Friday, 24 November 2017

10 Christmas Pressie Ideas for Cumbria Lovers

Last years list of pressies proved SO popular (over 10,000 views!) that I'm back again this year with another list of 10 pressie ideas which are perfect for lovers of the outdoors and/ or Cumbria.  (And if you missed it and want even MORE ideas, then last year's list is right here!).

As usual there's a mix of stuff from funky stocking fillers to huge romantic gestures so pick your favourite and earn some brownie points this festive season!

1.  Gyroplane flight with Lakes Gyroplanes


Let's start with a big pressie - how about treating someone to a completely different view of the Lake District?  There are several places that offer flights but this one was recommended to me by someone who knows a lot about flying, and pilots.  I bought Steve a certificate for a flight for his birthday and although he's not used it yet he's properly keen & hopes to be up before Christmas (watch this space!).  You can buy gift certificates for flights here.

2. Ginger Bakers


Regular readers of this blog will have heard me wax lyrical about Ginger Bakers in the past - a small bakery on the outskirts of Kendal producing magical cakes.  They were wiped out a couple of years ago by Storm Desmond but are back and better than ever.  Many of their bakes are gluten free and they have a whole range of gorgeous Christmas goodies ready to wing their way to you - just click here to find out more (warning, you may be tempted to lick your screen...)

3. Splash Maps

Thanks to @Glocky9 for the pic & modeling
 it beautifully! 

This is a simply genius idea - a company which will print an OS map area of your choice onto a beautiful Toob (like a buff but more "mappy") - as they say, you need never be lost again!  They are functional, practical and keep you toasty warm on a windy walk.  All the details are on their website - it's a gift any outdoors lover will love!

4. Zippo Hand Warmer


We all know someone who is always cold, so introduce them to something which is always hot!  Zippo have launched a range of colourful handwarmers to keep your fingers toasty warm on long winter walks.  They run on lighter fuel, are fully reusable and run for up to 12 hours - pick the perfect pressie colour right here.

5. A romantic retreat at Crumble Cottages


There are loads of holiday cottages in Cumbria but Sarah and Stewart have created something truly special at Crumble Cottages in Cartmel - and you don't just need to take my word for it, check out their Facebook page where they have 36 reviews and every single one of them is 5 star.  The cottages are stunning - you can curl up in front of a cosy log fire in the autumn and winter or enjoy their spectacular gardens in the spring and summer.  AND if you book before the end of 2017 champagne & flowers on arrival are included (also, if you tell Sarah it's for a surprise pressie she'll send you a lovely gift card too).  Book directly with Sarah & Stewart - all their details are here.

6. Proper Cumbrian Crafts from Farfield Mill


Farfield Mill is tucked away at the foot of the Howgills near the beautiful village of Sedbergh and is home to a broad range of talented Cumbrian artists and crafters - there's everything from clothing to jewellery and works of art to toys.  If you're in the area you can pop in, enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe and visit the artists as they work, or if you're after the perfect Cumbrian Christmas gift, here's their artists directory, - pour yourself a cuppa, have a browse and order online.

7.  Funky laces from Keswick Boot Company


How about some fab and funky boot laces as the perfect stocking filler for the hiker in your life?  Breathe life back into an old pair of boots by giving them a good clean and a fab pair of laces - in fact, why not buy a few different pairs and mix and match them to really brighten up the fells?  BLOG SPECIAL - the laces are 120cm or 140cm and, if you quote this blog when ordering P&P IS FREE!  (Keswick Boot Company are a properly independent small business based in Keswick (you'd never guess from their name would you?) with boots to suit every size and shape of foot so if you *really* loved the person you're buying for you could always buy them new boots too - though there would be P&P on those 'cos they're big and heavy!)

8.  Cumbrian Spirits


You may remember that I spent the first 2 weeks of September visiting all the spirit and liqueur producers in Cumbria with my new found friend Karen (if you missed it the adventure from day 1 begins here and the book will be out spring 2018!), so I couldn't leave them out of my Christmas list now, could I?  I'm including 3 of my favourites - Shed 1 gin (who produce a special festive tipple) Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur (because of its awesome uniqueness) and Kin Toffee Vodka (which tastes amazing in hot chocolate!) - they are all the perfect way to add a dash of Cumbria to your festive cheer!  PLUS you're going to need a beautiful Cumbria Crystal glass to drink it from - if it's good enough for James Bond and Downton Abbey, it's good enough for us!

