Waking up in the middle of Three Peaks territory with a sunny glow in the valley was one of the best moments of our trip. Today is supposed to be a hard ride along the iconic Three Peaks route with stunning views and some amazing gravel roads. After packing our bags, we headed towards Settle and from there on we followed the road to Helwith Bridge, the town where the famous Three Peaks CX starts.
With the first of the Three Peaks, the Pen-Y-Ghent, along our side it was time to steer our bikes off the road for some nice rough paths. The clear blue skies joined us while we tackled the steep climbs this region is famous for. When we have reached one of the many fences that are spread all over the bridleways, we hear a water stream coming down the hill.
Surprises, just around the corner
Curious as we are, we decide to take a look. So we climb over the brick wall separating the bridleway from the water stream. We are totally surprised with what we find on the other side of the wall. A big pothole collects the water from the stream. This is why we felt in love with this region in the first place, you never know what you can expect around the corner.
After the quick stop we set course to the second of the three peaks, Whernside. But just before we conquer our next Peak we have a big descent in front of us with a crossing of the Ribblehead viaduct. This impressive railway viaduct was built in the 19th century and is still in use, we even saw a train crossing it while passing it. From the valley that this viaduct crosses you have some spectacular views where you can spot all three of the peaks if you look close enough.
The Bike #2
Tires: 38mm pathfinder – Tubeless Setup
Suited for this ride: 80%
After the passage of the viaduct, the next challenge was just around the corner as we had to climb the highest of the three peaks. Even though the route we took to overcome Whernside wasn’t particularly steep, the muddy grass field still caused enough of a challenge.
Quiet roads and amazing views
Slowly but steadily we crawled our way up the 736-meter-high hill. Being almost at the top we got some nice rocky sections to test our technical skills, all went well, and we took the amazing downhill towards Ingleton. As we hit the tarmac again, we leave the third peak – Ingleborough – behind us and set on a north-western course towards the Lake District National Park.
Some long kilometers are ahead of us in the chase of our next destination. Immediately as we ride into the National Park we are amazed by how different it is to the Dales. All the forests block your view but on the other hand present you some off the best and quietest roads you’ll find.
After a long day on the bike we almost reach our residence for the night right along the edge of the Windermere Lake. There is only one steep hill that separates us from our next pod. Of course, like any other road in this region, it is short and steep. But we managed to also tackle the last climb of the day and we safely reach our destination. Another incredible day on the bike.
UK Bikepacking: Harrogate – Newcastle