HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

Here’s looking forward to some more views like this in 2022;

2022 CALENDAR

MARCH    27-29th       HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR

Cotswolds to Fens, start and finish near Stratford. One night near Ely.

Hook Norton Brewery, British Waterways Canal Museum, possibly Silverstone museum or Gaydon National Motor Museum.                3 nights  £899

Nearly full!

 

MAY 12th – 22nd           SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 500

Start Kendal, the Borders, Duns, Forth Bridge, Ballater, Speyside, Coul House 3 nights. The Flow Country, return via Crieff and Kelpies to Kendal.            

9 nights   £3199 Optional extra night near Kendal

 

JULY 3-7th                   WOLDS TO WINDERMERE

Start near Hull, day in Yorkshire Wolds, cross Yorkshire Moors to Cumbria and Lakes.  One day around the Lakes. 5 nights. (2 Near Hull, 1 at Whitby and 2 at The Villa, near Kendal.)

The train ride originally planned might be difficult to organise for a large group depending on COVID Rules at the time.

5 nights       £1399

 

AUGUST   7-16th         DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

Via Galway, Clifden, Joyce Country, Donegal, Wild Atlantic Way, Atlantic Drive and Knockalla.

Start and finish at Dublin (Ferry from Holyhead)       9 nights £3349 inc. ferry

Subject to exchange rates.                      Nearly full!

 

SEPTEMBER 18-22nd WELSH HIGH ROADS TOUR

North Wales, based near Llandudno, Snowdonia, Lleyn Penninsula, Llangollen. Lake Vrynwy, Long Mynd, Finish 2 nights at Ludlow. (Fishmore Hall).

5 nights    £1599

 

OCTOBER 23-26         CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA

One day in Yorkshire Dales, Buttertubs, Mallerstang, Killington Lake.

One day in Trough of Bowland with lunch at Gibbon Bridge.

One day in south lakes.

4 nights at The Villa.  £945

 

N.B.

Deposits and Booking fees may be paid by Bank Transfer;

But I will still need a booking form, but this can be e-mailed.

mikekirkrallying@aol.com

 

Merry Christmas

and

A Happy Touring New Year

To all CCT(MK) Customers, Past, Present and Future

DECEMBER BLOG

I hope we are going to be able to tour next year without restrictions, despite the best efforts of COVID and the Climate Change Brigade, because most of my tours are already looking encouragingly healthy in terms of bookings. In fact the first tour of the year, ‘The Heart of England Tour’ is almost fully booked now, as is the Irish Tour.

I hope the weather is a little better also, more like above – the vehicle in the background is an ice cream van and the Porsche is strategically parked in the shade! It was not so strategically parked at the back of my house last week when the storm dislodged a large slate which slid down the roof and fortunately lodged on the guttering – just above the Porsche! As my old friend ‘Chip’ would say –“More Jam than Hartleys”.

Hopefully by the time you read this all the full itineraries for next year’s tours will be on the ‘Itineraries’ page. As I said last month I will not be sending out full brochures this year but I can supply individual itineraries on request.

I still have plans for European Tours on file but I don’t think there is any chance of them happening in the foreseeable future, certainly not in 2022. Let us keep our fingers crossed for 2023.

2022 CALENDAR

MARCH    27-29th   HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR

Cotswolds to Fens, start and finish near Stratford. One night near Ely.

Hook Norton Brewery, British Waterways Canal Museum, possibly Silverstone museum or Gaydon National Motor Museum.               3 nights  £899

 

MAY 12th – 22nd             SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 500

Start Kendal, the Borders, Duns, Forth Bridge, Ballater, Speyside, Coul House 3 nights. The Flow Country, return via Crieff and Kelpies to Kendal.        

9 nights   £3199 Optional extra night near Kendal

 

JULY 3-7TH               WOLDS TO WINDERMERE

Start near Hull, day in Yorkshire Wolds, cross Yorkshire Moors to Cumbria and Lakes.  One day around the Lakes. 5 nights. (2 Near Hull, 1 at Whitby and 2 at The Villa, near Kendal.)

The train ride originally planned might be difficult to organise for a large group depending on COVID Rules at the time.

5 nights     £1399

 

AUGUST   7-16th     DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

Via Galway, Clifden, Joyce Country, Donegal, Wild Atlantic Way, Atlantic Drive and Knockalla.

Start and finish at Dublin (Ferry from Holyhead)       9 nights £3349 inc. ferry

Subject to exchange rates.

 SEPTEMBER 18-22nd       WELSH HIGH ROADS TOUR

North Wales, based near Llandudno, Snowdonia, Lleyn Penninsula, Llangollen. Lake Vrynwy, Long Mynd, Finish 2 nights at Ludlow. (Fishmore Hall).

5 nights    £1599

 OCTOBER 23-26      CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA

One day in Yorkshire Dales, Buttertubs, Mallerstang, Killington Lake

One day in Trough of Bowland with lunch at Gibbon Bridge.

One day in south lakes, reverse of 2021 route without the long run to Wasdale Head.

4 nights at The Villa.  £945

N.B.