9.  Bakes and Balls


As well as a whole range of delicious tray bakes the inventive chaps (and chapesses!) at Bakes and Balls also offer a range of high energy snacks perfectly packed for throwing into your rucksack to keep you going on a long hike.  They use only natural ingredients, dry all the fruit themselves and offer plenty of low sugar and gluten free options - they've even created an edible advent calendar to help you count down to the big day in style!  All of their other cakes and scrummy goodies can be found right here.

10.  Our fabulous books!


This year we have THREE books to keep you entertained - and there's another two coming next year!

50 Gems of Cumbria explores 50 fab places to visit in the county: "This book is not just for visitors...a surprisingly eclectic mix...places that on many occasions have 'slipped under the radar'  Penrith Today

Trails with Tales is a full of intriguing walks around Arnside & Silverdale: "...lovely clear instructions...all the information you need to plan many lovely days out."  Lancaster District Magazine

Historic Cumbria (off the beaten track) gives a more detailed account of 10 sites around the county: "This is a truly lovely little book and an invaluable companion on any walk or wander around the Lake District." Sir Chris Bonington

You can find all of our books here - we'll personally pack them and sign them if you'd like too.  If you want more than one book just email us here and we'll sort something out with the P&P


JUST SO AS YOU KNOW - with the exception of Zippo who kindly sent me one of their funky hand warmers to try, we haven't received any payment or payment in kind for including people in this list.  Well, in the interests of full disclosure,  I did reward myself with a couple of bourbon creams for writing the blog and including our books, but that's all.  Everyone else is there because they're lovely and we love the stuff they do. Cheers!  😀

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Long Way Home

Yesterday (22nd Nov 2017) I'd arranged to travel to Wolverhampton from Grange-over-Sands to meet my elderly mum for lunch.  I'd bought advance tickets and although it was raining when I left home the journey down was uneventful.  The journey back, however, was a catalogue of misinformation, a battle against the elements and really bad timing - but I did meet some lovely people.

  • My 15:37 from Wolverhampton was running late, we were further delayed getting into Lancaster meaning I missed the 17:20 to Grange, which apparently left on time.
  • As the Virgin train I'd just got off pulled away the station announcer informed us that the line between Preston and Lancaster was now closed due to flooding.  If I'd known that 2 minutes earlier I could have stayed on the Virgin train to Oxenholme and got Steve to pick me up from there.  Still...
  • As no trains were running I headed for Lancaster bus station where I got myself onto a very late and diverted, but still running, 555 to Kendal (the driver of which was an absolute STAR - cheerful and helpful in the middle of what must have been a dreadful shift, top marks to Stagecoach)
  • I was trying to keep up to date with things on Twitter and, as we passed through Carnforth I saw this Tweet from Northern Rail

