A motorcycle parked in front of a tent on a pleasant green campsite

Home Travel StoriesA Long Weekend Around Penrith

Home From Penrith

Ride Date 16 October 2023

By Ren Withnell

I'm always paranoid I'll leave something behind. That's one advantage of the tent, once packed I'll spend a minute checking the area where we've camped to ensure there's nothing left on the floor. In the lodge there's cupboards to check, under the settee, in the bathroom or perhaps the drawers? I actually make a point of NOT using the cupboards and drawers, leaving everything in a pile, but I'll still check them all, well, you know, just in case. 

Sharon's loading the Z250SL outside the plastic lodge at Ullswater Heights
I don't think Sharon wants to go home.

We are merely a couple of miles from the motorway and yet with clear crisp skies and the sunshine battling the nippy wind - there is time to take a detour. I know a place Sharon likes and a fine road to get us there.

The A5091 from Troutback to Aira Force flows well and we are flowing well along it. It's chilly but not cold enough to concern myself with ice, it's dry but not completely so I'm mindful of damp or slippery spots. The scenery is not mountainous here at the start, more "Dales-y", it's only later as we drop down towards Ullswater that the dramatic scenery appears. Ullswater is quite enchanting.

We stop a moment by the lake to get some piccies. The water is dead calm and peaceful, the only sign of life is a small tourist boat silently gliding across the waters. It's so calm it's almost spooky, there's very little traffic on the road adding to the eerie atmosphere. 

Ullswater is totally flat and quiet save for a small tourist boat in the distance
All is calm on Ullswater. 

Pooley Bridge is wide awake however with movement aplenty. The Bridge of Pooley Bridge is new, the old one after which the town is named was washed away in 2015, much to the sadness of the locals and fans of the area. This new bridge is crisp, modern and I think attractive, but it's nothing at all like the old bridge. Should we repair and replace that which has been in place for eons to maintain the history and beauty of it? Or do we move on and update, there is beauty in the new as well as the old. I like the new bridge but I can understand why some may miss the old one.

A curved steel structure across the cam river at Pooley Bridge
The new bridge is not at all like the old one.
Sharon smiles as she retrieves her tank bag from the 250
Sharon's happy to be in Pooley Bridge.

We take a tea, priced suitably for a tourist trap like Pooley Bridge - fear not it's Sharon's turn to pay. After that we hit the road and head home via the A6 and then motorways. That's it, another trip tripped and back to the grind once more tomorrow. 

I've discussed this with Sharon and I've talked about it on this here blog before. I... I still have not fallen in love with The Lake District. I can not explain why not. I love The Scottish Highlands, I adore The Welsh Mountains, mostly the north but the southern ones are growing on me too. I found both The Alps and The Picos to be magnificent. 

The Lake district has the magnificent mountains. It has scenery that ought bring a tear to the eye. It has a mixture of great roads from narrow twisters to broad sweeping major routes. There's cute villages, lost and lonely farms and pubs and campsites. What's not to like? I would argue it is often times busy with tourists although the same could be said for North Wales and more often than not The Highlands too since the NC500 became so popular. My lack of passion for The Lakes makes no sense and yet there it is.

The road, mountains in the distance, shrubs and greener and beauty in The Lakes
There really is a lot to like in The Lake District.

Despite my lack of emotional attachment I've still had a great long weekend. Now I can look forward to the misery of Christmas followed by the long cold wet windy winter. Yay. I can barely contain my enthusiasm.

Advertise here - contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

The Horror Of Luxury Remember folks, Ren does these things so you don't have to. Poor lad, Sharon's given him nothing to moan about.
A Piece Of The Lakes, Rethinking Maryport Ren is long overdue a reassessment of the town of Maryport so while he's doing they The Dynamic Duo have a look around the area too. There's hot tea, good food and decadent living.
The Hadrian's Wall Experience Ren takes Sharon for a (very limited) Hadrian's Wall experience. There's a lot of tea to be consumed too. It's another day of leisurely exploration.
Home From Penrith There's time enough to enjoy a little detour on the way home from Penrith. Ren is also pondering his atypical indifference towards a place he feels he ought to adore.

Reader's Comments

Ian Soady¹ said :-
The Lakes was always my go-to place living just on the other side of the Pennines as I did in my youth but I agree it's always been crowded and on my last visit a couple of years ago felt quite oppressive.

That new bridge actually looks superb to me - there are lots of old ones around and I never thought the original that special. But the arc of the new one is elegant indeed.
07/02/2024 14:48:00 UTC
nab301 said :-
Ren , the old "will I unpack my bags and use the hotel storage facilities conundrum!"
I curious what's in the foreground of the Ullswater photo? And the new Pooley Bridge is an excellent modern replacement for what looked like a fine bridge but looking at photos( See attached Wiki link) of the old one it's almost impossible to comprehend the force required to destroy it ...
07/02/2024 15:37:50 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I like that new bridge, smart innit.
I'm not particularly sentimental about old stuff, new can be good too, although crap architecture is nothing new. In short, good new is good, bad anything is bad.
We only live a couple of hours from the northern Lakes but it holds little attraction, it's full of groccles and dirty smelly motorcycles.
Shame because the scenery is stunning and I've walked a lot of it in a previous life.

07/02/2024 16:51:05 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
nab301 - Some might say it's obviously a stone poking out the water close to the shoreline. I know for a fact it's actually "Nessie" aka The Loch Ness Monster who is presently on her holidays in Ullswater. We're not seeing all of her in this shot, just the tip of one of her iconic humps.

07/02/2024 20:28:09 UTC
nab301 said :-
Thanks Ren , I've booked an early eye test.
14/02/2024 17:16:14 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Maybe you need a bigger screen nab301.
14/02/2024 21:02:25 UTC
nab301 said :-
I have one on my CB125F.....
15/02/2024 08:38:10 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Oh bejeez... Why me?
15/02/2024 08:45:36 UTC

Post Your Comment Posts/Links Rules



Add a RELEVANT link (not required)

Upload an image (not required) -

No uploaded image
Real Person Number
Please enter the above number below

Home Travel StoriesA Long Weekend Around Penrith

Admin -- -- Service Records Ren's Nerding Blog