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ITINERARIES 2015

PLEASE NOTE; THESE ITINERARIES ARE ‘A WORK IN PROGRESS’AND EVERY DETAIL HAS NOT BEEN FINALISED AT THIS STAGE. SOME ALTERATIONS MAY BE NECESSARY AS WE COMPLETE OUR RECCE VISITS. ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WILL BE UPDATED ON THE NEWS PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE. ANY FEATURES OMITTED WILL BE REPLACED BY SOMETHING OF SIMILAR QUALITY. (1/11/14)

ALL PRICES ARE PER CAR i.e. 2 people sharing.

THE STUFF THE TURKEY TREASURE HUNT

Everyone is invited to help celebrate my birthday with a light hearted treasure hunt around the scenic Cumbrian countryside. Accommodation is available at the event base*, (my local), the Station Inn or the Crooklands Hotel 6 miles down the road.

* Limited availability – first come first served.

KIRKBY LONSDALE MOTOR CLUB

In Association with

CLASSIC CAR TOURS (MK) and THE STATION INN

PRESENT

STUFF THE TURKEY

 

TREASURE HUNT/CLASSIC CAR RUN

START STATION INN 11.30AM

ENTRY FEE  £10 per car

includes coffee and mince pies. 

CRYPTIC AND ‘OBSERVATIONAL’ CLUES 

30 MILE SCENIC ROUTE

PRIZES FOR CLASSIC AND/OR ‘TOPLESS’ CARS

N.B. TO BOOK AN ENTRY PHONE OR TEXT,

MIKE KIRK   07795204533  BEFORE SUNDAY 28th

 

e.mail – mikekirkrallying@aol.com

THE DIAMOND DEVILS 60 TOUR

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club.

 

The final itinerary will depend on the exact  format of the DEVILS OWN CLASSIC RALLY. The ‘Devils’ was Kirkby Lonsdale’s foremost road rally of the 60’s through to the 80’s, resurrected in 1995 as a Historic Rally. The rally takes its name from Devils Bridge in Kirkby Lonsdale and in the 70’s was part of the prestigious Motoring News Championship, and attracted names that were to become famous, such as Tony Pond and Russell Brookes and even Prince Michael of Kent

SATURDAY MARCH 28th  THE BOWLAND BELT

The weekend starts with a non-competitive tour over some of the roads used by the Devils Own in its heyday.  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 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 and a famous rally section. 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 the ‘Lonsdale Belt’ as we follow the River Lune, more or less, back to Kirkby Lonsdale with the un-mistakable silhouette of Ingleborough always ahead.

OVERNIGHT = CROOKLANDS HOTEL (or option of Heaves Hotel)

SUNDAY 29th   THE LITTLE DEVILS TOUR

Today we follow the route of the ‘LITTLE DEVILS TESTS’ with chance to watch the rally cars in action on some of the tests and follow some typical rally roads through the picturesque Cumbrian countryside. Some tests are not accessible to spectators so we will make a little detour into the Lake District and visit the excellent LAKELAND MOTOR MUSEUM for lunch. After lunch we return via the edge of Morecambe Bay with a chance to see some more rally tests on the way. We will finish at the HEAVES HOTEL in time to see the rally prize giving and have dinner.

 

PRICE from £199   2 NIGHT’S DINNER, B+B

There is the option to stay Friday night before the start or Sunday after the event.

THERE IS AN OPTION TO STAY AT THE ‘RALLY HEADQUARTERS’ – THE HEAVES HOTEL, FROM £119 FOR ONE DAY’S TOUR AND ONE NIGHT DINNER B+B.

NOTE; THOSE TAKING PART IN THE COMPETITIVE RALLY WILL GET FIRST OPTION OF STAYING AT THE HEAVES.

CONTACT CCT(MK) FOR OTHER OPTIONS

Download booking form her

Kent to Cotswolds Tour

April 19 - 23rd

SATURDAY 18th  Welcome dinner and overnight near Ashford.

SUNDAY 19th

An anti-clockwise loop of East Sussex and Kent.

First we head south west to Tenterden and Sandhurst stopping for coffee at the Kent and East Sussex Railway. We then head further west via the Darwell Reservoir and then south to the coast. We will have lunch above the spectacular cliffs of Beachy Head.

After lunch we head inland again but not before we pass Pevensey Bay, and then we turn north to the Pevensey Levels on our way to the town of Battle of 1066 fame.

From here we go further east to ancient town of Rye then back to the coast at Camber Sands and stop for tea near Dungeness.

The final leg takes us along the coast following the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch miniature railway. At New Romney we turn inland and cross the marshes on our way back to Ashford for the night.

OPTION TO DO JUST THE SUNDAY RUN - £40 (NO ACCOMMODATION)

MONDAY 20th

Today we leave Ashford to the north, passing through Kingswood before turning west on minor roads before briefly joining the A20 where we pass the ‘famous’ Lenham Café, stopping off point for Monte Carlo Rally contestants on their way to Dover in years gone by. You may like to stop for an early coffee and check out all the rally memorabilia. The official coffee stop is a little further on at the charming Scotney Castle.

We then cross Bewl Water as we head north west towards Tunbridge Wells. We skirt the town and go cross country through the forests to have lunch at Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway. The Bluebell was the first preserved standard gauge steam line in Britain.

