ALL PRICES ARE PER CAR i.e. TWO PEOPLE SHARING
Includes full detailed road books, entrance to venues, souvenir awards, ferry (if applicable) and dinner, bed and breakfast each night.
WESSEX WANDER SUNDAY APRIL 6TH
A chance to sample CCT(MK) without committing to a bigger event. Eighty mile clock wise tour of North Wessex starting at Sutton Scotney, then heading north along the edge of Salisbury Palin to the Vale of Pewsey, and continuing further north to cross The Ridgeway. There will be a stop for afternoon tea at Littlecote House with its amazing Roman mosaic. The return run takes us along the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty before we follow ‘The Chute Causeway’ on our way back to Sutton Scotney.
PRICE - £59 per car, tea included.
(Accommodation at additional cost, can be arranged by contacting the organisers)
Download booking form here
TOUR OF WESSEX 6th - 9th April
We start from Sutton Scotney and head south to the edge of The New Forest before turning west through the forest to Cranbourne Chase, passing Blanford Forum to a coffee stop at the picturesque ancient village of Milton Abbas. From here we head west via the Cerne Abbas Giant and Beaminster and back to the coast. We then spend the first of two nights at our comfortable hotel in Sidmouth.
The morning route takes us along the coast via Seaton and Lyme Regis and on to Weymouth and the spectacular Chesil Beach which brings us to Portland Bill for lunch. In the afternoon we turn inland through Weymouth to Winterbourne St Martin and via ‘The Hardy Monument’ and the Roman Road which takes us into the hills and valleys around Powerstock. We then follow the Wessex Ridgeway and on to a tea stop at Ford Abbey. More undulating country through the valley of the River Varty brings us back to Sidmouth for our final night.
£699 includes 3 nights, dinner b+b for 2, plus entry to venues.
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THE DEVON TOUR
Today we head west, skirting Exeter and on towards Dartmoor via the famous village of Widdecombe, (Old Uncle Tom Cobbley etc), where we stop for coffee.
Then we venture out across the moors passing close to the infamous prison before a stop for lunch at a country pub. We then head north again along the edge of the moor and on to Dartington where we visit the crystal factory and have tea. It is then only a short run to our hotel in Barnstaple
We have a spectacularly scenic day today as we complete a clock-wise circuit of Exmoor. First we stop off at the Hunters Inn for coffee before traversing the breathtaking cliff edge road to the Valley of the Rocks. As we head east we stop off at Porlock Weir for lunch after descending the toll road with its beautiful views of the coast. After lunch we make the severe climb up Porlock Hill onto the moors which we criss cross with stunning views of the Bristol Channel before we head back to Barnstaple.
Once again we head out across the moors on our way to the Brendon Hills and a stop for coffee at the Bishops Lydeard terminus of the West Somerset Steam Railway. From here we head south to avoid Taunton and then east through the East Devon Hills to a lunch stop at the impressive Harrington Court. From here we meander through the Blackdown Hills and on to Yeovilton and the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Finally we head north across the edge of the Wiltshire Downs, passing Alfred’s Tower, and the famous Longleat House on our way to our hotel in Bradford on Avon and our farewell dinner.
DEVON TOUR 4 Nights dinner, b+b. £999
COMBINED TOURS ABOVE
(Including Sunday’s Wessex Wander) 6 nights, dinner, b+b £1499
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THE SKYE HIGH TOUR May 11-18th
Option to arrive on Saturday and visit the nearby Barbon Hillclimb as part of the Classic Car Display. The hillclimb is part of the National Championship and features all sorts of cars, including single seaters tackling the hill in a very picturesque setting in the Lune Valley, only 10 miles from our hotel.
DAY ONE SUNDAY 11TH MAY
We start from our local base, the Crooklands Hotel and head straight into the mountains via Kirkstone Pass, just to get a taste of things to come. We follow the shore of Ullswater, possibly the most attractive of the Lake District lakes, to a coffee stop at one of our favourite hotels, Leeming House, on the edge of the lake.
