Day 22. Leyburn to Kendal. 76km. 1000m climbing.

We woke in our pleasant little campsite to a slightly misty morning. I know camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but we feel very pleased that we still really enjoy it. We love our little tent, the simplicity of camping and the fantastic locations you wake up in.

As we set off cycling up Wensleydale on a lovely quiet road on the opposite side of the valley to the main road we were soon in tea shirts but the brooding clouds over the moors quickly caught up with us and we had our first rain for a couple of weeks. By the time we had pondered whether to put on the full rain kit including overtrousers and overshoes, the answer was obvious as the heavens opened. Soon the road was like a river but our kit was good and we stayed dry on the inside. After about half an hour the rain eased and we were dry for the rest of the day.

The scenery was stunning and the cycling relatively easy and we could just potter along taking it all in. We had our morning stop in the pleasant town of Hawes. I was fretting that after this our Kamoot route (our route planning app) had us going the next 18 miles along an A road. It usually avoids any main roads but after looking at the alternative options we decided to continue the easier route along side the river. All soon became clear as the ‘A’ road crossed a tiny weak bridge so any heavy traffic had to turn on to the B road and we found ourselves cycling on what must be one of the quietest A roads in the country (although I do recall an A road in the outer Hebrides which was a single track road with passing places).

We ambled up river and eventually climbed out of Wensleydale and over to Garsdale Head. The scenery still fantastic, the road still very quiet as we passed from Yorkshire into Cumbria and were soon cruising down lovely Garsdale. Just before Sedburgh, the Howgill Fells reared up before us. The compacted rock of the fells resisted the glaciers of the ice age, resulting in smooth rounded hills, compared to the limestone rock of the Yorkshire Dales. The Dent Fault marks the geological transition where the earth buckled he rock 270 million years ago. It all made for great views.

The last section to Kendall took us on some tiny roads up ‘get off and push’ hills but soon we were rolling into Kendal and arrived at our hotel about 2.30pm. Although we had done 76km and 1000m climbing, little of it was tough and arriving early felt like a half day. To took the opportunity to rest and relax in our comfortable room (we like camping but also not averse to a decent hotel!). In the evening we found most restaurants in Kendal are closed in Monday evening but we were fortunate that an excellent Thai restaurant was open and had a delicious meal to finish off another lovely day.

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