Barbondale Valley is quite probably one of the greatest roads to cycle on. Located in south Cumbria it climbs gently from the Village of Barbon with spectacular views until a steep drop down into Dentdale.
This photo of my lovely wife doesn’t really do it justice, especially as it was dull and overcast last weekend, but even then it was amazing. I’ve written about this valley a couple of times in the past, once on a 212km Audax, where the guys I was riding with had never been there (read about it here). The annual Coal Road challenge also uses this road, but in the other direction, with the steep climb out of Gawthorpe and the long gentle descent. This climb is mentioned in Simon Warren’s book ‘cycling climbs of the north-west’, although it only gets a 7/10, and is called Stone Rigg Outrake, which no one ever calls it. I’ve also blogged about the Coal Road challenge (read about it here).
If you are ever in the area there are so many great roads, but this is one that is often overlooked, which is a shame.