From here we head north to the Solway Coast which we follow round to Gretna Green where we can take lunch at the Blacksmith’s Shop. In the afternoon we take the old A74 Glasgow road, now superseded by the motorway which runs alongside for some of the way, until we see the hills rising ahead of us as we approach Moffat. As we leave Moffat we climb along the flanks of ‘The Devils Beef Tub’, a huge natural hollow once used by cattle rustlers to hide their stolen livestock, before cutting across country to another of our favourite hotels, Cardrona near Peebles
DAY TWO MONDAY 12th
From Cardrona we head over the moors towards Edinburgh where we stop for coffee and have a look at the Forth Bridges. We then take the motorway for a little while to get us round the built up areas before cutting across country to the shores of the Firth of Tay. We will cross the TayBridge and have lunch at the Discovery Centre in Dundee. (Where Scott’s ship, the Discovery is moored).
After lunch it is back along the north shore of the Firth before heading north into some spectacular scenery as we pass through Pitlochry on our way to the famous Queen’s View for tea.
It is then only a short run up the valley to Loch Rannoch and our next hotel right on the shore of the loch.
DAY THREE TUESDAY 13th
Today we head into some wild open country as we climb over to Glen Lyon and follow the full length of the Glen westward. We then climb over the mountains to Loch Tay and head further west through Glen Dochart to Crianlarich. Here we turn south and follow the shores of that most famous loch, Loch Lomond. We continue down the loch to lunch at Luss before crossing the hills to the shores of Loch Long. From here we head north again and climb the infamous ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ and then descend into ‘Hells Glen’ and our hotel on the shores of Loch Goil.
DAY FOUR WEDNESDAY 14th
We have a long drive today but the first half is on good main roads.
First we climb the other side of Hell’s Glen to descend to the shores of Loch Fyne and Inverary. As we head north we pass the shores of Loch Awe and then take our first minor road up the picturesque Glen Orchy, passing the rapids and waterfalls on our way to Bridge of Orchy for coffee. The remote mass of Rannoch Moor follows before we drop down through the atmospheric Glen Coe and cross the Ballachulish bridge on our way to the Coran Ferry.
The ferry takes us across Loch Lhinnie to the stunning Kingairloch coast road where we will stop for lunch in a remote restaurant hidden at the head of the loch surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
There is still a long way to go in the afternoon as we climb over the hills to Loch Sunart and wind our way through the forest northward. We then follow the striking west coast on our way to Mallaig and the ferry to Skye. Once on Skye we still have still have some 40 miles to drive up the island with the imposing CuillinMountains ever visible as we make our way to our hotel of the same name
DAY FIVE THURSDAY 15th
A ‘Free Day’ to do as you please. You may like to ‘chill out’ around our sumptuous hotel where we stay another night, or take a full tour of the island.
DAY SIX FRIDAY 16th
Another spectacular day as we take in two awesome passes, but first we leave the island via the charming Kylerhea Ferry. This tiny, unique, turntable ferry which only takes 6 cars takes us across to the mainland where we can stop for coffee at Glenelg. Next we start our ascent of the lesser know Nam Rattigan Pass. This starts with a steady straight climb but once at the summit there are awesome views over Loch Duich and the Five Sisters Mountain Range. We then descend to ShielBridge and ‘circle’ the loch to the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eillean Donan where we can have lunch.
After lunch we skirt the shores of beautiful Loch Carron and head for the road you have all been waiting for, the infamous Pass of the Cattle. ‘Bealach na Ba’ to use the Gaelic name, climbs from sea level to 2,500 feet and back to sea level in little more then 6 miles. After this spectacular drive we have a gentle run around the shores of Loch Torridon and then turn across country with an optional stop at the idyllic village of Sheildaig before continuing to our hotel, Coul House. Just one night here I am afraid – it is getting too popular!
DAY SEVEN SATURDAY 17th
Some new territory today. We head east to the Dornoch Firth and BonarBridge before meandering through he hills to Strath Brora and Loch Brora before dropping back to sea level at the village of Brora. We then run south along the coast for lunch at the impressive DunrobinCastle.
After lunch it is south to Dornoch and then onto ‘the Black Isle’. We cross the isle, which is actually a peninsula, via the tiny ferry to Cromarty and follow the Moray Firth to Inverness. We skirt Inverness, passing the site of the Battle of Culloden before climbing over the hills to Aviemore. We stay here for one night in another comfortable MacDonald Hotel.
