Sunday 18 March 2012

RSF ride to Mallerstang

North from High Dolphinsty

Sculpture on the "Highway"
RSF members on the Highway,
Wild Boar Fell in the background
Having met at "The Duo" cafe in Sedbergh, the seven of us set off on the A685 towards Kirkby Stephen. The scene to the west was the impressive Howgills. Once past "The Street" we turned east and followed the Pennine Bridleway, which makes a well graded passage to the ridge of Wild Boar Fell at "High Dolphinsty". We sat beside the wall and ate lunch in the warm sun. Lunch eaten we descended into the Mallerstang valley, turning north for a short way the next track headed south. This was the re-surfaced "Highway" much used by Lady Anne Clifford as she travelled between her castles in the Dales and Cumbria. the climb is all rideable, these days.  The sculpture, which is prominent on the skyline for the ascent is weathering well, we regrouped at this point before continuing along the excellent turf to Hellgill. The "Highway" carries on following the edge of the escarpment, crossing several streams before we dropped down to the "Moorcock Inn" along a newly created part of the Pennine Bridleway. Coffee was taken at the Inn, no cake on offer mind, so chocolate bars were the meagre rations. Another short section of Pennine Bridleway to Garsdale Station, where Don had left his car, so after saying our goodbyes we pedalled down Garsdale back to Sedbergh, the low sun showing the Howgills and Baugh Fell to great advantage. Today has felt like spring is finally here, lots of buds starting to appear in the hedgerows at last.

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