The afternoon run takes us across Ardingly reservoir and then further west to Horsham and the picturesque countryside of the South Downs. After crossing the Downs from north to south we will have tea at Goodwood House, home of the Festival of Speed. We then return across the Downs to our hotel for the night near Winchester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY 21st

Today we start in a northern direction going around Andover and along the Chute Causeway to the intriguingly named Chilton Foliat. We then cross the Lambourn Downs and the Vale of White Horse before heading across country to Cirencester and into the Cotswolds. Today’s route takes us straight across the Cotswolds south to north to our ultimate destination, Stratford on Avon.

WEDNESDAY 22nd

The Cotswolds in more detail, but first a visit to the National Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon. After what I am sure will be a lengthy coffee stop at this collection which includes just about every British car made, we start a clockwise loop of  the picture postcard villages which have made the Cotswolds famous.

Our route takes us through, Moreton in the Marsh, Stowe on the Wold, and Chipping Norton to lunch at the fantastic Blenheim Palace.

The afternoon route takes us back to Stratford via  Burford and Bourton on the Water before heading onto higher ground and a stop for tea at the Broadway Tower which affords panoramic views over the Vale of Evesham.

4 days 5 nights (includes Saturday night) £1,299 per car 

Download booking form here

 

WESTERN ISLES TOUR

SATURDAY  May 30th

Overnight Linden Hall, nr Newcastle, just off the A1.

Anyone wishing to visit Cragside House, the first house to be powered by electricity, set in picturesque grounds, can do so today as it is only a few miles from the hotel.

DAY ONE. SUNDAY May 31st

A new starting point for our Scottish Tour this year which enables us to include some different points of interest. In fact, today is full of famous land marks.

We start with a run to Alnwick where we pass the castle made famous by the Harry Potter films, then cross the A1 and make our way to the Northumberland coast. We continue through Seahouses, famous for its ‘Fish and Chips’ although it is perhaps a little too early to indulge in this delicacy. We stop for coffee a little further on at the imposing Bamburgh Castle perched high above the North Sea with views out to the Farne Islands.

After coffee and a look around the castle we head inland, crossing the A1 again on our way to Wooller and into the picturesque Borders countryside on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. We then make our way to Kelso and lunch at the magnificent Floors Castle. Then after lunch it is a short cross country run to Duns, the home of Jim Clark where  we can visit the ‘Jim Clark Rooms’, a poignant memorial to this most famous of British racing drivers.

Leaving Duns we head into the Lammermuir Hills with spectacular panoramic views over the Tweed Valley and the intriguingly named ‘Black Adder Reservoir’.

The final leg of today’s run takes us around the Edinburgh Ring Road to a short motorway run to our hotel.

DAY TWO, MONDAY June 1st

We start today with a visit to the ‘Kelpies’ just across the motorway. These statues based on mythical creatures are stunning silver horses heads as high as an electricity pylon. They look quite impressive from the motorway but much more so from close up, and you can actually go inside them.

From the Kelpies we cut through the urban area around Falkirk to coffee at our next amazing attraction, the Falkirk Wheel. This is actually a rotating lift which carries canal barges between different canals at different levels and is fascinating to watch in action.

After coffee we leave the urban sprawl and head off into open countryside through the Carron Valley below the Campsie Fells. We continue to Aberfoyle and the Trossachs to traverse the wonderful Dukes Pass. This main road snakes through the Achray forest to Loch Venacar via a series of superb and quite challenging bends. We then head north past Loch Lubnaig and into Glen Ogle and Glen Dochart where we stop for lunch.

The afternoon run takes us past the famous Green Welly Stop and through Glen Lochy and over the Pass of Brander down to Oban where we catch the ferry to the enchanting Isle of Mull. Once on the island there is still a 20+ mile drive to our hotel which gives us a brief taste of what the island can offer. We spend the next two nights at the Isle of Mull Hotel overlooking the pretty harbour of Tobermory with its colourful “Ballamoray” houses.

DAY THREE, TUESDAY
‘The Tour of Mull’ June 2nd

Today we complete a ‘figure of eight’ around this surprisingly large island.

From the capital, Tobermory we head across the ‘Mishnish Lochs’ road which crosses the spine of the island, passing the lochs of the above name and climbing  and descending a series of hairpin bends which give spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and glimpses of islands far out to sea. At the tiny village of Dervaig we turn left into Glen Aros. This remote valley is the home of Golden Eagles, although you will be lucky and privileged to see one! We will stop for coffee at the islands next largest village Salen, before cutting across the narrowest point to the west coast.

We then head south again following the dramatic Gribun Rocks road where for a while the road clings to the cliff face above a sheer drop into the sea, but with ever increasing spectacular views out to the other Hebridean Islands. We eventually turn inland to the remote but impressive Glen More with its series of small lochs hopefully sparkling in the sunshine! with the mighty Ben More looking down on us as we make our way east through this huge wilderness and into the forest.

We will stop for lunch at Duart Castle overlooking the seaway to the mainland.

From here we take the road past the ferry port where we arrived yesterday, and continue back to Salen and go across the central ‘pinch point’ again. This time though we will turn north and follow the coast all the way around the island back to Tobermory passing the turquoise sea and white sands of Calgary Bay, where you might like to take a tea break.