Deposits and Booking fees may be paid by Bank Transfer;

But I will still need a booking form, but this can be e-mailed.

mikekirkrallying@aol.com

 

NOVEMBER BLOG

Well, didn’t quite get to tick the next thing off the ‘bucket list’. We retired from The Rally of the Tests on the second day with what we thought were gearbox problems. i.e. no drive in any gear. It turned out to be the diff. Very disappointing with two days to go and a lot of it on familiar ground. Ah well. That is rallying. Maybe next year???

Dirty but not disgraced!                               Will there be a 2022 sticker?

The 2022 Calendar remains as published (below) and I am pleased to say there has been moderate interest in most events already. I have now been able to put some prices to the events. You won’t be too surprised to see some prices have gone up inline with everything else. I will be working on getting the full itineraries on the website in the next few weeks but if you are interested in any particular event I can send you the specific itinerary on request. I do not intend to send out brochures this year as it just isn’t cost effective compared to doing an e-mail bulletin. (And it is more carbon neutral! Whoopee!!)

With the ‘staycation’ boom continuing, hotels are already getting booked up, so I need to know A.S.A.P if you are interested in any of the tours below as I may be limited to numbers depending on hotel availability.

All prices are per car. i.e. 2 people sharing accommodation. Booking forms can be downloaded from the website or on request.

 

2022 CALENDAR

MARCH    27-29th       HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR

Cotswolds to Fens, start and finish near Stratford. One night near Ely.

Hook Norton Brewery, British Waterways Canal Museum, possibly Silverstone museum or Gaydon National Motor Museum.                3 nights  £899

MAY 12th – 22nd           SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 500

Start Kendal, the Borders, Duns, Forth Bridge, Ballater, Speyside, Coul House 3 nights. The Flow Country, return via Crieff and Kelpies to Kendal.            

9 nights   £3199 Optional extra night near Kendal

JULY 3-7TH                   WOLDS TO WINDERMERE

Start near Hull, day in Yorkshire Wolds, cross Yorkshire Moors to Cumbria and Lakes.  One day around the Lakes. 5 nights. (2 Near Hull, 1 at Whitby and 2 at The Villa, near Kendal.)

The train ride originally planned might be difficult to organise for a large group depending on COVID Rules at the time.

5 nights       £1399

AUGUST   7-16th         DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

Via Galway, Clifden, Joyce Country, Donegal, Wild Atlantic Way, Atlantic Drive and Knockalla.

Start and finish at Dublin (Ferry from Holyhead)       9 nights £3349 inc. ferry

Subject to exchange rates.

 SEPTEMBER 18-22nd WELSH HIGH ROADS TOUR

North Wales, based near Llandudno, Snowdonia, Lleyn Penninsula, Llangollen. Lake Vrynwy, Long Mynd, Finish 2 nights at Ludlow. (Fishmore Hall).

5 nights    £1599

 OCTOBER 23-26         CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA

One day in Yorkshire Dales, Buttertubs, Mallerstang, Killington Lake

One day in Trough of Bowland with lunch at Gibbon Bridge.

One day in south lakes, reverse of 2021 route without the long run to Wasdale Head.

4 nights at The Villa.  £945

 

LATE OCTOBER BLOG

What a way to finish the Autumn Railways Tour – lunch on the Orient Express!

 

The ‘railways’ theme worked extremely well despite a road closure cutting out one of the more spectacular bits of route through Dent Head, and the climb to the station and over the ‘Coal Road’. In fact the whole route was blighted with road closures but most people found their way around, and the rest of the route was equally as scenic, and although we never had brilliant sunshine the visibility was generally good.

 

(The Orient Express was at the old Bassenthwaite Lake Station. The rest of the line has long gone and the train was actually a full scale replica used as a film set for the last production of “Murder on the Orient Express” ) A good finish to a difficult year and I am now looking to the future….

2022 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

I have had to slightly re-jig the proposed calendar as Easter falls right in the middle of April and we have an extra Bank Holiday in May for the Queen’s Jubilee. Things are still not ‘set in stone’ as I need to contact hotels regarding availability, but this is what I propose;

MARCH    27-29th       HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR

Cotswolds to Fens, start and finish near Stratford. One night near Ely.

Hook Norton Brewery, British Waterways Canal Museum, possibly Silverstone museum or Gaydon National Motor Museum.                3 nights

MAY 12th – 22nd           SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 500

Borders, Duns, Forth Bridge, Ballater, Speyside, Coul House 3 nights (booked), return via Crieff and Kelpies to Kendal.             10 nights

JULY 3-7TH                   WOLDS TO WINDERMERE

Start near Hull, day in Yorkshire Wolds, cross Yorkshire Moors to Cumbria and Lakes.   5 nights. (2 Near Hull, 1 at Whitby and 2 at The Villa, near Kendal.)

The train ride originally planned might be difficult to organise for a large group depending on COVID Rules at the time.

AUGUST   7-16th         DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

Via Galway, Clifden, Joyce Country, Donegal, Wild Atlantic Way, Atlantic Drive and Knockalla.