  • Mindful of the advice that no one should be driving unless absolutely necessary I jumped off the bus and headed to Carnforth station to save Steve having to drive to Kendal (I can walk home from Grange station) - there was a train showing on the Network Rail app as running 32 minutes late so I figured I'd get that.
  • It turns out Northern Rail were somehow misinformed (lying is a strong word and I can't imagine they'd deliberately put out false information so let's stick with "misinformed").  Later on I did try to tell them:
  • I joined 3 other people waiting on Carnforth station - plus 5 teenagers at the far end of the platform having some sort of party, 
  • Fifteen minutes later we were joined by an elderly gentleman who'd just caught a taxi from Preston to Carnforth.
  • Between us we were trying to get to Silverdale (1), Grange (1), Ulverston (1) and Barrow (2)
  • Regular recorded announcements were coming through but the information was out of date - they were still telling us that the 17:48 for Barrow was delayed.
  • Around half an hour later a lady appeared on another platform telling us the underpass was flooded, we went to explore.  The two photos below were taken just 4 minutes apart.
Notice the dry area in the centre
Dry area now gone
  • Two of the teens paddled through, the other 3 refused to.  I was happy to paddle, as was 1 other guy in our group, but two others & the elderly gent weren't.  By now we were a team and needed to resolve this.
  • Station announcement tells us all trains are now cancelled but a bus replacement service will be running - fine, but we can't get off the station to get to the busses.
  • No answers to any calls to any organisation who can help or inform us - all of us bar the elderly gent (who didn't have a phone) were trying. We even tried the emergency contact button on the platform.  Nothing.  (I did notice that Northern Rail were now Tweeting about Manchester Christmas markets though, which I thought was nice...)
  • One of our group identified that we could walk to the end of the platform and cross the tracks the the next platform - I appreciate this is probably illegal but we were stranded, there was no information or support coming from anywhere, we'd been told the trains were all cancelled anyway and we had a clear view along the tracks.  Plus this counted as an emergency so we figured we'd be OK (for those who know Carnforth station can I just point out that we only crossed to the central platform with the refreshment rooms and the path out at the far end, we did NOT attempt to cross the West Coast mainline).  These folks, who arrived several hours later, got stuck in and good to see the water level had dropped a little.
From @Bloo_bel Twitter feed
  • Information on the replacement busses was sketchy at best. One source was insisting they were running, another was saying the bus company had refused to send their drivers out in the weather conditions (and who can blame them?)
  • The local cab companies said they weren't working but the elderly gent flagged one down and persuaded the driver to take him to Silverdale.  (The teenagers had vanished as soon as we'd left the station)
  • The remaining four of us, now a soggy but fairly merry little band, decided to abandon Northern Rail and head for the pub/ hotel over the road where I called Steve to come and collect us.  I offered the others a lift to Grange.
  • As the others, who by now had names: Emma, Laura and Torquil, tried to make contact with their families we realised that they couldn't get lifts from Grange as Newby Bridge was flooded.  They booked the final 3 rooms in the hotel while I nursed my G&T, confident that Steve in our 4x4 would make it through.  The coaster on the table made me laugh though...
  • Steve arrived to collect me, I bid farewell to my new found friends, and we finally headed home, getting in at 21:45 - 6 hours after I'd left Wolverhampton.
  • The roads were shocking but folks still whizzed past us on the M6 as if nothing was amiss.
It wasn't the worst journey in the world, and I made some new friends along the way, but surely these days we could have been kept better informed?  At that time of night Carnforth is an unmanned station and there was absolutely no consistent or reliable information available to us from anywhere.  We're told CCTV is constantly watching us and yet no-one can tell us what's happening.  

I know I regularly bang on about Northern Rail but their misinformation earlier in the evening triggered a series of events for me which could have been avoided - the upshot is that I now absolutely don't trust anything on their Twitter feed, which pretty much undermines the whole point of it. 

Of course the upside is I can now look out for my new found friends on my travels and we can bitch about the service together - so not a complete disaster after all.

IF YOU NEED SOMETHING TO READ ON A LONG TRAIN JOURNEY - our books are packed with fun facts and fab photos - perfect as a pressie or just to treat yourself!  Click HERE to learn more!

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Monday, 20 November 2017

Behind the scenes at Kendal Mountain Festival

Endurance, grit, determination, a drive to push yourself beyond the limits of your comfort zone and a willingness to face fear square in the face are just a few of the qualities you'll need to be a volunteer at Kendal Mountain Festival.

Having visited the festival for many years, this year we decided to get involved so we volunteered to help out a bit and see things from the others side.  We had an absolutely brilliant time.  Utterly exhausting but brilliant.  At one point I was sat in a film session where there was a Q&A with the film-makers who had survived untold challenges canoeing along the Amazon in a dugout boat (which they'd dugout themselves and documented in a film called Dugout).

They talked about how they'd survived the extremes of tiredness and hunger.  "That's nothing" I thought "I haven't had a hot dinner for 3 days and all that stands between me and the end of my shift in 8 hours are two Yorkie bars and a bag of mini Cheddars".  I should have listened to Jean - a seasoned volunteer who had wisely packed a tuna sandwich and had a rucksack full of enticing snacks.

So what does being a volunteer entail?  Well, pretty much anything and everything.  The amazing Kendal Mountain Festival (KMF) team are there to ensure everyone has a fantastic time at the festival and our job is to do whatever they need us to do in order to make that happen.  In exchange we got a rather lovely T shirt, a Hydroflask and a pass to get in to see films and events when we're not on shift.  Me & Steve absolutely LOVE watching the films at the festival so over the course of 4 days we worked 27 hours and also fitted in well over 15 hours of films, which didn't leave a lot of time for food.  Or sleep.  I knew exactly how the Dugout guys felt - bar the odd swarm of enormous ants and the occasional dog-sized spider.  (Of course we could have had more time to eat if we'd watched fewer films, but where would the fun have been in that?)  😀

