Monty the Motorhome is basking in the evening sun at The Strickland Arms, in the small Cumbrian village of Great Strickland, which is just off the M6 between Shap and Penrith.
We’ve made it out after a very poor record for 2016, which has only seen two very brief outings. The reason has chiefly been down to back problems that started early in the year and have really restricted my mobility over the last few months. However they are improving and we are now en route to SW Scotland.
Consequently we are breaking the journey in two, to avoid hours of sitting and driving.
Our overnight pub stop tonight is on the Coast to Coast cycle route that runs from Whitehaven to Sunderland and the pub owners have capitalised on this by offering luggage transfer and accommodation packages for people doing the route. They also devised an alternative loop to the original route and named it in honour of Sir Bradley Wiggins. That idea brought about a visit from the man himself who presented the pub with one of his yellow jerseys from the 2012 Tour de France. That now has a pride of place in one of the bars.
We had a wander round the village which is really pretty with many of the gardens displaying troughs and hanging baskets that are positively dripping with colour. The place must be in some sort of ‘best village in bloom’ type competition with judging imminent.
Evening meal at the pub was pie and veg for us both - steak and kidney for me, while Ruth went for chicken, leek and mushroom. They were delicious, with exquisite short pastry and really lean succulent meat. Probably some of the best pies we’ve ever had. The local beer is Jennings and it was served warm and flat - perfect.