Biking Coast to Coast Family Adventure Capital

Goodbye Lakes, Hello Pennines: Up Hartside Summit to Alston

Written by Stuart Wickes

Up Hartside Summit to Alston: C2C Day 4

Day 4 of our C2C ride took us from Penrith, up and into the Pennines and onto Alston, one of England’s highest market towns. After several overcast days it was a pleasure to see the sun. Oh and the snow on the climb up to Hartside Summit.

Penrith Shops

From grey stone of Keswick to sandstone of Pennines & Eden.
Before leaving town we stocked up with supplies for hills ahead

At Little Salkeld, a rest before the climb

Little Salkeld Mill

After first few hills, we stopped off for tea and organic cake at the pink Little Salkeld Mill

Little Salkeld Mill C2C

Where even the evidently free range chickens looked interested in a Mill Tour

No time to visit the stone circles

Signpost on C2C

On the road beyond towards the Pennines we passed a Druid’s navigation aid

C2C signpost

With Hartop Summit to conquer we didn’t have time to visit

Incentives are what it’s all about

Creme Egg Reward

We knew the kids might need incentivising
for the big climb to Hartside Pass

Hartside Summit Warning Sign

And were left in no doubt that
conditions at the top could be harsh

Snowballs on the way up

Climbing Hartside Pass

But we took it in stages, rewarded ourselves for each 100m of climb

Snow on Hartside Pass C2C

Put on extra layers to deal with the cold and focused on reaching the cafe at the summit

Snow Hartside Pass

We thought there was time for fun and to reach the cafe before it closed

But disappointment at Hartside Summit

Hartside Cafe Closed

Unfortunately it was already closed when we arrived…
.. frozen pipes

Hot chocolate

Fortunately we had brought our own provisions

A frozen moment and then the descent

Hartside Summit

For a brief but cold celebration

Riding down to Alston

Before a magnificent descent down to Alston

Into Alston for a warm up

Alston Cumbria

And some cobble bashing to reach a cafe before closing time

Night riding traffic lights

By the time we’d eaten it was dark again, leaving us with a short night ride
to find our accommodation at the Lovelady Shields Country House Hotel
You can read about our stay in this wild part of Cumbria here.

Have you taken on a family challenge?
Do leave a comment and tell us about it. 

See more of our Winter Coast to Coast (C2C) Photo Journals

We did this C2C ride across England, from Workington to Sunderland, as part of our Family Adventure Capital Season. We’re exploring different ways families can adventure together in and around Cumbria, sharing ideas and inspiration to encourage families to get out, get active and adventure together.
Got some ideas for things we should try? Let us know.

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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