DAY EIGHT SUNDAY 18th
From Aviemore we take the main A9 south over the Pass of Drumochty and Glen Gary for a little ‘retail therapy’ at the House of Bruar. A drive high into the mountains will then take your mind off the money spent! We head through Glen Errochty to the pretty village of Kenmore at the head of Loch Tay and then climb over the hills into Glen Quaich and pass Loch Freuchie on our way to afternoon tea at Glen Eagles. (You will notice that there is no lunch halt mentioned – you don’t need lunch with a Glen Eagles tea awaiting you!). Fortunately it is only a short run down the main road to Dunblane for our final hotel, conveniently placed near the A9 for an easy get away in the morning.
SKYE HIGH TOUR £2,499 9 nights dinner, b+b+Mallaig Ferry
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THE HIGH ROADS TOUR JULY 13 - 17th
PEAKS AND DALES TOUR
Start at Buxton (overnight accommodation on Saturday available) from the very comfortable Lee Wood Hotel where coffee will be available for those arriving in the morning. We go straight from Buxton to the infamous ‘Cat and Fiddle Pass’ and after passing the pub of that name we descend the first few hairpin bends before turning off the main road towards Macclesfield Forest. Here we skirt the Ridgegate Reservoir before returning to the higher moorland roads of The Peak National Park.
We then follow the ridges and valleys with views in every direction on our way into The Staffordshire Peak District.
The next section has it all! Tunnels, fords, narrow little lanes and picturesque villages as we pass through the Manifold Valley on our way to the picture postcard village of Ilam. We stop near here for coffee at the interestingly named Peveril of the Peak hotel. Another picturesque village, Tissington, follows soon after, and another ford as we head across country to Carsington Reservoir and then on to lunch at the Tramway Museum at Critch.
After lunch we take the higher quieter roads away from the valley bottom and tourist honeypots of Matlock and Bakewell as we head for the imposing Chatsworth House for tea. After a meander around this most stately of stately homes, there is a relatively short run back to Buxton. But, we are not finished with the scenery or interesting roads yet, as we go via Monsal Head and Millersdale.
PEAKS AND DALES TOUR
One day £59 includes; coffee, entry to Chatsworth and Tram Museum.
Accommodation not included.
Download booking form here
Accommodation for those doing the remainder of the tour will be included at Lee Wood Hotel, Buxton.
HIGH ROADS TOUR
Again we leave Buxton and straight into wonderful scenery. This time our first view is the Goyt Valley which we travel through and into the next valley before dropping down to Whaley Bridge and Chapel en le Frith, the home of Ferodo brakes! We then climb upto the flanks of Mam Tor, the highest of the peaks which gives us a spectacular view over the pretty valley of Edale. From here we cross and then follow the Derwent Reservoir (used for testing the Dam Buster Bombs) before climbing the Snake Pass. From the summit, on a clear day, there are views over much of the Manchester conurbation, but after descending to Glossop we turn away into the hills again. We pass several reservoirs and negotiate the ‘Devil’s Elbow’ before reaching the foot of Woodhead Pass. However we don’t stay on this busy trunk road as we turn off to head into ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ country and coffee at Holmfirth, the base for this old TV series.
From Holmfirth we criss-cross the Pennine Moors, starting with Saddleworth and then back towards Ripponden (crossing the M62 motorway) and then past Blackstone Edge Reservoir to the almost un-pronounceable Mytholmroyd! We then climb onto the Lancashire Moors and stop for lunch near Widdop reservoir.
After lunch we cut through the edge of Burnley on our way to Clitheroe via the ‘Nick of Pendle’ and over the hills into the next valley for tea by the riverside at Slaidburn. There is just one more moorland road to cross, with fantastic views of the Yorkshire Three Peaks before we descend to lower ground and into Cumbria and our hotel at Crooklands.
THE HIGH ROADS/PEAKS AND DALES
Sunday and Monday only, 2 nights dinner, b+b, £499
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THE CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA
Today is a day of high points! The highest railway station, the highest main road, the highest pub, the highest waterfall and the highest town.
We start in typical Cumbrian lanes which give surprising views around every corner. The first is Killington Lake. Despite being a service area on the M6 the reservoir which gives it the name is situated below a beautiful ‘back drop’ of the Howgill Fells with the motorway hidden in cutting below. We continue towards the Howgills crossing a surprisingly narrow bridge and pass through the Lune Gorge high above the motorway. We then turn back down the other side of the valley where there are more fabulous views of the Lune Valley ahead and the Lakes Mountains in the distance. We then follow the Lune to Sedbergh and into Dentdale where we will stop at Dent with its cobbled streets, for coffee.
