Ireby & Longlands

In my view, it is as good as anywhere on the entire C2C & Reivers route. Pointed peaks emerged from the rolling flow of hills, juxtaposing dark shadows with patches of brilliant sunshine the autumn afternoon I was last on the route.

There are still a couple of serious up-and-downs to come. Take your time – indeed, you will have to, courtesy of the topography – through Fellside, Branthwaite and Langlands. But once you have got to Bewaldeth it is fairly easy riding into Cockermouth, a delightful stop-off for those who fancy a leisurely finish. When you have crossed the A591, just beyond Bewaldeth, continue along the lane until you get to the crossroads, where you turn left to cross the River Derwent before heading right at the next crossroads.

Once you have passed Hewthwaite Hall (on the right) it is plain sailing into Cockermouth, where you arrive perilously close to the Jennings brewery. Those who can avoid such temptations might wish to push on to Workington or Whitehaven, the official finishing point. However, I find Cockermouth quite irresistible – fine ales, great fish and chips and one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Britain (the Quince & Medlar). One could quite easily undo all the benefits of several days hard cycling amongst such temptations.