Today started with breakfast in our Travelodge room while enjoying the fascinating sport of people watching in the Services car park!

Off we set knowing we had quite an easy day ahead of us (much less hill climbing to do). Before long we were passing through lanes lined with hawthorn hedgerows and occasional oak trees, very similar in appearance to our own Hampshire lanes.

A lane near Raughton in Cumbria

Heading on towards Carlisle along the path between the River Caldew on our right was the towering modern looking Nescafe factory on our left.

On entering the cycle paths of Carlisle we stopped to admire an impressive weir on the river.

We were pleased how easily the blue National Cycle Network signage guided us through Carlisle and passed it’s Castle on the way. The existing keep was built by Henry 1 in 1122 (probably not on his own, too much work for one pair of hands!)

Carlisle Castle

The route out of Carlisle took us onto a busy road, but thankfully not for long. as it then left the road and took us onto a cycle path next to a lovely open parkland setting where we got to carry out our puncture repairing skills again!

Puncture number 2 sorted!

It was so lovely we decided to have our lunch there.

The variety of surfaces to ride on made the ride even more interesting. Some easier than others!

Grassy track to ride along….

…..and then a rickety wooden bridge!

A magnificent weathered church caught our attention as we approached Longtown. It stood proudly on a hill guarding the many, many graves in its well kept graveyard.

The Church of St Michael and All Angels in Arthuret

As we left Longtown which is very near the England Scotland border we stopped at a real gem of a bike shop, Bikeseven, as we needed a bit more air in Daisy’s back tyre. We were helped and given coffee by a very friendly Dutchman who was working there.

Scotland was just around the corner and calling us , so off we went to find it. It occurred to us then that the last person we had spoken to in England was a Dutchman!

We felt we were really in Scotland as we approached Gretna Green….

…..and wondered if any couples had travelled by tandem to get married there?

Leaving Gretna Green we rode along farm lanes to our B&B for the next 2 nights. Rest day tomorrow

Total distance today 39.5 miles

Total hill climbs today 1077 ft