We then continue further up the dale and climb ‘The Corkscrew’ onto the ‘Coal Road’ passing Dent Station, the highest main line station in Britain, only four miles from the village it serves. It is then down into Garsdale and on to the Buttertubs Pass, the highest main road in Britain. This then leads us to lunch at the highest pub in Britain, Tan Hill. From this vantage point you can see miles and miles of --- er, nothing! Just moorland and sheep!
We descend from the wild Pennine moors via Stang Forest to Barnard Castle and on to Teesdale where we can stop for a look at High Force, the biggest waterfall in Britain. (It is not technically the highest but has the greatest volume of water. Very impressive however you describe it.) From here there is a long stretch of really good driving roads on virtually deserted moors before we reach Alston, the highest market town in England. From Alston we cross the spectacular Hartside Pass, Cumbria’s answer to the Stelvio?? We can stop for tea at the summit where on a clear day there are stunning views over the Eden valley to the Lakes Mountains and as far away as the Galloway Hills in Scotland with the Solway Firth in front.
After descending the fabulous sweeping hairpin bends down into the valley, there is just a short run to our hotel on Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the lakes, Leeming House.
FOOTNOTE The 1000 Mile trial is passing through the area today and we must cross the route at some point. This is a recreation of the original event in 1900 and is open only to vintage and veteran cars.
THE ‘PASS-OVER TOUR’
No, not a religious festival, but the day we ‘do’ the big passes. We start with a gentle run through the quiet Matterdale valley and down St John’s in the Vale to Thirlmere. We go around ‘the back’ of the lake before crossing Dunmail Raise and descending to Grasmere and Rydal Water. We then pass through Ambleside and visit one of the Lake District’s iconic views, Tarn Hows, before we stop for coffee at Coniston.
Then comes the challenge. First the extremely narrow road through Little Langdale which brings us to Wrynose Pass. Wrynose is the milder of the twin passes, although it rises to roughly the same height, it is a steady climb and descent whereas Hardknott Pass which follows has severe gradients and sharp bends both up and down. There is a good view of the Eskdale Valley from the summit. We will continue down the valley to the spectacular scree slopes at Wastwater and then lunch might be welcome.
The afternoon run takes us over Cold Fell with views of the Irish Sea on one side and the Lakes high mountains on the other. We pass the lesser known Ennerdale Lake (not to be confused with Emmerdale!) and continue to three beautiful lakes in a row, Lowes Water, Crummock Water and Buttermere. After this picturesque interlude it is more mountain climbing as we cross Honister Pass and descend into Borrowdale for tea.
Refreshed, we follow the ‘Cat Bells’ road high above Derwent Water and head north past Bassenthwaite Lake and on into the north Cumbrian Fells. Here we get a view of the mountains, Skiddaw and Blencathra, from a different angle as we drop down through Caldbeck and back to Ullswater and Leeming House.
The full length of Ullswater awaits us today followed by our penultimate pass – Kirkstone. After following this beautiful lake and climbing over the pass with its views of Windermere below and some breathtaking views into the Troutbeck valley, we by-pass the actual town of Windermere and cross the main A590 at Staveley. As we head into south Lakeland we go across country into the Lythe Valley and stop at one of our old ‘haunts’ we haven’t used for sometime, the Heaves Hotel, for coffee.
Then we meander through some typical ‘Kirk roads’ with surprise views of the Kent estuary before following the shores of the estuary through Sandside and Arnside. (Originally the only bit of coast line in Westmorland until the Furness Penninsula was included in the relatively new county of Cumbria). From the ‘seaside’ we head inland over some unusually flat countryside and then climb over Hutton Roof for lunch in Kirkby Lonsdale. Although in Cumbria, Kirkby Lonsdale is situated barely a mile from the border with Yorkshire and Lancashire. There will be time for a stroll around this charming town on market day.
After lunch we stay in Cumbria and follow a typical ‘Yorkshire Dale’, Barbondale with its almost vertical dry stone walls. Actually the dale does end in Yorkshire as we descend into Dentdale. However on this occasion we turn back along another ‘Kirk road’ towards Sedbergh and then north through the pleasant Cautley Valley. At the head of the valley we will turn off onto the ‘Tommy Road’ (don’t ask!) which drops us down into Mallerstang where we turn north again. We join the main road briefly to cross Ash Fell with its wonderful views of the upper Lune Valley before striking off across the moors again. Here we can see Sunbiggin Tarn with the Howgill Fells behind as we make our way to Orton village. First we descend Orton Scar with more views of the Lune Valley and the Howgills before a stop for tea at the delightful little chocolate factory in the village.