Between us our duties encompassed:
  • Putting up bunting
  • Taking bunting down when an angry lady told us off for putting it in the wrong place
  • Giving out brochures
  • Answering questings
  • Acting as VIP drivers and ferry folks to the station and assorted hotels
  • Selling festival merchandise
  • Handing out passes and tickets to VIPs
  • Not recognising some VIPS and feeling bad about it later*
  • Picking up litter
  • Fetching a burger for Tom and trying not to lick it as it smelled so good
  • Giving out tickets at the opening ceremony
  • Taking tickets in again at the opening ceremony
  • Buying batteries
  • Putting said batteries into tealights
  • Putting up posters
  • Helping to pack stuff away again when it all ended
Another famous bloke
* A young guy arrived at the Summit Desk (VIP spot) when I was there alone.  I looked at him.  "I know I know you" I said "and I know you're a climber, but I'm so sorry, your name completely escapes me just now".  It was Pete Whittaker - one of the most talented climbers on the planet and thoroughly nice guy to boot.  If you don't know him take a look at this.  The man is a legend.

Pretty much everyone we met was utterly delightful, including world famous climbers and the occasional TV star.  The tetchiest person we met (apart from the scary bunting lady) was a journalist who shall remain nameless.  They wanted a lift from the Brewery Arts Centre to an event at the Leisure Centre (a distance of around a mile for those not familiar with Kendal).  Both pool cars were out and it would have been half an hour before we could take them over there.  They stared at me.  "I'm happy to walk you over there if you're unsure of the directions" I offered.  "I know where it is" they replied "but it rained on me one year and I don't want to get wet."  

What I wanted to say was "This is a mountain festival so dig deep and brave the drizzle".  What I actually said was "Would you like to take a seat and I'll see if I can find you a coffee while you wait?"  Sometimes I hate myself.

The entire KMF team were hugely appreciative of our efforts throughout, though special mention should go to Tom for his unending cheerfulness and Festival Manager Paul Scully who stopped to say thank you every time he passed a volunteer.  The KMF team were easy to spot as they were all sporting eco-friendly white down jackets from festival sponsors Columbia.  The jackets may have many fantastic features including being warm, waterproof and made from 21 recycled water bottles, but every time I saw 4 of them gathered together I started humming E17's Stay Another Day - all they needed were fur trimmed hoods.  (The whiteness is another eco-feature which avoids the use of coloured dyes)

Will we be back next year?  Absolutely - if they haven't been put off by me insulting world famous climbers and surreptitiously Googling other vaguely familiar faces and names.  It is one of the most exhausting, brilliantly fun weekends I've had in a long time.  I think I might even film our experience and enter it into the following year's event.  You want endurance mate? I'll give you endurance...

(And if you want to volunteer next year just click here for more info)


The brilliant Dan Keeley




I'm calling this one "Psychohorizontal"


Absolutely no idea what Tom had just sat on...
My favourite film of the festival - just 5 minutes and guaranteed to make you smile.




MORE THINGS TO MAKE YOU SMILE - our books are packed with fun facts and fab photos - perfect as a pressie or just to treat yourself!  Click HERE to learn more!

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Friday, 17 November 2017

5 Ways to explore the Lake District

Back in the day, when this blog first began, it was very much focused on exploring the different fells on foot but we decided to make 2017 the year we did something different.  It's not that we got bored with hiking, far from it, it's just that different modes of transport offer different views and different experiences and we love them all.  We've also met up with some utterly fab people who are proving that exploring the fells isn't just a passtime for those with 2 healthy legs.

1. Bikes and electric bikes

I am a fair weather, unashamed, not too hilly cyclist.  I love my bike but I'm never going to be one of those Lycra clad lovelies you see pounding their way up Hard Knott Pass, so we stick to relatively flat places like Thirlmere and Grizedale.  If your legs are really feeling the train, or you don't have your own bike, then fear not for there is an entire network of cycle hire places around Morecambe Bay (also blissfully non hilly) or there's Velo Bikes in Grizedale where we borrowed a couple of ebikes from last week. (And there's tons of other fab ideas for exploring Morecambe Bay here and here)

For a few blissful hours I understood a little of what it felt like to be Laura Trott - not that I'd ever catch her even with electric assistance, but it was wonderful to zoom up hills with hardly any effort and polish off a 21 mile bike ride in under two hours and still be able to talk at the end of it.

