Ten riders met at Ferry Nab for the ferry, to cross Windermere. Possible showers from lunchtime, that could be heavy was the weather forecast that we looked forward too. After the ferry across the lake, Bill's route meant that we missed the climb to Far Sawrey, as his route took us along by the lake and through Cunsey Wood and onto Graythwaite Hall, a right turn took us over the climb and down to Crossland and into the Rusland Valley. We went down the valley via Causeway End to Bouth, we thought about a stop for coffee, but decided with the weather forecast to press on, whilst it was still dry and try to get to the lunch stop in the dry.
On the quite, undulating roads, we continued via Spark Bridge and Lowick Bridge. The instructions Bill had provided, had pointed out a group photo opportunity at Nibthwaite. Overlooking the southern end of Coniston Water is a modern sculpture figure, it looks to be by Antony Gormley, in the same style as his famous figures now permanently erected on Crosby Beach. Normally Mike who works in the local Tourist Information Offices is able to give us up to date information, but this sculpture was news to him, we are sure it has only been put in place within the last year, other than that we don't know any more about it.
Then only a short way alongside the eastern shore of Coniston to Brantwood, for a well earned lunch stop. Fully refreshed, we then made our way down to Coniston, as Mike and Celia needed to get back earlier they left us to take a short cut over Hawkeshead Hill to get the ferry back, we went on the A593, past Yewdale and High Cross towards Skelwith Bridge. Before the bends at the top of the main descent down to Skelwith Bridge, we turned right along a minor road, which gave lovely views over Brathay, Loughrigg and Ambleside, then past Bull Close we turned right to get to the crossroads at the Drunken Duck. A right turn here took us towards Hawkeshead Hill, but we soon turned left - too soon it transpired - as we should have gone down Skinner How Lane, but instead we went down from Knipe Fold and onto the B5286, a bit of confusion was soon resolved with our local knowledge (?). A brief stop in Hawkeshead, and on towards the ferry, it was just pulling away as we arrived!
Despite the poor forecast, and the darker sky we'd seen after lunch, along with the few light spots in Hawkeshead we got back without any rain, or the forecast heavy showers - to nicely round off an anjoyable, if hilly ride. Thanks to Bill Jackson for his route, around 36 miles - Bill could not lead his ride so I tried to follow his instructions and lead it for him - Neil Hazlehurst
P.S. Spot the odd one out?
The next ride is on Sunday 6th April and starts from Kendal Leisure Centre at 10.30, Janet and Paul are leading the ride to Bowland Bridge, of around 30 miles. Ring either - Peter Raffle - 01524 761801 or Bill Jackson - 015394 44179 for further details.