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New #deadendclub Unlocked

A golden hour evening escape to explore the secret deadend road to Adamthwaite Farm and the lanes over Ash Fell, Orton Fell and Ravenstonedale. Proper Cumbria.

We've long been fascinated by the unique joys of a great deadend. In 2018 we wrote about some of the best ones we'd found in the #ColdDarkNorth so far. Great names like Bull Pot Farm, Howtown, Great Dun Fell and Wasdale Head, amongst others.

Inevitably that led to a number of recommendations from punters for their favourites - obscure lanes into residential areas, remote tracks in the Yorkshire Dales and then there was Artlegarth/Adamthwaite. In the remote Cumbrian fells, North of the Howgills and South of the Cross Fell Pennines, this relatively short and mildly steep farm road doesn't really turn heads on paper. But when someone shows you a picture of it, it's easy to see why its allure draws you in. It's gorgeous. A sinuous, twisting switchback carved sharply into an otherwise gently rolling road. And it's steep. Immediate hit list stuff for any #deadendclub members.


Not Just a Pretty Place

The lovely lanes to Newbiggin-in-Lune

We wanted to do more than just the 4km of deadend to Adamthwaite, so we parked up at Tebay Village and planned a 50km loop - starting in the quiet lanes from Tebay to Newbiggin-in-Lune and Ravenstonedale (pronounced "Russendull" as our friends at Sedbergh Cycle Club had been keen to inform us) - we rolled to the start of the road we'd come to explore.

Through the village of Ravenstonedale you start on an immediately quiet lane. Quickly you're alone with just the imposing hills that surround you and the occasional grumpy looking startled sheep.

The start of the deadend road to Adamthwaite Bank
Hi there!
Where the road starts to rise

The sign for Artlegarth Farm is the start of the steeper ramps in this relatively benign climb - past the last two farm houses on the left and the road rises more steeply before levelling by an abandoned barn and then the view opens in front of you.

The views South over the top of the steep ramp
Looking North on the return from Adamthwaite Bank

It is the most sumptuous little ramp that takes you into unknown territory beyond. And its really is steep. Like a pocket-sized Park Rash. Rising over 25% but only for about 20 metres. Then the climbing relents and there's a fast descent to the farm at the end of the road. That's it. Time to return and enjoy the breathtaking views of the northern fells beyond.


Beyond the Deadend

After a long flowing descent back into Ravenstonedale, our loop goes to the North over the steep and relentlessly long Ash Fell road. Then turning left off the fast descent and winding through very remote lanes over the idyllic ford at Scandal Beck, the aquaduct at Crosby Garrett, and taking in the sneaky views of Great Dun Fell in the distance. The route turns to face the inevitable headwind as you cross Orton Fell and pass Sunbiggin Tarn before descending back into Tebay.

The relentless drag up Ash Fell

The ford at Scandal Beck
Sunbiggin Tarn glinting in the fading sunshine

Running out of light on Orton Fell

You can view and download our route here: Only Good Ends

Here's the profile of the Adamthwaite Bank climb too:

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Jul 29, 2020

Ah - yes Mosedale was on our original #deadendclub list. Rag Robin sounds lovely!


My folks almost bought the farmhouse right at the end of Adamthwaite, stunning spot. I also spent many a summer day cycling up Mosedale to swim in Swineside. A North Yorks dead end for you - Rag Robin Turn from Kepwick up on to the Cleveland Way, shortish and sharp, views views views

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