DAY FOUR, WEDNESDAY June 3rd

We don’t have far to go from the hotel to catch our ferry off the island. It literally sails form the jetty below the hotel and takes us around the north east coast of the island, not accessible by road and then across the sea to the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula. From the tiny mainland ferry port of  Kilcohan,  we meander through this unspoilt area on our way south east and along the shores of beautiful Loch Sunart. We then turn back west and take the stunning coastal road along Kingairloch. We will make a small detour off the ‘beaten track’ to lunch at an idyllic little restaurant on the edge of the loch surrounded by mountains.

After lunch we return to the ‘main road’ and continue back into the mountains. We climb over the hills until we descend toward Loch Sunart again with fabulous views all around. We skirt the end of the loch again and rejoin the main road to return the way we came this morning back to the Ardnamurchan peninsula, but this time we continue north through the forests until we reach the west coast again. From here we join the main road to Mallaig and enjoy the views out to sea and the islands of Rum, Eigg and Muck. 

 

At Mallaig we catch the ferry to Skye, but once on the island we still have 40+ miles to go, as we skirt the Cuillin Mountains on our way to Portree and our hotel situated high above the harbour with views of the mountains in the distance.

DAY FIVE  THURSDAY, A ‘Free Day’  June 4th

A free day to explore the island or simple have a rest. There will be optional routes and places to visit, but it is your choice today.

DAY SIX, FRIDAY    June 5th

A special driving day! First we leave Skye via Glen Aroch which gives superb views of the Sound of Sleet below. This is the narrow strip of water between Skye and the mainland and we cross it via the tiny Kylereah ferry which only takes 6 cars at a time. Once on the mainland we climb over the Nam Rattigan Pass which provides us with fantastic views over Loch Duich to the Five Sisters Mountain range as we descend to the shores of the loch. We go around the loch to a coffee halt at the well photographed Eilean Donan Castle.

After coffee we skirt another lovely loch, Loch Carron before tackling the infamous Beallach na Ba, or Pass of the Cattle. We climb from sea level to over 2000ft up Alpine like hairpins to the summit from where we can see over the islands of Raasay and Skye below. The descent isn’t quite as dramatic but the views over Applecross Bay are just as spectacular as we return to sea level and lunch.

The afternoon run takes us round the coast past beautiful little secluded coves on our way to the picturesque village of Shieldaig where we can stop for a break in this idyllic setting. From here it is back into the mountains and you can’t get much nearer the mountains than on the single track road from Torridon to Kinlochewe.

From here we turn southwards and pass the view point looking down on Loch Maree before we take the ‘fast’ road back to Inverness and our hotel.

DAY SEVEN, SATURDAY   June 6th

We leave Inverness on some quiet back roads as we make our way to the eastern shore of Loch Ness and stop for a coffee right at the end of the loch where we can look for the monster!? From here we continue down the Great Glen passing Loch Oich and Loch Lochy before turning off the main road at the Commando Monument near Spean Bridge. We then follow the Caledonian Canal down to the flight of lochs known as Neptune’s Staircase where we have lunch.

After lunch we skirt Fort William and turn north under the shadow of Ben Nevis on our way back to Spean Bridge where we turn up the glen past Loch Laggan and its impressive dam. North of the loch we turn south over the moors to join the A9 and the Pass of Drumochter and down to the House of Bruar where you may indulge in some retail therapy at this amazing emporium which sells everything Scottish.

It is only a short run then over Glen Errochty to our hotel on the shores of Loch Rannoch.

DAY EIGHT , SUNDAY June 7th

First today is a visit to Queen’s View on Loch Tummel before we go further south to the pretty village of Kenmore on Loch Tay where we can have a coffee.

From Kenmore we climb into the mountains and cross into Glen Quaich with Loch Freuchie ahead of us down the valley. It is then a main road run through Sma Glen to Crieff where we will have lunch at the impressive Hydro Hotel.

After lunch we go across country through Glen Eagles, the valley not the hotel!, and pass Scotland’s main racing circuit, Knockhill, before joining the motorway to take us south. We cross the Forth road bridge and then take a little detour into South Queensferry to get a better view of the famous rail bridge and the construction of the new ‘Third Crossing’.

Unfortuntely there isn’t a pretty way from her so we take the Edinburgh ring road until we reach the A7 and head towards the Borders. After leaving the city we turn off the main road and go through a quiet valley to our hotel near Peebles.

DAY NINE, MONDAY optional  June 8th

It is relatively easy to reach the A7 or A702 south to Carlisle if you want to take a direct route home. Alternatively there is a slightly more scenic route via the Talla Reservoir and then down to Moffat where instead of taking the motorway we can take the ‘old road’ which runs parallel. This good B-road is now very quiet and we can follow it all the way to Gretna Green. From Gretna we take some minor roads to by-pass Carlisle and cut across the foothills of the Lake District mountains to the shore of beautiful Ullswater. We then can end the tour with one last scenic adventure by continuing down the length of Ullswater and go over Kirkstone Pass to the Crooklands Hotel. It is then only 5 minutes to the M6 so it is up to you whether you carry on or stay over night.

9 days 10 nights dinner, b+b and ferries*  £2749 per car

* excluding ferries which cannot be pre-booked.

OPTIONS  

1. TOUR OF MULL     4 days 4 nights, up to and including the Isle of Mull Saturday night prior to the start.   £999

2. TOUR OF SKYE     4 days 5 nights starting on Skye.   £1,299

Download booking form here 

THE GREAT NORTH ROAD TOUR

A totally new tour based on the idea of following the old Great North road from London to Edinburgh. However there seems little point in driving into London just to drive out again so we will start further north and also we will not stay on the main road, now the A1, for any longer than necessary. Instead we will make regular diversions onto more scenic and quiet roads on either side of ‘the great north road’.