Ebikes from Velo bikes in Grizedale
2.  On foot

To be fair, I end up exploring on foot even when I'm riding a bike as I push it up so many hills.  Nothing will ever replace my love of hiking but it's always fun escaping the crowds and exploring some of the less visited spots.  One of my favourite walks this year was the day we spent around Ennerdale Water - it was a glorious day, the heather was in full bloom and we hardly saw another soul once we left the car park.  Perfect.


3.  On the water

2017 was the year we cracked out the kayaks - and the canoes!  Fed up of walking and cycling around the lakes we thought it was about time we got out onto the lakes, so we booked a day's kayaking with Distant Horizons on Ullswater.  They gave us all the tuition we needed and kept a close eye on us all day, which was perhaps as well...  We had so much fun that we went back for a go on their canoes a few weeks later.  I wanted to love the kayaks more but I found the canoes a lot more comfortable - plus there was more room for a picnic in there...

(I bought the adventures as a Christmas gift for Steve - if you fancy it you can find the vouchers here.)


4.  IN the water

I turned 50 this year and my middle aged crisis took the form of wetsuits.  I figured it was about time to return to my swimming roots and start splashing around.  Steve was rather less gung-ho about this than I was but we ended up having several wonderful adventures hiking to a lake or tarn, going for a swim and then enjoying a BBQ on the shores.  Admittedly the photo below is in Consiton Water which didn't require much of a hike, but it was a lot of fun!

Strange aquatic mammal spotted in Consiton Water
5.  In a Terrain Hopper

It's easy to see the fells as just something for those on two legs but, as my awesome friend Debs proves, there's ways of exploring the hills even if you're not a gnarly hairy hiker.  (Like Deb's husband Andy...) 😀

My name is Debbie and I live in Cumbria. In 2011 I was diagnosed with spinal degeneration and have since used a wheelchair. 

Before this, I had always been a keen hill walker. My husband Andy and I enjoyed long-distance treks,we’d completed a few together, including Coast to Coast, Dales Way and Cumbria Way. 

Dabs out and about on her Terrain Hopper
Following the diagnosis, I began investigating all terrain wheelchairs which could get me back out into the hills. I found one called a TerrainHopper, a 4x4 all terrain wheelchair and it was with this that Andy and I completed the Coast to Coast walk, from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay in 2015.  Last year we published our first book, 'In the Spirit of Wainwright', which is a guide to the route we took across the county. 

In 2016, we devised a new long-distance route from Semerwater, North Yorkshire to 
Bassenwaite in Cumbria. This is a trek of 81 miles, and is entirely all terrain wheelchair accessible. 

At present time we are developing a new long distance through the Lakeland passes. We
don’t know as yet if it is possible to do – but that’s part of the fun! We enjoy trying new,
different routes, hoping to make the inaccessible accessible.

Being able to get back out into the hills has given me my life back. I can now enjoy being 
back outside with my family and friends. I work with The Outdoor Guide with Julia Bradbury to promote wheel friendly walks. (http://theoutdoorguide.co.uk/tog-friends/mobility-access-tog/)  Our aim is to encourage other people with disabilities to  get outdoors.

For more information about the TerrainHopper, please visit http://www.terrainhopper.com/

Saturday, 4 November 2017

10 Happy Things

Is it just me or is the news more depressing than usual at the moment?  Whenever I turn on the TV or check the BBC app on my phone all I see is misery.  Most of the internet isn't much better - provocative articles and editorial pieces designed to provoke debate and argument, followed by rude and abusive posts as people ditch their manners and lay into one another.

"If it bleeds, it leads" as they say in journalism - bad news is good business so, assuming that's true, this blog should absolutely bomb as I've decided I'm going to buck the trend and tell you about 10 things that made me happy this week.  Some big, most small, but all a blissful respite from the misery of the news cycle.

1.  The view from the train as I come home


I know that I am incredibly lucky to live where I do and I appreciate it every single day.  These were taken on Thursday as I came home from work and were the perfect antidote to a busy day.

2. A proper record player!


On Monday were lucky enough to enjoy a night away at The Plough in Lupton, an absolutely beautiful hotel not too far from Kirkby Lonsdale.  It's an utterly gorgeous place to stay, the rooms are superb and the food divine, but what was the thing that made me happiest?  The enormous roll top bath?  No.  The supersized shower?  No.  The thing which made me squeal with delight was finding a proper old record player in our room complete with a box of classic albums.  I could have happily have stayed in our room all evening listening to them and reliving my youth.

