An outing

The other side of Whitby, taken from halfway down the stairs

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother who has recently visited Whitby and took this excellent picture of the town.

The other side of Whitby, taken from halfway down the stairs

We were promised a nice day today and although it had rained again over night, it wasn’t a bad morning even though it was cloudy and rather chilly again.  I was in no rush to get going on my bike as I was disappointed that the weather was not better but after a quick look round the garden…

poppies and clematis
The new clematis finally making an appearance along with the usual damp poppies

…I finally got going, armed with a banana, a honey roll, some dates and guava.

I was in a bit of a grumpy mood as I pedalled up the hill to the top of Callister, into a cool wind with grey skies overhead.   There have been far too few sunny, warm summer cycling days this year and although compared with Texas we are in a very good place, I still felt the lack of warmth on my back quite keenly.

The wild flowers are going over which didn’t help my mood.

ragwort and willowherb

Still, once I was over the hill and heading south there was extra food by the road side….


…and some interesting buildings to look at….

Eaglesfield Church
A curious looking modern church in Eaglesfield
The ex nuclear power station at Chapelcross being slowly and steadily dismantled

…and the occasional break in the clouds to cheer me up.

I also like trees so I enjoyed this row of four of them marooned in the middle of a field near Eastriggs.

Eastrigg trees

I was intending to visit the Solway shore when I got down to the coast but a quick look showed me that the tide was so far out that I could almost have walked across to England so I didn’t bother and went to Gretna where I had egg and chips for my lunch while people got married in the marriage room attached to the cafe.

Cheered up by all this, I headed further south into England after lunch.  There was a patch of pink nettles that caught my attention near Rockcliffe…


…and I had a look at the River Eden from a high bank.

River Eden

It was quite  a clear day even though it wasn’t sunny and I could look across the Eden towards the Lake District hills.

Lake District hills

The television mast at Caldbeck shows up very clearly.  We used to get our telly pictures from there via a relay on the top of a local hill but now we have entered the satellite age and get digital pictures from the sky.

I pedalled down to Harker, where I passed a major node on the National Electricity Grid.


I am amazed that I can pedal so close to so much power and not feel a thing.  It always seems a bit daring to go past the station.

I pedalled quietly along the back roads of north Cumbria, passing the church at Kirklinton…

A truly pastoral scene

…and shortly after passing the church, I stopped at a little stream because the sun had come out and I thought it was worth a picture…

Kirklinton stream

…and it had a nice bridge too.

Kirklinton bridge

My route took me back through Longtown and as it was such a nice day by now, I made a little diversion to Corries Mill on my way home which let me stop to eat my honey roll at another little bridge and stream.

Near Corries Mill

The stream may be in danger of being  blocked though as one of the large trees beside it has an ominous fungus growing on it.

fungus on tree

I was going to continue my diversion but some grey clouds looming up made me settle for a direct route home so I headed down to the A7 from Cubbyhill and had the great pleasure of a wind almost directly behind me to help me over the final two hills.

Because of my grumpy mood at the start, I had adopted a very gentle pace for the ride and although I speeded up a bit when I found the wind behind me, it was very relaxing trundling through the countryside and I finished the ride in a lot better mood than when I started.

Even having to stop to put my rain jacket on for a shower just as I got to Langholm did discourage me.

I ended up doing 63 miles in about five and a half hours including all the eating and photo stops so it was a good way to spend the day.  Mrs Tootlepedal had been very busy in the garden while I was out and as the rain had stopped, we had a walk round when I got home.

Special Grandma has produced a late flower….

Special Grandma

…and the poppies and wild eyed dahlias looked good.

poppies and dahlia

I had hoped that the new clematis would be fully open by this time but it was still rather tentative.  It should look very good when it does open.


I looked down at less showy plants which I should not ignore.

lobelia and viola
Lobelia and viola which flower faithfully for many weeks

I had enough energy to mow the drying green but not enough for the middle lawn which was on my to do list.  I had a shower and cycled up to the High Street to buy some milk to make custard to go with a plum crumble which Mrs Tootlepedal was cooking for our tea.

On my way back, I took a picture of some late sun which was brightening up the suspension bridge.

Suspension bridge in the evening sun

And that, apart from eating the plum crumble, concluded the business for the day.

No flying bird of the day but my son Tony’s friend Robbie has taken a remarkable picture of Tony’s two dogs enjoying a choral moment so here is that instead.

dog choir
‘Full throated’ is the correct description I think.

Those interested in the bike route can click on the map below for more details.

garmin route 26 Aug 2017


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “An outing

  1. I’d add “well and scarily toothed”, if such a description exists! The suspension bridge is very pretty, and you did well to ride the grumps away.

  2. Very glad you managed such a long ride in reasonable conditions. Fine views along the way and all that exercise – no wonder it lifted your mood.

  3. Looks like a lovely ride! I envy the countryside you have to ride in. After nursing a gimpy knee for almost a month we got out on out tandem yesterday for a short (32 mi) but lovely ride in 70F temps. The knee feels fine today!

  4. Your scene of the cows and castle remind me of the painting by English artists that I see on Antiques Roadshow. They’re usually worth quite a lot of money, so maybe you should enter your photo in the next show.
    Your brother’s bird’s eye view of the town is also very good.
    I thought your son’s dogs were fighting when I first saw the photo. I’m glad they were just singing.

  5. Lovely photo of Whitby. The viola and lobelia are such champions in the garden it’s good to have a mention for them. The rose is very pretty and it will be interesting to see the clematis fully open. So many places and views to enjoy on your ride and plum crumble when you arrived home… a lovely day! Those dogs!

  6. Years ago, I stayed in Whitby and that’s where I discovered my heart belonged to England. Unfortunately, I haven’t been back since. And, nothing like a very long bike ride to chase the grumps away.

  7. A beautiful ride with many sights. So green there in Scotland, but you have had plenty of rain! Still dry as a bone here, and it hit 100 degrees today. The forecast for this week look bleak in terms of heat relief. At least it cools down at night.

    Blackberries are in season here too, and we have been picking a lot of them from the back lot.

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