DAY ONE, Monday June 29th.

We will start some way up the A1 at Wyberston Lakes near St Neotts where accommodation will be available prior to the start. We will follow the A1 briefly until we turn off for our first detour around Grafham Water, and then go north across country to the village of Oundle. From here we turn further west and pass under the spectacular Harringworth railway viaduct, the longest in England. There is then a short run to picturesque Rutland Water where we stop for coffee.

We complete an almost circular tour around this man made lake before heading to Melton Mowbray (of pork pie fame) and then north west towards Nottingham. We by-pass the city though and go through the famous Sherwood Forest. Hopefully un-impeded by outlaws we continue back to the A1. We then stop off for lunch at Barnby Moor, a famous checkpoint on Monte Carlo Rallies of old.

After lunch we have another short run up the A1 before skirting Doncaster and making our way to Selby and Tadcaster on our way to our hotel north of York.

DAY TWO, Tuesday June 30th.

We set off west and cross the A1 again towards Knaresborough and then head into the edge of the Yorkshire Dales via the impressive Fountains Abbey. We then run north parallel to the A1 passing through Ripon and on to Masham where we can visit ‘The Black Sheep Brewery’ – for coffee!

We then head further into the Dales crossing the Middleham Gallops which afford superb views down into Wensleydale. We then follow Wensleydale, avoiding the army ranges at Catterick camp and on into the charming town of Richmond with its imposing castle high above the river. We can have lunch in the picturesque market square.

From Richmond we head back to the A1 at the famous Scotch Corner, but again we only use the main road for a few miles before taking to the ‘arrow straight’ Roman RoadDeere Street’. We then make another little detour to an ‘outpost’ of the National Railway Museum at Shildon. This is where the railways were born, being part of the original Stockton to Darlington line.

The A1 now goes through many built up areas around Newcastle so we will veer off north west to the tranquil Derwent Reservoir in the Durham hills. We do an almost complete circuit of the lake before making our way across country to our hotel north of Newcastle and just off the A1.

DAY THREE, Wednesday July 1st

Today is full of famous land marks.

We start with a run to Alnwick where we pass the castle made famous by the Harry Potter films, then cross the A1 and make our way to the Northumberland coast. We continue through Seahouses, famous for its ‘Fish and Chips’ although it is perhaps a little too early to indulge in this delicacy. We stop for coffee a little further on at the imposing Bamburgh Castle perched high above the North Sea with views out to the Farne Islands.

After coffee and a look around the castle we head inland, crossing the A1 again on our way to Wooller and into the picturesque Borders countryside on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. We then make our way to Kelso and lunch at the magnificent Floors Castle. Then after lunch it is a short cross country run to Duns, the home of Jim Clark where  we can visit the ‘Jim Clark Rooms’, a poignant memorial to this most famous of British racing drivers.

Leaving Duns we head into the Lammermuir Hills with spectacular panoramic views over the Tweed Valley and the intriguingly named ‘Black Adder Reservoir’.

The final leg of today’s run takes us around the Edinburgh Ring Road to the Forth Bridge where there is time for tea and a look at these amazing structures. A short motorway run finally takes us to our hotel.

OPTIONAL DAY FOUR Thursday July 2nd

Today you can do your own thing. Edinburgh is easily accessible by park and ride and the new tram service. Or why not visit the ‘Kelpies’ just across the motorway. These statues based on mythical creatures are stunning silver horses heads as high as an electricity pylon. They look quite impressive from the motorway but much more so from close up, and you can actually go inside them.

From the Kelpies you can cut through the urban area around Falkirk to another attraction, the Falkirk Wheel. This is actually a rotating lift which carries canal barges between different canals at different levels and is fascinating to watch in action.

We can then provide a route south through the Borders to pick up the M6 south or to Leeming House on Ullswater for an extra night.*

*There is a scenic route via the Talla Reservoir and then down to Moffat where instead of taking the motorway we can take the ‘old road’ which runs parallel. This good B-road is now very quiet and we can follow it all the way to Gretna Green. From Gretna we take some minor roads to by-pass Carlisle and cut across the foothills of the Lake District mountains to our wonderful hotel situated on the shore of beautiful Ullswater.

In the morning it is either a short run back to the M6 motorway or you can end your tour with one last scenic adventure by continuing down the length of Ullswater and go over Kirkstone Pass to pick up the motorway at Crooklands.

3 Days 3 nights       £699

4 Days 4 nights     £899

Download booking form here

 

THE GRAND YORKSHIRE TOUR

Yorkshire is the largest county in Britain and covers a huge diversity of landscapes from the rolling hills of the Wolds, to the wild moorlands of North Yorkshire and the picturesque valleys of the dales. In this tour we cover them all as well as visiting the capital of it all, York.

DAY ONE – Sunday August 2nd.  Western Dales

We start just outside Yorkshire at our local ‘base’ the Crooklands Hotel, just off the M6 motorway south of Kendal. However we don’t have far to go to cross the border as we go through Kirkby Lonsdale and on to Ingleton. As we turn north we pass one of the most iconic landmarks of the area, the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct which carries the Settle to Carlisle railway 100ft above the valley. We continue north through Ribblesdale and on to Wensleydale where we stop for coffee at the Hawes creamery. A ‘grand bit of Wensleydale cheese’ is made here.

