Going: Mostly tarmac, but with a section of flat off-road
between Greenodd and Haverthwaite. Hilly near Ulverston, and a major climb to Bigland.
Total distance: 15 miles outward journey to Grange.
In this second look at the possibilities for local rides based on the new W2W Walney to Wear cycle route, we set out from The Gill in Ulverston, with Grange as our destination. This is going to be a one way outing, making use of the train for the return journey. While the countryside of Low Furness between Barrow and Ulverston is undoubtedly pleasant, this second section offers much greater scenic variety.
A start is made up Stanley Street, and on to the climb up Soutergate. Look out for the Route 20 marker at the first right turn; the route is again well signed all the way to Grange. A steep descent is made to the Newland Valley, where the ascent begins once again. Be sure to turn sharp right at the next marker it could just possibly be misinterpreted. The gradient gradually eases to reveal fine open views over to Morecambe Bay, before an exciting downhill run to Pennybridge and Greenodd.
A narrow path ducks under the dual carriageway at Greenodd, where the footbridge over the Leven leads on to as pretty a section as any on the whole W2W, first following the path of the old Lakeside railway. A detour is made into Roudsea Wood, until a return is made to the banks of the Leven, running sluggishly and edged by magnificent reed beds. The air last weekend lay sweet and heavy here with the smell of drying hay this is a flat, traffic-free and beautiful 2 miles!
All good things come to an end however, for at Haverthwaite begins the 500ft ascent to High Brow Edge, a mile-long, twisting and unremitting hill. It just never seems to end! The payback for all the effort is three miles of swooping downhill riding, finally arriving by the side of Cartmel race course. The ancient square in the village is a natural resting-place, before the final, less severe climb of the day.
Pass Cartmel Priory on your left, and keep on to the crossroads where the next Route 20 marker leads straight over. The official route traces a distinct loop here, adding distance over a more direct link, but avoiding a busy section of the Grange road. After skirting Allithwaite, a right turn at a fork in the main road climbs a little more, then embarks on a descent of the long steep bank into Grange.
Finally, I had no problems getting the bike on the train, but as the days of the roomy luggage van are long gone, Im not sure more than two or three cyclists would be welcomed, especially at busy times.
The map below is thin on detail, as the route is well sign-posted. There's also an official W2W map available now.
Heading over the Leven estuary at Greenodd.
The River Leven between Greenodd and Haverthwaite, where the route is traffic-free.
The outlook from the promenade at Grange-over-Sands, or Grange-over-Saltmarsh, as it should perhaps be re-named. The view is looking towards the River Kent estuary.
W2W information can be found at www.cyclingw2w.info
Some informatiuon on Cartmel Priory.
Any comments on the cycling pages would be gratefully received!
Copyright J Chambers 2005. Unauthorised reproduction not allowed.
May be printed for personal use only.
Open Country Prints, Main Street, Baycliff, Ulverston, Cumbria
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