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nother selection of suggested day trips for you to consider. These represent days 8 through to 14. Of course you do not have to stick to the suggested routes and you may also wish to spend more time in one place than another. These suggestions can be used as a guide to help you explore Cumbria, Northumberland, County Durham and Yorkshire. These regions offer spectacular countryside and great shopping! There are plenty of places to be found that will amuse the children also.


Day 8. Kendal, Windermere, Rydal Water, Grasmere and Coniston.
Take the A686 over Hartside pass to Penrith. At the first roundabout take the second left through Eamont Bridge onto the A6. Follow the road through Shap and on over the fells dropping down to Kendal. Kendal is a bustling town with many shops and attractions for the visitor and is worth exploring. From Kendal take the A591 to Windermere and on to Ambleside. If you wish you can carry on through the town to Grasmere village passing the lakes of Grasmere and Rydal Water on the way. From Ambleside turn left over the bridge onto the A593 and then turn left again down to Low Wray and Outgate to Hawkshead. From there you could carry on to Far Sawrey and lake Windermere. After a look around the village double back then turn left onto the B5285 towards Coniston. Before the head of the lake turn left and travel down the road with Coniston Water on your right. There are signposts for Brantwood the home of Ruskin. Carry on down past Niberthwaite joining the A5084 and A5092 near Lowick Green. Head to Penny Bridge turning left onto the A590(T) at the junction. Head up to Windermere with the lake on your left on the A592. In Windermere keep on the A592 and head to Ullswater. Keep on the road all the way past Ullswater until the junction with the A66. Follow the signs for Penrith and Alston (A686).

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 90 & 97.


Day 9. Wast Water and the west.
From Alston go to Penrith then on to Keswick on the A66. Drive into Keswick and find the A591 to Ambleside. Drive down the road passing Thirlmere, Grasmere and Rydal Water. At Ambleside turn onto the A593 towards Coniston. Look for a turning on your right at Skelwith Bridge. Take the B5343 past Elterwater and Chapel Stile. Head into the Langdale valley with the famous Langdale Pikes on your right. Carry on along the road and over the opposite fell. Blea Tarn can be seen on your right. Turn right at the end of the road and drive over Wrynose Pass and into the valley. Keep on this road and carry on through Senthwaite and Hall Dunnerdale. Bear left at Ulpha and go down the Duddon valley. Turn right onto the A595 and follow the road for some miles until the turn off to Ravenglass (you can stop here and take the Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow gauge steam railway to Boot and back). Carry on up the A595 to Holmrook turn right and head for Santon Bridge and Wast Water. After stopping at Wasdale Head turn back and then take the left at Santon Bridge for Eskdale Green and Boot. Don't turn off to Boot. Drive up to Hardknott Roman Fort and admire the views of the valley and the top of the Scafell Pikes. Take a deep breath and drive up Hardknott pass (the steepest pass in the Lake District). Go down the other side back into Wrynose Bottom, turning left at the junction and travel up and then over Wrynose Pass again. Drive straight on through Little Langdale turn right at the junction then left at the next onto the A593 and head for Ambleside. Follow the one way system in Ambleside. When you see Zefferelli's cinema on your left turn left at the junction at the top of the road onto Bridge Street. Take the next right and drive up 'The Struggle' to Kirkstone Pass. Turn left at the junction and then drive down to Ullswater and follow the road to the A66, then follow the signs for Penrith and then Alston (A686).

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 89, 90 & 96.


Day 10. The Northumberland Coast.
Take the A686 to the A69 and turn right, heading towards Newcastle. When you reach the end of the road follow the signs for Tynemouth and the coast. When you reach Tynemouth follow the coast north through Cullercoats and Whitley Bay to Blyth (A193). At Blyth turn right onto the A189 and carry on through Newbiggin-by-the-Sea then turn right onto the A1068 and drive on until a turn off to Druridge Bay (if you want a walk on the beach). Following the A1068 you will pass through the towns of Amble, Warkworth and Alnmouth, stop to explore as you wish. At Amble you can carry on the A1068 to Alnwick an impressive county town with the now world famous Alnwick Castle used in the Harry Potter Films. Or, turn right into Amble and follow the road round to Lesbury. Turn right onto the B1339. Drive through Longhoughton then take the road on the right to Howick. Keep on this road and follow signs for Craster. You can walk along the coast from here to Dunstanburgh Castle Turn around and go to Dunstan and turn right. Turn right onto the B1339 . Past Embleton join the B6340 and go on to Swinhoe, Beadnell and Seahouses. (trips to the Farne Islands from here) Carry on to Bamburgh with its famous castle and good beaches. Turn right onto the A1 and drive north until a turn off to the right for Beal and Holy Island. If the tide is out drive across the causeway to the island and visit Lindisfarne Priory and castle.Back on the A1 turn right again and dive to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Now head home. Head inland on the A689. When you reach Cornhill-on-Tweed turn left onto the A697. Go through Wooler and Powburn when you see signs for the B6341 (left for Alnwick) turn right and head for Rothbury, passing Cragside (National Trust, house and garden) on your left. At the bottom of the hill turn right into the town and the left again over the bridge on the B6342. Follow the road all the way past Cambo and Wallington (National Trust, house and garden) to the junction with the A696. Keep on the B6342 through Colwell. At the junction with the A68 cross over onto the A6079 and pass through Chollerton, Wall and Acomb. At the junction turn right onto the A69 and go as far as Haydon Bridge then follow the A686 to Alston.

