C2C - alternative braid to Route 7
Route Section: Keswick > Alston
From start: 99km (62m) | To Finish: 128km (80m)
Alston 21km (13m)
Stanhope 61km (38m)
This is an alternative loop following the west side of the River Eden passing through Great Salkeld, Lazonby and Kirkoswald before linking up with the route proper at Renwick. It adds 2km to the total distance.
Before you get to Langwathby there is a T-junction after the long and enjoyable descent from Beacon Edge, on the B6412.
If you turn left here (instead of right) at mile marker 57 you are soon in the village of Great Salkeld, which then leads on to Lazonby and Kirkoswald.
At Great Salkeld is one of the C2C's gems, the Highland Drove Inn, where you can dine well and sleep comfortably should you wish to pass a night in deepest rural Cumbria.
About Kirkoswald & Lazonby
Although not on the official C2C route the neighbouring villages of Lazonby and Kirkoswald see a fair amount of cycle traffic, opting to follow the Eden Valley along the B6412.
Tribute to a warrior, king and saint Kirkoswald derives its name from St Oswald who was king of Northumberland from 634 to 642, re-establishing Christianity in the region, founding the monastery at Lindisfarne and to whom the local church is dedicated.
The church and bell tower are two separate buildings with the bell tower standing atop a conical hill above the church. Just outside the village is Kirkoswald Castle, said once to have been "one of the fairest fabrics that eyes looked upon, having a great hall, one hundred yards long, ornamented with pictures of all the kings of England".
Though not much remains today it is still worth the short walk to visit it. Raven Beck, which runs through the village and near much of the path back to the main route, once powered three corn mills, a paper mill, and a mill for carding and spinning wool. It is now the centrepiece of a picturesque stroll above the village.
Out of Kirkoswald
This is 5.4km (3.4m) back to the route proper at Renwick.
Go up the high street past the Featherston Arms - another excellent place to eat - and head right up the steep B6413 past High Bankhill and head straight on (ignoring turn to the right) to a T-junction where you turn right into Renwick, and resume the official C2C for the climb over Hartside.
Alternatively, go back out of the village the way you came in.
When you get to the B6413 (the lane you came in on from Lazonby) head left, past Kirkoswald Castle, following the lane back to Route 7 and turning left into Renwick.
Where To Sleep
The Crown Inn
Run by: Tony & Becky Borngogno
Traditional eighteenth century village pub in the northeastern corner of Cumbria at Kirkoswald. Recently refurbished, The Crown is also under new management. An 18th century coaching inn, The Crown is right by the village square and war memorial and is a real locals’ pub with bags of character crammed into one small room. Chef-patron Tony took over the reins here (again) in summer 2013 and his menus combine traditional pub favourites with more adventurous fare like Calimari and chorizo salad with roasted red pepper, and Duck breast with black pudding and caramelized apples. The Crown has a pool room and every Sunday there is a quiz night. Read The Crown’s TripAdvisor reviews here.
Fish & Chip special Friday: £5.25.
All day breakfast.
Run by: brothers Alan & Michael Collinson
A busy country pub situated on the lovely village square of Kirkoswald. Popular with locals and visitors alike, renowned in the area for its quality home-cooked food and great selection of well kept real ales. Great place to sample one of the home-made pies and enjoy a pint of local beer. Open every evening and all day at weekends. Solway Camra Pub of the Year (2014).
address : Kirkoswald CA10 1DQ
telephone : 01768 898284