train station to our accommodation.

At the end of the holiday there will be a morning transfer back to Penrith train station. Please do not book a return train before 10.30am.

Please contact us for the suggested arrival and departure times for your holiday and check with us before making any travel arrangements, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers and logistics.

Please note If you make alternative travel arrangements, which fall outside of the group schedule, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

In the UK we use good quality 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs, inns and family-run guesthouses that are cycle friendly, located close to the cycling route and showcase the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting.

Where possible we prioritise locally owned businesses and those offering locally sourced food, drink and speciality products. This all promotes sustainability in-line with our responsible travel policy.

All our UK trips are operated on a double/twin-share basis.

Single occupancy rooms can be provided for a supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have road bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically Giant Contend, great bikes with good quality components. If you do decide to hire and would like us to provide a helmet for you too, please let us know at time of booking, otherwise you should bring your own helmet with you. Please do also let us know if you plan on bringing your own clip-in pedals, or if you will use the flat pedals which our hire bikes come fitted with.

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