The final leg takes us onto the infamous Shap Fell and we return to Kendal over the main A6 road now surprisingly quiet since being superseded by the motorway, and with views as far as Morecambe Bay – on a clear day. After passing through Kendal it is a short run back to the Crooklands for our final night.
CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA (Start at Crooklands) 4 nights, dinner, b+b £999
COMBINED HIGH ROADS TOUR (Including Sunday) £1299 5 nights,d,b+b
Accommodation can be arranged for Saturday night at extra cost.
Download booking form here
THE SOLWAY SOUTH WEST TOUR August 3-9th
We start with dinner at one of our favourite hotels, LEEMING HOUSE on the shores of Ullswater.
We leave Ullswater and after crossing the M6 at Penrith, head north over Penrith Beacon with views across to the Lakes Mountains and then descend into the Eden Valley with views of the Pennines ahead. As we skirt Carlisle we stop for coffee at Lanercost Priory close to Hadrian’s Wall. From here we go further north along the edge of the mighty Kielder Forest on our way into the Borders where we stop for lunch at the Woolen Mill in Hawick.
From Hawick we make a detour to the west to pass Alemoor Loch and crosss the hills on the edge of Craik forest with panoramic views of the Border countryside in every direction. We then head up the Ettrick Valley to Selkirk and then follow the Tweed to Traqhair House for tea. This Scottish Country House looks more like a French Chateau and has its own brewery! From here it is only a few miles to another of our favourite hotels, Cardrona, neat Peebles.
We actually start by heading due south, but this brings us to the beautiful St Mary’s Loch and then onto the stunning views of the Megget and Talla Reservoirs, hidden gems of the Borders. We then head across country via the Tinto Hills to an optional coffee stop/comfort break at the M74 motorway services. We cross the motorway and continue westward to Kilmarnock and then take the motorway to Ardrossan to catch the afternoon ferry to Arran. The crossing takes 55 minutes so lunch can be taken on board, or on arriving at Brodick, on the island. Our hotel for the next two nights is just ten minutes from the ferry so you may like to explore the local area before dinner.
We suggest an anti clockwise figure of eight route around the island – although you may prefer to do your own thing. Our route takes you south from Brodick then across a minor (Kirk road) following the Sliddery Water(!) to the south west coast. Then follow the coast eastward with views of Ailsa Craig, the rock out in the Irish Sea, and as you start to turn north, the Scottish mainland. You will then pass some pretty seaside villages where we suggest a coffee stop at Lamlash.
Then continue back to Brodick and follow the coastal road to the north of the island.
You will pass the brewery and perfume factory (optional stops) and then climb over the mountains to Lochranza where there is a picturesque Castle on the shore, a distillery and the ferry to the Mull of Kintyre. There are plenty of options for lunch here, but if you continue along the coast and head south again you will come to a small hotel, The Catacol Bay, perfectly situated above a beach with views across to Kintyre.
From here continue down the island to the second picturesque ‘major’ town of Blackwaterfoot. Then return over the mountain to the hotel.
We catch the morning ferry back to Ardrossan and make our way south down the motorway to Ayr where we stop for lunch at the Rabbie Burns Heritage centre. After lunch we follow the coast south with views of Ailsa Craig as we pass the amazing phenomenon of “Electric Brae”, where you can stop in the lay-by and experience your car rolling uphill! We then turn off the main roads and head to the woods! We continue virtually due south through the unspoilt Glentrool Forest, rejoining the main road briefly at Newton Stewart and onto our hotel for the next three nights.
Uncharted territory today, i.e. a completely new area for CCT(MK)! – The Wigtown Peninsula or the Machars. Wigtown is the ‘book town’ of Scotland and this is our first port of call as we make our way along the Solway coast. We then go right to the tip of the Peninsula at the Isle of Whitorn where we can look across the Solway to the Lake District mountains. From here we take the coastal road north along the shore of Luce Bay, around Luce Sands and down another peninsula to the Mull of Galloway. The nearest land across the sea is probably the Isle of Man which may be visible on a good day. We then make our way north again to the pleasant little harbour town of Port Patrick for lunch. On a very clear day the northern tip of Ireland may be visible.