After coffee we leave Wensleydale and climb over the hill in to Raydale where we get a surprise view of the picturesque Semer Water below, the only natural lake in the Dales. From here we take one of the roads made famous by last year’s ‘Tour de France’, the spectacular Buttertubs Pass which drops us down into Swaledale. We don’t stay in this valley very long as we climb back over the hill past the imposing cliffs of Oxnop Scar and then descend to Aysgarth in Wensleydale again. Continuing our zig-zag route we cross the hills again via Summer Lodge Moor and descend finally into Swaledale passing the oddly named hamlet of Crackpot! We by-pass the market town of Reeth by taking a minor fell road into Arkengarthdale via a small ford which featured in the opening sequences of the TV programme ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Yes, we are in Herriott country. We then cross some really remote countryside on our way to lunch at Tan Hill, the highest pub in Britain.

The afternoon run takes us back to Swaledale where we head west and are suddenly treated to a vast panoramic view over the Eden Valley (Cumbria). We actually descend into the valley and head south again down the Mallerstang valley passing the ruins of Pendragon Castle before making our way down Garsdale where we get views of Wainwrights “sleeping elephants” –the Howgill fells, to a stop for tea at the interesting Farfield Mill near Sedbergh. A final short run takes us back to the Crooklands for the night.

DAY TWO – Monday, August 3rd. Northern Dales

Again we start with a little bit of Cumbria – it is our ‘local patch’ after all! First we go past Killington Lake and on towards the Howgill Fells. After descending into the dramatic Lune Gorge we take a sinuous minor road (some would say a Kirk Road!) along the flanks of the Howgills high above the River Lune with the railway and the motorway ‘tiered’ on the opposite hillside. We follow the Lune almost all the way back to Kirkby Lonsdale before turning east into Barbondale. This spectacular steep sided glacial valley with its ‘vertical’ dry stone walls is actually still in Cumbria, but it drops us down into Dentdale and Yorkshire for coffee amid the cobbled streets of Dent village.

After making our way up the dale we reach Dent Station, the highest mainline station in Britain and ‘only’ 4 miles from the village it serves! The station is reached by a series of steep hairpin bends sometimes known as the ‘Corkscrew’, then once past the station we head over the Coal Road back to Garsdale. We then pass through Hawes again but this time take the road through Sleddale, which brings us right to the top of the Pennines. We then descend into Wharfedale where we will stop for lunch in Buckden.

We then traverse another remote and lesser known dale, Coverdale, which brings us to the Middleham Gallops where we get splendid views down the length of Wensleydale again. After the hairpin bends of West Whitton Bank we make a small loop around by Aysgarth Falls and Bolton Castle before heading east and out of the dales. The last leg today is through much flatter scenery but there are numerous pretty villages with fascinating names such as ‘Constable Burton’ and ‘Patrick Brompton’, as we make our way through the Vale of York to our new hotel just north of the city.

DAY THREE – Tuesday August 4th, The Wolds

A different sort of scenery today as we head out into the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. First we cross the flatlands of the Vale of York, north of the city, before entering more hilly countryside on the edge of the Wolds. We then climb steeply to the highest point of the Wolds near Garrowby Hill. We then run along the ridge gradually descending to Millington where we turn into a steep sided valley. Another climb up some hairpin bends brings us out of the valley to Warter Wold (not to be confused with Water World!). We then by-pass the little village of Warter, taking care to avoid the duck pond at the junction, and climb back onto higher ground heading north again. We now take the main road to Sledmere passing the imposing monument to Sir Tatton Sykes on our way to lunch at Sledmere House.

After lunch we cross the centre of the Wolds and pass through the ancient capital, Kiham where we follow the Roman Road east above Bridlington and the North Sea.

We don’t pay a visit to the seaside though as we turn north and head back across the Wolds on a ‘roller coaster’ ride over hills and through valleys although never climbing much above 150ft a.s.l. We then suddenly descend to the Filey/Scarborough road with views over the Carrs – the flat lands and waterways of the Derwent valley. Turning back to the hills again we follow the ‘Centenerary Way’ and take some little minor roads which afford views over the picturesque countryside near Malton. We don’t go into Malton today, instead we go cross country to our tea stop at the magnificent Castle Howard of ‘Brides Head Re-visited’ fame.

With just a final short cross country run back to  our hotel there will be plenty of time to enjoy this most stately of stately homes.

Day Four – Wednesday August 5th.  The City

A ‘free day’ to visit York City. Park and ride may be the best option today. There is plenty to see in this ancient city, famous for its Minster, Castle, river cruises, street entertainers and the National Railway Museum. The choice is yours!

Day Five – Thursday August 6th.  The Dales Revisited. 

This morning we start on some main roads to avoid the bottlenecks of Knaresborough and Harrogate, but we soon get out onto open country roads as we cross over Amscliff Crag and drop down to Lindley Wood Reservoir on our way to Blubberhouses. We then join the main A59 road to climb over Blubberhouse Moor following the wheel tracks of the 2014 Tour de France. From the summit we make the long descent to Bolton Abbey for coffee.

