Week 6 Day 39 – Friday 1st May

  • 65 minutes at 130 watts
  • Max heart rate = 152 bpm
  • Calories = 551 (total so far 13475)
  • Distance covered = 23.41 miles
  • Total distance so far = 465.88

Sleeping better, but after more than five weeks of cycling, I confess to feeling a bit tired and I kept the watts at a sensible 130. Not having to concentrate on the hill changes, we used the opportunity to watch Question Time instead of listening to music. This might not have been the most sensible choice given the circumstances, but at least there was some talk of coming out of lockdown which provided a glimmer of hope. At the end of the session, I had achieved 23.41 miles which matched my previous PB. 

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Keeping to minor roads, I make my way south and into the outskirts of the Lake District National Park. My route takes me through Greystoke, which some readers may remember from the 1984 film Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. In the story, Tarzan is the son of the heir to the 6th earldom of Greystoke.

The village itself has many cottages dating back to the early 17th century but its claim to fame, Greystoke Castle, dates back to the early 12th century when Ivo, grandson of the local Saxon chieftain Llyulph laid the first stones on the site of the present structure. This grew over the centuries to become one of the border fortifications with a huge Pele tower. Despite lying derelict for the better part of a generation and succumbing to a devasting fire in 1868, it is now back in private hands and being restored whilst being a popular wedding and events location, with some B&B facilities as well.

And at last I am back into stunning countryside as I arrive in the village of Patterdale (originally St Patrick’s Dale). Dog enthusiasts will know it for giving its name to the Patterdale terrier, supposedly named after a dog show held there.

It’s a pretty little village in a great location at the southern end of Ullswater, in the shadow of Helvellyn and Place Fell with plenty of fabulous walking and climbing opportunities. 

Helvellyn is a popular challenge for the serious climbers and David has reached the top here on more than one occasion with his ‘Morgan’s Marauders’ on their annual boys’ weekend away – serious eating and drinking are also involved or so I’ve heard! If you don’t fancy the climbing, you can enjoy a steamer tour of the lake or maybe use it as a taxi to get you to your next walking base.

We will always be grateful to the talented Beatrix Potter who, when she died in 1943, left 14 farms and 4000 acres to the National Trust. She had been advised on her land purchases by Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the pioneering founders of the National Trust and a recent article in the NT magazine is a good read on this beautiful corner of England.

 So much beauty relatively ‘on our doorstep’. It will be interesting to see if the post lockdown travel rush is to foreign climes or whether more people will choose to travel and holiday in the UK. Our tourist industry is certainly going to need support and we hope that our ‘travels’ have inspired plans for holidays ‘at home’.