C2C - Route 7
Route Section: Keswick > Alston
From Start: 123km (77m) | From Finish: 101km (63m)
Stanhope 37km (23m)
Consett 54km (34m)
8km (5m) from Hartside there is a right turn off the A689 to Leadgate and Garrigill. It's on a bend on the A689 so TAKE CARE.
After 1.6km (1m) take the sharp left turn for Garrigill, which is now 6.4km (4m) away. Enjoy the descent into Leadgate.
From here the road goes steeply down to Blackburn Bridge and through tiny old communities along Rotherhope Fell.
Out of Garrigill
Follow Route 7 signs left out of the village and after 300m turn right at the waterfalls at Low Houses Bridge.
It is a stinker of a hill to begin with. In fact it is the steepest hill you are going to find anywhere on the C2C if you are heading east (there is one worse coming the other way).
Carry on climbing but at a more gentle pace for the next 3km to Nunnery Hill.
Take the greatest care descending into Nenthead. Many have come to grief here, with the helicopter ambulance being called out every year at least once to those who have not.
Garrigill once had a thriving population of a thousand thanks to the lead mining. Now it is down to less than 200.
It looks like the perfect English village, complete with green and post office. Some of the hardest riding is ahead, so for many it makes a natural overnight stop-off, especially if you have slogged all the way from the fells west of Penrith. However there is very little in the way of accommodation these days.
For those who like an extra challenge there is the tough route out of the village, up the very steep and rough track onto the B6277, then left onto a forest track and down into Nenthead the hard way.