C2C - alternative braid to Route 7.
Route Section: Keswick > Alston
From Start: 99km (62m) | To Finish: 120km (75m)
Alston 19km (12m)
Stanhope 56km (35m)
Although not strictly on the C2C, Melmerby lies only 4 miles from Langwathby on the A686 road to Hartside and many C2Cers cycle this way rather than the official route via Renwick.
The climb up to Hartside from Melmerby is all on road and offers stunning views as well as a challenging, uphill cycle ride all the way to the cafe at Hartside summit. Be aware though that this section of road can get quite busy.
Melmerby lies at the foot of Hartside on the A686. It is also on the Pennine Cycleway (Route 68).
It will be of interest to those who decide to take the A686 out of Langwathby in order to tackle Hartside the most direct way (though it obviously involves tackling a busy A road).
Others wishing to stay overnight here or drink at the pub and eat at the famous bakery could make the diversion from just north of Little Salkeld (7.2km or 4.5m), making sure to have their maps at the ready!
Melmerby is supposed to have taken its name from its having been the residence of Melmor, a Dane who lived hereabouts in the ninth century.
Nestling at the foot of the Pennine scar, Melmerby is typical of a number of picturesque fellside villages which lie along the eastern edge of the Eden Valley. It is bisected by a winding stream, and the village green once bore witness to cock fighting and wrestling as well as offering protection for villagers and cattle against the marauding Scots.
A phenomenon well known in these parts is the 'Helm Wind' which is a sudden and very powerful wind coming down off the fell side.
Places of Interest
The Village Bakery. Organic bakery with a restaurant.
The Shepherds Inn. Country pub.
Where To Sleep
Run by: Simon & Kirsty Cogan
An ideal place to stop before the assault on Hartside, located just under 2 miles from the C2C route (mostly downhill). Addingham View is an 1860's sandstone home, situated in the tranquil farming village of Gamblesby. You can be sure of a warm welcome from Simon and Kirsty after a hard day's cycling, with home made cake on arrival. All guest rooms are fully en-suite and have recently been redecorated. The dining table can be set for you if you would like to bring your evening meal, or alternatively lifts to the pub are available if you prefer to eat out.
£37.50-£42.50 per person (rooms £75 - £85 each). Discount available for single occupancy.
B&B: £37.50-£42.50 per person (rooms £75 - £85 each). Discount available for single occupancy.
Gate House Bed and Breakfast
Run by: Ann Black
A warm welcome awaits as does a delicious and nutritious breakfast at this period sandstone detached house. As locations go along the C2C, this is hard to beat: at the foot of Hartside, you get the biggest climb out of the way first thing. Gate House has two rooms, one double room with en-suite shower, one twin room with private facilities. A further single room is also available upon request. The very fine local pub, which serves evening meals, is just 200 metres away. Ann and Danny are wonderful hosts and Danny works on the C2C so knows it back to front.
Rooms: 1T, 1D.
B&B: from £27.50 (rooms £55 each). Single occ. £35 or £45.
Eve meal: local pub.
Pk lunch: yes.