After refreshment we head back to the heart of the Dales going via Malham village before climbing into the striking limestone ‘pavement’ around Malham Cove and then on to Malham Tarn. As we climb high into the fells we run along the edge of the canyon  like valley of Cowside beck with the imposing Yew Cogar Scar on the other side. There is then a very sudden and steep drop down into Littondale before we head south again into Wharfedale. At Grassington we turn east over Hebden Moor and pass Stump Cross Caverns  before passing through Pateley Bridge into Nidderdale. We head north through this narrow valley passing Gowthwite reservoir and then climb over High Head Moor to the secluded Leighton Reservoir. It is then just a short run to Masham where we can have lunch at the Black Sheep Brewery.

Hopefully not too well refreshed! We return south for our afternoon run through more villages with fascinating names such as; Kirkby Malzeard, Grewelthorpe and Galphey on our way to Ripon. You might like to make an optional stop here for tea (if you need more refreshment) or simply to look at the Minster and museums. It is just a short cross-country run from here back to the hotel.

Day Six –  Friday August 7th.  The Mighty Moors.

The final day of our Grand Yorkshire Tour takes us onto the Moors which rise dramatically from the flatter surrounding lands to a huge plateau intersected by remote valleys. Another completely different area with fantastic views and lots of places of interest to make it a full final day.

A short run from the hotel takes us to the southern edge of the moors for a visit to the ‘Mouseman’ workshops where Robert Thompson produces his hand made furniture, each piece including a hand carved mouse on it somewhere. As we leave the village of Kilburn we soon see the White Horse of that name ahead of us on the flanks of Sutton Bank. We climb the bank by the minor road which passes  the white horse and brings us up onto the moors. We then meander through the very picturesque valleys of the Hambleton Hills before reaching the atmospheric ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.

We now take the main road north across the moors for a little way to the hamlet of Chop Gate where we turn off and head over the western edge of the moors via Carlton Bank which provides extensive panoramic views over the Vale of York and as far as Teeside – on a good day. We leave the moors briefly for a coffee stop in the charming little town of Stokesley.

It is only a brief deviation from the moors however as we climb up to the viewpoint overlooking Captain Cook’s monument and the strange conical shaped hill, Roseberry Topping.  We then return to the heart of the moors going south to Westerdale and on to the centre and highest point of the moors at Blakey Ridge where on a clear day you can almost see the whole of Yorkshire – almost! We continue across the ridge and drop down to the pretty village of Hutton le Hole before crossing to the next valley by the infamous Rosedale Chimney. This is a steep descent with sharp bends and takes us onto a north easterly route to Grosmont, the home of the North Yorks Moors Railway. Steam ‘buffs’ may like to stop here for lunch while the rest of us carry on to Whitby where we can have Fish and Chips on the harbour front, below the dramatic ruins of the Abbey which inspired the Dracula stories.

The afternoon run takes us back south west across the moors, going through Goathland,with another chance to see the steam trains, and the location for Aidensfield in the ‘Heartbeat’ TV series. Returning to the main road below the ominous looking structures of Fylingdales we pass a much more ancient phenomenum, the Hole of Horcum, a huge glacial depression gauged out of the moors.

As we make our way south we call in at the little Motor Museum at Thornton le Dale where we leave the moors and head into the Howardian Hills, north of Castle Howard. We return to the hotel on a cross country route which passes the Lavendar Farm at Terrington and goes through the pleasant village of Easingwold

All that remains is a farewell dinner and to say our goodbyes

SITHEE SOON! 

6 days 6 nights    £1499 (Night at Crooklands before start + £140 d, b+b)

OPTION 1. DALES TOUR 2 days 2 nights at Crooklands  £349

OPTION 2. DALES + YORK 2 days 3 nights inc. York       £549

OPTION 3. YORK, WOLDS AND MOORS  2 days 3 nights  £599

Download booking form here

THE SUMMER MONTE TOUR


A chance to follow a “Monte Carlo Rally” route without the many hours of driving in the dark and the snow and competing against the clock. This tour will follow roughly the route of the 2014 Monte Carlo Historique Rally. That event started in Glasgow but we will start at one of the traditional checkpoints further south. We will rendezvous for coffee at the Bell Inn at Barnby Moor just off the A1 north of Nottingham. Accommodation will be available if required the night before.

Day One – Monday, September 14th

Coffee at Barnby Moor

Rather than just follow the A1 south we will go via Sherwood Forest, Melton Mawbray and Rutland Water before crossing the A1 and making our way to the M11 south of Cambridge. It is then down to the dreaded M25 and over the Dartford Crossing to the A20. We will the stop off at another traditional Monte Carlo Rally Checkpoint, the Lenham Café where it is said that Ian Fleming got the inspiration for James Bond’s code name as he waited for the 007 bus into London. It is then a short run down to the ‘Chunnel’ and on to Calais where we spend our first night.

(Entrants from London or the south may prefer to join us at Lenham rather than travel north to Barnby just for the sake of it.) 

Day Two –Tuesday. September 15th.

We deviate from the rally route a little as it went straight down the main roads to Reims. We will follow ‘country roads’ south from Calais before going across country to Doullene and then south to Amiens. We skirt the town and take the ‘D’ roads south east to Compiegne and then the main road to Reims.

We don’t actually go into Reims as we make a small detour to the old Grand Prix Circuit at Geux. The circuit is now just a loop of connecting main roads but the atmospheric pit complex still remains. From here we go through the very picturesque countryside and pretty villages of the Champagne area, passing Chateau en Champagne before following the river on minor roads to Vitry le Francois. We then take the main road south to the ‘National Parc’ of the Foret D’Orient where we stay at a very pleasant hotel situated in the forest between the lakes.