After lunch we loop round to Loch Ryan which forms the natural harbour for the Irish Ferries before we pass through the old ferry town of Stranraer. This traditional crossing point has now been superseded by modern harbours at Cairnryan and Port Ryan on the opposite side of the loch. Our return run takes us back to the edge of Glentrool Forest again, as we return to the hotel.
Some spectacular and remote scenery today as we drive north into the Galloway Forest Park. We pass the tranquil Clatteringshaws Loch and then cross the hills to Drumlanrigg Castle for lunch. After lunch there are some real driving roads as we climb to Wanlock Head, Scotland’s highest village, and then return by the parallel valley through the Lowther Hills. If you don’t enjoy these roads – you don’t enjoy driving!!
The return leg takes us across Nithdale to Loch Ken and Laurieston Forest back to the hotel for our final dinner.
Journey home, A75 to Gretna then M6 45 MILES.
SOLWAY SOUTH WEST TOUR £1,999 - 7 nights, dinner, b+b + Arran Ferry
Download booking form here
THE HOLLAND AND HARZ (TWIN TOWNS TOUR) September 3-12th
Our home town, Kendal, in the English Lakes is twinned with RINTELN in Germany, near the Harz mountains, so the idea of a tour has been ‘brewing’ for some time. With the success of the 2013 Costa Brava tour we thought it time to venture abroad again.
We take the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam sailing at 5.00pm.
We arrive in Amsterdam at 9.30 am.
We take the motorway around Amsterdam and head north to the shores of the Markermeer, the large man made inland sea near Amsterdam. We cross the water by the first of two long dams for a re-group and coffee stop at the museum in Enkhuizen
which gives the history of how this area was created. There is a large outdoor museum with re-constructed villages etc as well as an indoor museum and several cafes.
We then head north again to cross the second dam holdingback the Ijsselmeer from the North Sea – or vice versa! We continue to follow the coast as near as possible until we start to turn south again along the Dollard Estuary to our hotel literally on the estuary. This amazing hotel is constructed on stilts above the water and is connected to the shore by a covered walkway.
Today we cross into Germany and head north again following the coast around to Willhelmshaven passing through the Wadden Sea National Park which is a World Heritage Site, and then south to the Wildershauser Geest, a long range of hills where there is a wild life park. Wilhelmshaven is where the Graf Spee was built and there is still a naval base and museum. We then head south across country to our hotel for the next four nights in Rinteln. This charming ancient fortified town is situated in the picturesque countryside of Lower Saxony, on the banks of the River Weser not far from Hamlin, of ‘pied Piper’ fame. In fact the whole area has connections with fairy tales.
A ‘free day’. You can relax around the hotel or take a walk through the town with its numerous half-timbered buildings or sample the locally brewed beer!
Fairytales, witches, and trains. We have them all today.
After driving through ‘Pied Piper’ country we reach the Harz Mountains proper. However instead of driving to the top we will take a steam train to the summit of the ‘Glochen’ where we may be greeted by witches! In the afternoon we make a circular tour through the forests back to the hotel via the first of the ‘Dam Buster’ Dams.
A short drive down the motorway to Wolfsburg and the Volkswagen factory.
Here we can have a tour of the factory, museums and the amazing Autostadt, a sort of multi-storey car park where the cars are ‘stacked’ by robots and then selected as customers choose them. (You have got to be there!)
We can spend most of the day here as there are restaurants and other attractions on site. We will return to the hotel by a slightly different non-motorway route through the edge of the forests.
A long drive today as we head south through the forests again to mountains where the ‘Dambusters’ raids took place. We will visit the other two dams, the Edersee, and Sorper, and have lunch here. In the afternoon we take the motorway north to avoid the built up areas of the Ruhr and make our way to our hotel in the pretty town of Nordhorn near the Dutch Border.
Today we cross back into Holland and after a cross country run we return to the ‘Polders’ and the remarkable area of re-claimed land and deep dykes and picturesque lakes. We then make our way into Amsterdam for the night.
A ‘free’ morning in Amsterdam before we catch the ferry home at 5pm.
We arrive in Newcastle at 9am.
There is then the option to return straight home, or a quick visit to ‘The Angel of the North’ (the imposing metal statue overlooking the A1), and then cross the Yorkshire Dales to Kendal. After an early meal we can then visit (and hopefully take part in) the TORCHLIGHT Carnival around the town.*
*Overnight accommodation in Kendal will be extra and will need to be booked well in advance as there may well be a big demand for hotels on the night of the carnival.
