C2C - Route Westmorland Loop
Route Section: Keswick > Alston
From Start: 85km (53m) | From Finish: 150km (94m)
Penrith 8km (5m)
Stanhope via Appleby 83km (52m)
Way in from Troutbeck
This delightful village 8km south of Penrith is the first major stopover on the Wiggo's Way loop, which provides an alternative route to Stanhope via Great Strickland, Appleby, Brough and Middleton. It avoids Hartside but is just as challenging in its way, and has an even more remote section. You can also visit Higher Force waterfall.
If you are taking Wiggo's Way follow the C2C signs from Troutbeck for 2.4km, passing the Herdwick Inn and Bird's Bistro.
At the A66, which you will cross, wheel your bike right for 30m then take the first left on the lane to Hutton, passing through the village before turning right at Hutton John.
There is a turning to the right shortly, to Thackthwaite. Ignore it and continue to the crossroads where you bear right.
Follow the lane for 5km towards Ullswater, passing through the village of Wreay.
You should arrive at the A592 some 500m north of Watermillock. Head left towards Pooley Bridge. Be careful as this will be busy in the summer months.
Follow the A592 for 1.3km and take the right fork into Pooley Bridge on the B5320.
Continue through the village for just over 1km and take the right fork for Celleron and Askham (it is signposted).
Pooley Bridge to Askham is 5.4km with one longish hill.
For full details of the Westmorland Loop please click the ALTERNATIVE ROUTES bar on the home page. Please not that it is 6 miles longer: 235km (147m) to Tynemouth and 227km (142m) to Sunderland.
Where to Eat and Drink
Askham Hall, Askham, Cumbria, CA10 2PF.
Wonderful stop-off on the Wiggo's Way braid via Ullswater. Handy for Clifton and Penrith. Café and gardens open to the public in the grounds of Askham Hall – an elegant Grade I listed building which has been converted into a restaurant and hotel with private spa and outdoor pool in one of the most delightful villages in Cumbria.
Askham is a gem of a village with pretty whitewashed cottages either side of two village greens and the river Lowther. The Hall is originally 14th century and was converted into an Elizabethan mansion in the mid-16th century. It was the home of Lord Lonsdale and is now a wonderful, upmarket country house hotel popular with some C2Cers.
Its gardens and cafe serve coffees, cakes and light lunches and beer and wine are available. During the spring and summer months (peak times) you can enjoy pizzas from the outdoor wood-fired oven and homemade ice-creams.
Askham Hall is also home to rare breed animals which can be seen as part of the garden tour. Same owner as the excellent George and Dragon in nearby Clifton. Open every day except Saturdays from the Easter holidays, then every day except Saturdays until October half-term, 10am – 5pm then Fridays – Sundays, 11am – 4pm for rest of the year except for a close period in January and early February.
Abbott Lodge tea room and ice cream makers, Clifton, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2HD. 01931 712720. Steven and Claire Bland run a working dairy farm making more than 40 flavours of top quality homemade Jersey ice cream. Open 11am - 5pm daily. Children's area and meet-the-cows facility. abbottlodgejerseyicecream.co.uk.
Out of Askham
In Askham head left, keeping the Punchbowl on your right, going towards Lowther.
Cross the river Lowther and keep left and you will see the castle. Either head to the hamlet of Lowther or keep left and you will very briefly find yourself on the A6, which you need to cross.
Go under the railway line. Shortly after is a right turn for Great Strickland.
You can, if you wish, carry on here and hook up again with the C2C at Penrith. Just follow Pennine Cycleway signs (Route 67). From the Cross Keys either go into the town centre and pick up signs or very briefly go right on the A686 before taking a left up to Beacon Hill and back onto the route as it heads down towards Langwathby.
Where To Sleep
Run by: Charles Lowther
Now open with a restaurant spread through three rooms, 19 bedrooms with a spa and outdoor heated pool, gardens and café open to the public and a converted party barn. Its style? A luxurious, intimate, unpretentious home from home which is up-to-date, full of charm and somewhere you can relax after a hard day's cycling. The hotel's Allium restaurant is a foodlover's haven: chef Richard Swale worked for Michelin 3-star Marc Veyrat in Annecy, France and John Burton Race in London. He also did a stint at NOMA, the world's top-rated restaurant. Beef and pork are home raised and herbs and veg are grown in the gardens. Staying here is like being a house guest at a country home. Flawless. Now in the Good Hotel Guide.
B&B: from £75 per person (sharing).
Eve meal: 3-courses plus nibbles £55. Tasting menu £70. Exemplary wine list.
Secure lock-up and drying facilities.
The Queen's Head
Run by: Duty Manager
Opened in April 2019, The Queen’s Head is a village pub with a difference just a two minute walk from Askham Hall. With six large bedrooms it offers hearty, healthy food made with produce from the Lowther family estate as well as a great, local pint or a carefully selected glass of wine. A perfect resting place after a day in the saddle. Now serving freshly cooked healthy, hearty food from 10am till 6pm every day of the week. In the evenings there is modern British tapas style charcuterie, mezze plates and cheeses, as well as freshly prepared desserts. So drop in and try us out. There is also a ‘pop up' restaurant every other Friday. This is a collaboration between Richard Swale, head chef at Askham Hall, and Gareth Webster, head chef at the George and Dragon, and will offer a themed menu each month for £45. For an additional £35 there is a wine pairing. July’s menu is ‘Goat nose to tail’. With space for only 30, early booking advised! If you wish to eat a hot haute cuisine meal after 6pm you will need to book a table at Askham Hall, or for ordinary pub grub there is the Punchbowl.
B&B From £50pp (rooms from £100 a night). £90 single occ.
Eve meal Hot meals served until 6pm. Thereafter plates of charcuteries and mezzes, cheeseboards and pudding
Pk lunch Please enquire
Safe cycle storage Drying facilities