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.
Where To Sleep
Run by: Margaret Rzas
Small friendly stone built cottage with one room which sleeps up to three people. The room has TV, tea & coffee and a private bathroom with a nice deep bath. Good for a soak after a long day in the saddle.
Rooms : 1F (single & double bed).
Eve meal: the pub.
Pk lunch: £4+ depending on what is ordered.
Washing & drying services.
Run by: Lana Dixie
Charming old cottage near the village green, recently and comfortably restored. Full English breakfast and fully geared up for cyclists. Plenty of books, games and maps and just a 30 second walk to the village pub, which is now under new management.
Rooms : 1D (en-suite), 1D, 1T.
B&B: £28 (£32 single occ and £35pp for the double e-s).
Eve meal: George & Dragon.
Secure cycle lock-up. Drying facilities.
High Loaning Head
Run by: Adie & Kate Richards
A lovely stone-built cottage standing in the wilderness just a stroll away from the village, High Loaning is ideal for groups of up to 10. It has been beautifully restored and has a fully fitted kitchen. Kate's daughter Keira, who lives on-site, is more than happy to buy in food or even cater (dinner and/or breakfast) plus buy in whatever beer and wine is required. Communal dining room and comfortable lounge with freeview TV. A great addition to a village which has, we hope, only temporarily lost its pub.
Rooms: 3D, 1T/Tpl, 1T, 1S.
Bed: £15 (negotiable).
Eve meal: pls pre-order.
B'fast: pls pre-order. Secure luck-up plus tumble drier.
George & Dragon
Run by: Paula & Kenny
Lovely village pub on the green, now in the hands of Paula and Kenny, who took over in April 2015. They have plans to open bedrooms for next season. In the meantime the focus is on good pub food using local produce. There's a cheery hearth and care goes into serving some fine local ales. It is cheering to know that the heart of the village is beating once more. Food available from June.
Lunches and dinners served.
Secure bike shed with