Details of options can be supplied.
PRICE £2,399 7 nights, dinner, b+b plus Newcastle ferry.
Download booking form here
THE AUTUMN TOUR October 18/19th
We have to have ‘an end of term’ tour so that all our regulars can have one final get together. Some people may need to do another to try to beat the record???
After exploring the northern reaches of the Lakes and Dales for the last few years we will try the extreme south of the area in 2014 and for the first time base ourselves in the pretty market town of Kirkby Lonsdale.
THE LONSDALE BELT
Initially we won’t go into the ‘deep south’, we will stay in Cumbria and follow the valley (belt!) of the River Lune. Leaving Kirkby Lonsdale on the quiet backroads we will follow the river for a while before crossing the picturesque Rigmaden Bridge. (Not to be confused with the Rimagen Bridge made famous in WW2 films!). We then follow the river north crossing it again on a narrow bridge which is a listed structure and then onto Firbank. Here we follow the disused ‘Little North Western Railway’ with its impressive viaducts before crossing the River again at Crook ‘o Lune. Regulars will remember this as being a very narrow bridge! The effort is worth it though as the road leads us to the ‘Fairmile’ with its spectacular views over the Lune Gorge with the West Coast mainline and M6 motorway ‘tiered’ on the opposite hillside.
After passing through Tebay we follow a more gentle stretch of the Lune on our way to lunch at the Fat Lamb at Ravenstonedale. From here we make a short diversion via the ‘Tommy Road’ (A Kirk road with its own name) with views of the Mallerstang Valley as we cross the Settle-Carlisle Railway and follow the River Eden for a while. There will be an optional stop to view some amazing ‘swirl pools’ jut outside Kirkby Stephen before we return south over Ash Fell. which gives us a panoramic view of the upper Lune Valley. We then make another detour across the hills between the Eden and Lune before descending Orton Scar with more views over the Lune to the Howgill Fells beyond.
We will stop in Orton at the charming little chocolate factory for tea, before tackling another ‘Kirk Road’ over the intriguingly named Loups Fell. (Loup being French for wolf??) Hopefully un-scathed we descend to the banks of the Lune again, but this time with the M6 as a backdrop. We soon climb away from the motorway and from the summit of the next hill we are rewarded with a spectacular panorama of the Lune Valley ahead, the Howgills to the left and the lakes Hills to the right.
The return run to Kirkby Lonsdale takes us past the picturesque Killington Reservoir.
THE BOWLAND BELT
A new direction today. First we visit familiar territory a few miles down the road from Kirkby Lonsdale, Ribblehead and its famous viaduct. We then continue down Ribblesdale with views of Pen-y-ghent on or way to coffee at the Watershed Mill in Settle. From Settle we take the old main road over what was once an infamous climb, Buck Haw Brow. This road is now by-passed and the hill poses no problems to modern traffic. We then cut across country to more remote countryside and some traditional road rally roads. As we climb across the fells heading south we get wonderful views over Gisburn reservoir and forest to Pendle Hill in the distance.
After crossing the reservoir we emerge from the forest and head west through the pretty village of Slaidburn. From here we climb over the hill into the lower reaches of Ribblesdale turning west again in another picturesque village, Waddington. After a short run we reach our lunch stop hidden away down a country lane. A small shopping and craft centre with a superb restaurant.
Suitably fortified we set off for the next climb over Longridge Fell with views over the Lancashire coastal plain on one side and the Forest of Bowland hills on the other. We descend steeply to the Bowland side, meandering through several villages and getting nearer to the hills, each little road giving more views of scenery reminiscent of Scotland. After passing through Dunsop Bridge we enter the ‘Trough of Bowland’, a cross between a deep valley and a mountain pass. As we climb out of the valley we reach the ‘Jubilee Tower’ on the hill above the city of Lancaster. Here there are stunning views across Morecambe Bay – weather permitting. We approach Lancaster with the prominent Williamson Monument ahead before turning north again and back into the Lune Valley. The last section home could perhaps be described as a ‘prequel’ to yesterday’s Lonsdale Belt as we follow the River, more or less! back to Kirkby Lonsdale with the un-mistakable silhouette of Ingleborough always ahead.
PRICE £749 3 NIGHT’S DINNER, B+B