Saturday 13th January 2018
Nine of us (myself, Adam Hindle, Isobel Riley, Phil Morgan, Phil Jones, Sue Taylor, Dave Brook, Ian Gibson, Chris AKA Souper Mario Clippo set of from the cobbles for an on/ off road coastal/minor hilly route.
Fortunately my alter ego, Jeeves, had readied suitable attire for the 5/6 degree temparature allowing for a blustery South East wind. With Phil complaining he had to return to re-.dress shortly after leaving home I could only summise that his butler, the ageing Carruthers, was possibly showing signs of falling standards.
Heading West we picked up the canal towpath off Kepple Lane as far as the bridge near C&C supplies from there we took the supposedly metalled Witters lane it now being barely rideable on a road bike.
With doubts from Adam and Phil of whether the aptly named 'Roubaix North' Strava section would ever be 'kinged' again we continued.
Kicking South West we then took a short bridleway, literally through the driveway at Island Farm and on toward Nateby. Another track off Longmore Lane followed and after a minor navigational hiccup on my part, and the help of Isobel's skedadling skills and Sue Taylor's superior local knowledge we got back on track. Several twisty and winding minor roads then brought us to Hambleton and the pleasant but muddy coastal road around Wardley's Creek.
Given a mediterranean climate and a change of sand, Wardley's Creek could be so much more I often think, however today with grey skies and peeling paint it had a slight sense of melancholy.
Deciding to take the more inland route when given the option further down the road gave us the chance of taking the farm track through Taylor Farms and along the side of the golf course thereby bringing us out at Knott End.
After a brief chat re suitable cafe stops I took it upon myself to direct us to the aptly named Knott End cafe, it being the best chance of a reasonable reception given the state of our attire. Apparently the site of the old railway station built in 1908 the current owners have run the cafe continuously since 1946, quite an acheivement given the turnover of most cafe businesses these days. Anyway the cafe was great, very welcoming and good quality grub, the chef even coming over to wax lyrical about his lack of cycling ability and how impressed he was with us all.
After lunch we hugged the coast on and off road finally taking us back inland at Gulf Lane, from there onto Crimbles Lane, leading to a handy bridleway bringing us out near the Patten Arms on Park Road. A breif farewell to the Hindle/Riley crew saw us then Heading toward Scorton. We decided to go off road through Claylands caravan park over the wooden bridge with a bit of walking on the footpath to bring us out opposite St Peters Church.
Mainly uphill from here we ground up Snowhill onto Long Lane finally taking the not -well traversed, bridleway right off Trough Rd. After another slight Garmin error A Photo was duely taken by the ever camera handy Phil Morgan and we pressed on.
Keeping to the bridleway we met and then crossed over Trough Rd along the farm track over the fell ending in a courtyard with no obvious route onward. Always with the intention to turn back (it being merely an exploratory exercise) we came upon the landowner who kindly indicated that we were welcome to traverse the onlooking fields and join the track which would lead on to the South side of Lower Dolphinholme. ....Never one to pass up an opportunity and with the ever knowledgable Sue Taylor navigating the markerless parcour we proceeded, muddy field to start , finishing with a welcome downhill blast and back onto the road.
From here we rejoined the original route taking us over Harris End coming off before the cattle grid and onto the bridleway leading us past Woodhouses Farm almost loosing our shoes in the now heavily bogged field. A quick blast down through Grizedale saw us saying our farewells, Dave Brook and myself heading back home through Scorton, the rest finishing the route back to Garstang. A good crack was had and no incidents to report.