3.  Liverpool


I travel around the UK a lot for work - seriously, if "RailMiles" were a thing I'd have enough to go to the moon and back (though there'd probably be a rail replacement bus service on somewhere along the way). Wherever I go I always try and make time for a spot of sightseeing and I was blessed with beautiful weather as I explored Liverpool on Wednesday evening.  I wandered through the city and took a ferry across the Mersey but this was my favourite view of the day - perfect light and a perfect reflection - just wish I'd had a better camera with me to do it justice.

4. A new plaque!


Last Saturday the weather wasn't great but we were out and about anyway around one of my favourite places - Thirlmere. I love the views but I also love the history of the valley (we wrote a whole chapter about it in our first book)  but in all the times I'd visited I'd not spotted this particular plaque, probably because it's situated along the western road at a place where you wouldn't normally stop, but as the road across the dam is closed there's a lot less traffic so a lot more time to pause and spot little gems like this.

5. The Jacobean Moon Man of Wigan Parish Church


On Wednesday morning I was working in Wigan and had a bit of time to kill before my train to Liverpool so I took a wander around the Parish Church.  There I chatted to a very lovely man who filled me in on a little of the history. I was particularly interested to learn about one of their former Rectors, a man named John Wilkins.  In 1638 he wrote a book called "The Discovery of a World in the Moone" where he put forward the idea of building "mechanical chariots" to fly to the moon.  Seriously, click on this link. it's well worth a read.

6. Eleanor Rigby statue, Liverpool


Back in Liverpool for this one.  The city is full of statues and memorials to the very many famous people who are connected with the place - Billy Fury, Cilla Black and, of course, The Beatles, but my favourite statue was this, for 2 main reasons.  Firstly because Eleanor Rigby is my favourite Beatles tune and I think this statue captures the essence of the song perfectly.  The second reason I love it is because it was designed and created by Tommy Steele - a man not usually associated with sculpture - and I love little nuggets of history like that.

7.  Perfect chips in Giggleswick


After our lovely evening in Lupton, we headed for Settle - a beautiful little town which I'm terribly fond of and don't visit nearly enough.  You can pick up some interesting historic trails around the town from the tourist info and if you fancy something more adventurous there's a fabulous caves walk taking in the hills around the town.  What made me happy here were the perfect pile of chips with my burger. Considering it's one half of our national dish it's amazing how many places manage to cock it up; but not at the Harts Head - perfectly crispy on the outside, light and fluffy in the middle and with a pot of garlic mayo which will ward off vampires for the next week or so!

8.  My favourite view (well, one of them anyway)



Back at Thirlmere again but this time on Sunday and with better weather.  This is definitely one of my favourite views in Cumbria and it's so easy to get to.  As you drive over Dunmail Raise towards Keswick, park up at the top of the hill on the grass verge on the left then follow the tarmac track running parallel to the road for a couple of hundred yards until you see this.  If that doesn't absolutely blow you away then there's no hope for you.

9.  People paid to hear us talk!


Admittedly it was only 10 people, but even so, we were utterly delighted!  We were giving a talk at Waterstone's in Lancaster on Friday evening about what happened behind the scenes on our Trails with Tails book and 10 people came along - how cool is that?  They didn't even know about the cake before they arrived either! I've always dreamed of writing books so to have a book out which people are interested enough in to give up an hour of their Friday night to learn more about just blew me away!

10.  Mucking around with my bloke and a Kodaiq



I don't always get to spend days working with Steve, but I love it when I do!  This must be the blog with the least number of adverts on it - mainly because there's nothing I hate more than following an interesting sounding link only to be bombarded with adverts in every size shape and form which make it pretty much impossible to read whatever it was that lured me there in the first place, so I just don't do it. One of the perks of the blog though is that we get to work with people like Vantage Motors in Morecambe who occasionally loan us a car to play with for the weekend.  Last weekend it was a Skoda Kodiaq and we had a LOT of fun - we piled the bikes into the back and spent 2 days mucking around in Thirlmere creating our very own cycling video, which we plan to upload just as soon as Steve has finished editing out my swearing... 


DON'T LET THE NEWS GET YOU DOWN - our books are packed with fun facts and fab photos - perfect as a pressie or just to treat yourself!  Click HERE to learn more!

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