Day 24 – Durham to Hawes

Day 24 – Durham to Hawes

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Strava tells me it’s 4,000 ft plus climb day, and at the end of it, I can believe it. My muscles are full of lactic acid and I can hardly stand up by the time I reach my accommodation.

It’s taken me into the heart of the Pennines.

Rather than take the shorter Googlemaps route over the A66, which is a busy main road, I went down the ‘Pennine Way’, which is a designated cycle route through the valleys and dales.

I don’t regret it.

There are a million things to recommend taking a cycle route over a main road as a cyclist.

Tan Hill

On my way, I pass the highest Inn in the England. Tan Inn is at 1,725 ft. I stop for a drink, then continue down into the valley.

The highest pub in England
The highest pub in England

It really is alone. I’ve reached it by coming up a gravel track off the main road, which I runs parallel to the trail for a short period.

I can see all the trucks and artics passing and feel glad that I took the longer route.

If you look at the Strava, this is one of the steepest climbs today.

But it pales in insignificance compared to the Oxnop…

25% Climb, Oxnop Scar

After descending from Tan hill, I have to tackle the Oxnop Scar.

This is pretty tough cardio work-out stuff. As I start the ascent, the gradient is 25%, which has me in 1st gear and weaving across the road. It’s a s-curved section of around 1/2 mile to start proceedings, then a constant climb with intermittent dips and escarpment rising to the left.

It’s a heavy duty ascent and deserves some respect in terms of the people who’ve managed to climb it. It had me puffing and panting. I some of the climbs on Cannock Chase, which can be more difficult, but perhaps less sustained.

I’ve no doubt that it could be easy to get injured pretty badly on this slope, and you should know your limitations. I’ve got tennis elbow now, I’m sure other things could have popped had I not paid close attention to my body.

I raise a glass to you if you managed to get to the top without stopping, getting a hernia or sustaining any other sort of physical injury.


On the descent into Askrigg on the other side, I knock out 45 mph.

I see a couple starting the ascent from the other direction and I have to crack a smile.

It’s a tough climb that could be a complete nightmare were the elements not in your favour.

On reaching Askrigg, I’ve run out water, and have to fill up at a dodgy haulage dump tap.

Still, it’s only 8 miles or so flow to the accommodation where I can eat and drink as much as I want.

River Ure valley

The valleys smell so sweet. It’s just the most beautiful thing.

The river Ure flows in the meadows below me.

Moorcock Inn

Is in Sedburgh, which is effectively a crossroads.

It’s kind of a moorland pub, as you’d expect from the name.

I’ve just had a meal and had to come down to the bar to get the wifi to work, but it does work, so I’m having a pint and cleaning things up before my last cycling blog, (of this stage), tomorrow.

Onward to Morecambe

Got some cheap diggs booked in Morecambe which is a relatively short hop from Preston, which is a relatively short hop from Rufford, which is where my boat is moored.

So, hurrah for me.

Here’s some pictures

Cotterdale, Yorkshire Dales
Cotterdale, Yorkshire Dales
Swale valley
Swale valley
Rowan bush
Rowan bush
Bowes House
Bowes House


Some amazing pictures. Some unforgiving countryside. Some relentless climbs. What an amazing day.

Map Day 24

2 thoughts on “Day 24 – Durham to Hawes

  1. WOW!!!!….wonderful, descriptive….what a great experience…it’s a pleasure to read 🙂 Durham is a lovely city…went there to a conference mny years ago:-) Love the picture of the Angle of the North. Cycling over the Penines is no mean feat…..Bonnie Lady beckons now…so it will be lovely to be back on board…..only one more night 🙂

  2. Some amazing pictures of the countryside……bet it was cold freewheeling down hill………at 45mph…brrrrrr 😉 ….did your hands hurt from braking???? what an achievement though…well done you 🙂

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