Day Three –Wednesday, September 16th.

On leaving the hotel we pass the lakes as we make our way through the forest to pick up the main road east to Chaumont. We then have a long run south on ‘D’ roads through the sombre sounding towns of Gray and Dole which are actually on the edge of the picturesque Jura Region where we spend the night.

Day Four – Thursday. September 17th.

We start the day with a run on minor roads through rolling hills on our way to Champagnole, another Rally Checkpoint, and then on to the more mountainous country of the Huit Jura. We make our way south through St Claude and into even more spectacular mountain scenery. Continuing south we follow the shore of Lac Du Bourget and on to Aix les Bains and Chambery and over the mountain passes to Grenoble. After threading our way through the town we reach some real ‘rally stages’ as we head west across the Parc Naturel de Vercours. We climb out of this deep valley via the spectacular Col de Bataille before descending to flatter ground near Valence. Valence is a traditional re-grouping point for both the modern and historic Monte Carlo Rallies and is often the base for several day’s competition as cars do loops out into the mountains all round. We will only stay one night though as we still have a long way to go.

Day Five – Friday. September 18th.

A relatively short day in terms of mileage – but some of the most spectacular mileage so far. We follow the rally routes across the awesome Col de Perty on our way to another famous rally town, Sisteron. From Sisteron we cut across the mountains following the rally stage of the same name as we make our way to Dignes les Baines for the night. Digne is another checkpoint/re-group town on the rally.

Day Six – Saturday. September 19th.

Another real ‘rallying’ day. We set off on main roads but soon take small diversions on either side as we follow last year’s rally route and then head west into the real Alpine territory. The afternoon route sees us tackle the ‘Daddy of them All’, probably the most famous and most photographed road on the Monte Carlo Rally, The Col du Turini. From the café at the junction at the summit we descend from nearly 5,000ft right down to the Mediterranean via a series of spectacular hairpin bends and some nerve wracking drops! Our hotel for the next two days is right on the beach at Menton, just outside Monte Carlo.

Day Seven/Eight – Sunday/Monday September 20/21st.

Having come all this way it would be a shame not to have time to enjoy the ‘Med’, so you have a couple of ‘Free Days’ to enjoy the beach, visit Monte Carlo and drive the Grand Prix circuit, people watch in Casino Square or possibly do another little run into the mountains. (A reverse run of the Turini?) Your choice.

Day Nine – Tuesday, September 22nd.

The start of the return leg and the fabulous Route Napolean. Despite being a main road the Route Napolean climbs over mountain passes through some very rugged scenery. We will make a detour off the main route to take in the Gorge de Verdon, France’s Grand Canyon. We drive right around the ‘Canyon’ with its dizzying drops to the valley floor some 2000ft below before rejoining the Route Napolean near Castellane. We then return to Digne les Baines for the night, but not before climbing another mountain pass with amazing rock formations and numerous hairpin bends.

Day Ten – Wednesday, September 23rd

The route today is through slightly more gentle countryside as we make our way west to skirt the towns of Avignon and Nimes. The roads then get a little more interesting as we head into more mountainous countryside on our way to Millau. Here we join the motorway to go across the amazing viaduct high in the clouds above the town. Once on the other side we will drop down into the town to stay the night.

 

Day Eleven – Thursday, September 24th.

This morning we climb up out of the town to go under the viaduct, stopping off at the visitor centre right under the bridge itself. From here we descend into the valley and pass the huge supporting pillars, the tallest of which is as high as the Eiffel Tower. We then have a long main road run north to the amazing cliffside village of Rocamadour. We can have lunch here and wonder at how the village came to be built literally on a cliff face. From here we enter the beautiful scenery of the Dordogne and make our way to the mediaeval Town of Sarlat where we can have a coffee in the atmospheric town square which has changed little in hundreds of years.

We still have a way to go but can afford to take a little detour following the Dordogne to the village of Beynac with its cliff top chateau, and then turn north to Perigeux. We spend the night in the beautiful town of Brantome, the ‘Venice of the Perigord’, so called because it is surrounded by rivers.

Day Twelve – Friday, September 25th.

There will be time for a stroll round the streets of this pretty town before heading north on good main roads through the Limousin area and on to the Valley of the River Vienne. We follow the valley north, passing the Racing Circuit, Val de Vienne and on to Richelieu, of Cardinal Richelieu fame. We can have a coffee in one of the charming town squares surrounded by symmetrical buildings and next to the fountains. Heading further north we enter the Loire Valley and follow the river to Saumur and our hotel for the night situated immediately below the Chateau and on the banks of the river.

Day Thirteen – Saturday, September 26th.

Our final day but still plenty to see and do. Our ferry doesn’t leave Caen until late evening so there will be time to have a leisurely morning looking around the attractive town of Saumur, possibly visit the Chateau, or if it is your thing, the impressive Tank Museum. You may then like to have lunch in the attractive town square. A straightforward run north brings us to Le Mans where we can drive the famous circuit of the 24 hour race and/or visit the museum at the Circuit entrance. The afternoon run is on main roads (or toll motorways if you prefer) to Caen where we can have a farewell dinner before catching the overnight ferry which gets us back to Portsmouth for approx. 6.30am.

13 days, 12* nights, dinner b+b, and tunnel out, ferry return. £2899

(Based on the euro exchange rate December 2014 – if there is a significant change before booking in 2015 there may have to be an added surcharge.)