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 75, 81, 87 & 88.


Day 11. Scotland and Reiver country.
Take the A689 to Brampton and from there head north on the A6071 to Longtown. On the main street take the road on your right towards Pentonbridge keeping the river Esk on your left. At Pentonbridge turn left onto the B6318 then before crossing the river take the road on your right. Drive north bearing left at all times and keeping the Esk on your left. Further up the road ignore the left turn off to Under Burnmouth. Instead bear left at the next junction and join the B6357 at Newcastleton. Turn right and then left further out of town onto the B6399. You may want to take a look around Hermitage Castle just to the left (follow the signs). Carry on to Hawick turn right and take the A698 through Denholm. Past Denholm look for a turning to the right for Jedburgh (B6358). At Jedburgh drive through town on the A68 then turn right onto the A698 and head up to Kelso. You can carry on to Coldstream if you wish. This area is dotted with castles, this is William Wallace country after all, take time out to visit them. In Kelso turn onto the A6089 and drive up to Gordon and turn left onto the A6105. When you reach Earlston turn left onto the A68 then right onto the A6091 through Melrose and into Galashiels. Turn off towards Selkirk (Aikwood Tower and Bowhill are in the area) on the A7. Carry on through Hawick and Langholm back to Longtown then take the A6071 to Brampton and the A689 to Alston.

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 74, 79, 85 & 86.


Day 12. Caves and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Drive up Alston's cobbled main street and carry straight on the B6277 to Middleton-in-Teesdale. Follow the road over the river and then take the B6276 (on the right) to Brough. Using the A685 drive through Kirkby Stephen and then turn off to the left onto the A683 to Sedburgh. When in Sedburgh look for the road to Millthrop. Past Millthrop bear left and head for Dent (a charming little village). Double back on your self and turn left through Gawthorp to Barbon. At Barbon join the A683 and turn left for Kirkby Lonsdale (another charming town).From the town take the A65 to Thornton in Lonsdale. Not far down the road take the B6255 on your left and drop in at White Scar Cavern for an underground trip. Carry on up the valley until the turn off to the right for Settle (B6479). Through Settle rejoin the A65 and drive down to Skipton. From there travel north on the B6265 to Threshfield. Turn left and go to Aysgarth using the B6160. When you reach Aysgarth turn left onto the A684, go through Hawes then take the B6259 to Kirkby Stephen. Keep a look out for the ruins of Pendragon Castle! From Kirkby Stephen take the B6259 on the left through Great Musgrave, Warcop and Sandford. Join the A66 and turn left towards Appleby and Penrith. At Temple Sowerby turn right into the town and take the B6412 through Culgaith. Turn right at Langwathby onto the A686 and drive on to Alston.

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 91, 97, 98 & 103.


Day 13. Whitby, Scarborough and the North York Moors National Park.
Drive up through Alston and take the B6277 to Middleton-in-Teesdale turning right over the bridge. Still on the B6277 drive to Barnard Castle. At the traffic lights turn left onto the bridge over the river Tees. Press on through the town until a turn off to the right (A67) heading towards Darlington. When you reach the edge of Darlington take the A167 at the roundabout to Northallerton. In the town turn left onto the A684 then left again onto the A19. Further on turn right onto the A712 until Stokesly then take the A173 towards Guisborough. Turn right onto the A171 and stay on this road to Whitby. From Whitby get back on the A171 keeping the coast on your left. At High Hawsker turn left onto the B1447 down to Robin Hood's Bay. From there get back onto the A171 and with the sea on your left drive down to Burniston. Turn left (A165) into Scarborough. From there take the A170 to Pickering (you can take the North York Moors Railway into the National Park). Carry on to Thirsk dipping into the National Park to visit attractions that appeal to you. From Thirsk take the A61 and join the A1 (northbound) at Melmerby. Driving north on the A1 turn off at Scotch Corner and bear left onto the A66. Turn right to Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale and on to Alston on the B6277.

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 91, 92, 93, 94, 99, 100 & 101.


Day 14. Relax!
A walk around the South Tyne Valley Take the South Tynedale Railway to Kirkhaugh then walk over the bridge and down the bank to the footbridge over the river. On the opposite side follow the track to the road and walk along to Kirkhough church. Carry on the lane back up river, keeping an eye out for the elusive red squirrels. After passing Randlholme farm (an old Peel tower) head on up the road into the woods. About half way along you will see a public footpath sign pointing down to the river. You will find 'Paddy's Well' on the river there. It is a picturesque spot for a picnic on a limestone pavement by the river with a good stretch of water for swimming. Carry on up the road to the junction with the A686 and follow the pavement into Alston.

ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP: Landranger 1:50,000 SHEETS 86 or 87.


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Cumberland Hotel