Cycling in Longsleddale, Cumbria

IMG_1543

Earlier this year, I met up with my good friend Bee in the Lake District, where she is working on lots of exciting steam bending and craft projects. As I am currently getting very excited for my next adventures in Cumbria when I travel to the Kendal Mountain Festival, I thought I would share some photos from a cycle ride we did together up the Longsleddale valley.

IMG_1542

It was a particular special trip for me, as lots of my ancestors lived and farmed in Longsleddale and as we rode our bikes down the narrow lane that takes you up to the end of the valley I tried to imagine what their lives must have been like working on those steep hillsides. I sometimes wish I knew more about farming and my family history and I think that maybe in future visits to the lakes I can try and explore more farms and try to gather some stories to inspire my illustrations.

IMG_1541 IMG_1538 IMG_1539

There were so many interesting things to see on the ride up to the valley as well. Bee showed me a great barn that housed an amazing collection of boats, tools and all sorts of unusual old things. It was hidden down a wee lane and I really felt like we were discovering something secret and special!

A birthday barbecue in the evening sun at the beautiful Witherslack finished off a great trip! I know that there are many beautiful landscapes out there but perhaps due to nostalgia or maybe just too much Arthur Ransome as a child, I always feel a little bit sad when I have to leave the Lake District.