*Price increased from brochure price due to extra night, and includes 2 berth cabin on return ferry.

Download booking form here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA

An extension to our usual Autumn Lakes Tour taking in most of Cumbria including some parts we have never reached before!                    

DAY ONE  THURSDAY  OCTOBER 3rd

Starting from the Crooklands Hotel near Kendal we head north, by-passing the town on some minor back roads with views of the Lake District hills in the distance and the local fells ahead. We head towards the Howgill Fells but turn off west taking the narrow lanes below Grayrigg Fell and Potter Fell before we reach the main A6 road north. This is the infamous Shap Fell road which was once the main route to Scotland but is now a quiet backwater superseded by the M6 motorway. On reaching Shap village we cross the motorway to the east and descend into the picturesque EdenValley. We loop around the quiet lanes to a coffee stop at Appleby, the former county town of the now defunct county of Westmorland.

From here we briefly head towards the Pennines across the ArmyRanges at Warcop, but as there is limited access to this area we cross the A66 trunk road and follow some more quiet lanes to Brough. We then have to take the A66 briefly for the climb upto Stainmore where we turn back from this bleak moorland towards the EdenValley again. Our route provides fabulous panoramic views over the valley to the Lake District hills and beyond. After passing through Kirkby Stephen we cross Ash Fell which overlooks the LuneValley where we stop for lunch.

After lunch it is out onto the moors again above Sunbiggin Tarn with the Howgills behind before we descend Orton Scar with more views of the LuneValley. We then make a small detour to drive down ‘the middle of the M6 motorway’ before entering the remote and secluded Bretherdale. This brings us to the spectacular Lune Gorge and we follow the river to Sedbergh and then into Barbondale. We go down this impressive glacial valley with almost vertical hillsides which have dry stone walls somehow clinging to them as we make our way for tea in Kirkby Lonsdale. 

The final leg takes us across country to ‘the seaside’ and the beautiful Kent Estuary. This is the only short stretch of coast line that was in the old county of Westmorland. It is then just a short run back to the Crooklands.

DAY TWO  FRIDAY 4TH

Today we by-pass Kendal on the other side – literally on the Kendal by-pass. We soon take to country roads though as we cross the LytheValley and go over Gummers How which gives us views of Windermere below. We stop for coffee at the excellent LakelandMotorMuseum and then take the main road west. As we descend Grizebeck Hill we get amazing views of the Duddon Estuary, Black Combe and the DuddonValley. We then cross Corney Fell with views of the Lakes Mountains to the north and MorecambeBay to the south with, on a clear day, The Isle of Man ahead to the west. We turn inland before reaching the sea and go via the shores of Wastwater with its dramatic scree slopes before finally making for the coast and lunch at St Bees.


After lunch we visit the MinesMuseum in Whitehaven and skirt around the now quite pretty harbour which was once heavily industrialised and was the scene for the last (un-successful) invasion of British soil during the American War of Independence. We then meander through some pleasant countryside as we head back to the lakes with the mountains ahead of us. We pass beautiful Lowes Water and then go over WhinlatterPass, through the forests overlooking BassenthwaiteLake. A short main road run takes us past Keswick  under the shadow of Blencathra (Saddleback) and on to the most picturesque of lakes, Ullswater, where we stay at a charming hotel on the Lake shore.

 

DAY THREE  SATURDAY 5TH

We start by heading into the heart of the Lakes following the full length of Ullswater and over KirkstonePass to Windermere. We skirt the northern shores of this most famous lake on our way to the most famous and photographed view point at Tarn Hows. We then stop for coffee at the northern end of Coniston Water before making our way through the narrow lanes at the foot of the Langdales to Grasmere. The climb over Dunmail Raise, past the Lion and the Lamb, rock feature, brings us to the shores of Thirlmere. We take the road around the quieter west side of the lake (reservoir) and make our way into Keswick for lunch.


Suitably fortified we now tackle one of the great Lakeland Passes, Honister. After passing the slate mines at the summit we pass the beautiful lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water and then take some little lanes to take us around Cockermouth. We make our way through the lesser know parts of the north lakes until we reach the sea again at Allonby. We now follow this un-spoilt coastline north with views across the Solway to the Scottish Hills. Our final leg of the route takes us back to the lakes with views of the mountains from a different angle before we drop down to Ullswater again and our hotel. 

DAY FOUR – SUNDAY 6th

Our final day takes in some new areas which may not be automatically associated with Cumbria, First we head north across country, avoiding the city of Carlisle on some minor roads and then stop for coffee just over the Border at Gretna Green. This is only a brief detour out of Cumbria as when we start going east again we soon cross the border into the mighty KielderForest. We follow the edge of the forest south east through some very remote areas before stopping for lunch at the impressive Lanercost Priory.

The afternoon run takes us further east along Hadrian’s Wall before we turn south again. We go over the hills, crossing the NorthTyneRiver and on to Alston, Britain’s highest market town. From here we make the steady climb up to Hartside Top for tea. From here and from the spectacular run down Hartside Pass we get panoramic views of the EdenValley, the Lake District Hills and north over the area where we were this morning, the Solway Firth. The Alpine like bends and gradients of Hartside bring us back to the northern tip of Ullswater and just a short run to our hotel.

4 days 4 nights   £899

2 days 3 nights   £670 Fri/Sat/Sun
                           (Leeming House)

 
 



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