Start and finish at Dublin (Ferry from Holyhead)       9 nights

SEPTEMBER 18-22nd WELSH HIGH ROADS TOUR

North Wales, based near Llandudno, Snowdonia, Lleyn Penninsula, Llangollen. Lake Vrynwy, Long Mynd, Finish 2 nights at Ludlow.

5 nights

OCTOBER 23-26         CIRCUIT OF CUMBRIA

One day in Yorkshire Dales, Buttertubs, Mallerstang, Killington Lake

One day in Trough of Bowland with lunch at Gibbon Bridge.

One day in south lakes, reverse of 2021 route without the long run to Wasdale Head.

4 nights at The Villa.

September Blog

Well, that is something ticked off the ‘bucket list’, The Classic Malts Rally.

Mind you it meant nearly three weeks in Scotland and nearly three thousand miles.

I got back from our CCT(MK) West Coast 250 Tour on Friday afternoon, re-packed my bag, changed cars and set off back upto Edinburgh on Sunday lunchtime for ‘The Malts’.

The WC250 Tour went off very well with pretty good weather in the main. The roads were not too busy with NC500 Camper vans, except for one ‘character’ who kept a queue of about 20 cars behind him for about 20 miles. He was not popular with the local postman who was stuck in the jam. Once we got off the much publicised route we were back on empty roads, especially when we crossed ‘The Flow Country’ and stopped off at the isolated Garvault House Hotel for lunch. The owner put on an excellent spread in what appeared to be her own front room. The hotel lives upto its reputation as ‘the remotest hotel in Britain’. You literally walk out of the front door into nowhere. The other hotels on the trip all lived upto or in at least one case exceeded expectations. There is always an exception to the rule and the most expensive hotel was probably the least enjoyable – naming no names of course! I even managed to find some new routes for the future during the ‘free day’ at Coul House.

On the Classic Malts all the hotels were sumptuous as you would expect, the only problem was that they were just too big. The start and finish hotel near Edinburgh was so big it was literally about a ½ mile walk from reception to the bedrooms. So, if you forgot something, like money in the bar, it was about a mile round trip to go back! (And to add insult to injury they had no beer on the last night – rubbish lager, yes, but no proper beer).

As for the rally itself we got off to the worst possible start with a massive wrong slot, although we did manage to get to the first test just in time. However that was just the start of the problem, as because off the huge detour we had made, we now needed petrol and so had to go off route again to find some. If ‘sods law’ ever applied it applied here. The petrol station we found was in some none descript town with lots of traffic lights, roundabouts, 20 mph limits and lots of slow traffic. Even when we got back onto country roads we were held up by everything imagineable; tractors, buses and even at one point a funeral procession. You couldn’t write a script like that! Not surprisingly we were out of time at the first passage control. Fortunately the marshals were still there and suggested that if we get a move on to the coffee stop we could make up time there. This we were able to do and things gradually got better from there, but we had an extra minute penalty hanging over us for the rest of the day.

All in all though it was a fantastic event and experience. The route was superb and went through some spectacular scenery that I had never seen before, and I have been doing tour routes around Scotland for 20 years. The navigation wasn’t too devious but as any HERO event you had to be ‘on the ball’ all the time. The tests were generally very good. There were a couple of tight ones in distilleries but some fabulous hill climbs through the grounds of castles and stately homes and even the famous ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ Hill Climb, which unfortunately was held in torrential rain.

The event is only held every two years —- so I might be tempted back again, possibly in the Alpine. The Escort never missed a beat and was a pleasure to drive but it is not really set up to do 20-30mph all day. Even though it is fairly low geared I think I did the most of the 900 miles in 3rd gear (or lower). The Alpine might feel a little more appropriate, especially if the weather was good and the top was down.

Ah well, I have got two weeks to my next tour, The Autumn Railways, – oh no! I have got the Mini Miglia Tour in between. Here’s looking to a quiet Autumn – oh no! there is the Devils Targa2 and the Rally of the Tests in quick succession……..

 

AUGUST BLOG

I never had time for a July ‘blog’. A day at our local show then a visit to Wales for a route noting trip, then the Lakes and Dales Tour and then a recce trip to Scotland, kept me pretty busy.

The Welsh trip went well except we found some of the roads a little too bumpy and ‘nadgery’ but with no views to compensate, so we have cut them out. There are still some good ‘Kirk’ roads and a lot of excellent views.

The Lakes and Dales Tour went well and was blessed with glorious weather to show off the scenery to its best. The temperatures on the last day made things a little hard work and the ‘staycation’ congestion in the Wasdale Valley didn’t help. However the new base at The Villa Hotel proved to be a great success and we will be going there again.

 

The Scottish recce was also hard work as we tried to cover and eight day route in five days, The poor Scirocco clocked up another 1300 miles. Things went fairly well but I have had to do a bit of ‘editing’ as the mileage crept up to unreasonable figures some days. The much vaunted North Coast 500 tourist route only caused a problem in a couple of places. Surprisingly the Pass of the Cattle was no busier than other years, but this may have been because the authorities have “emasculated” it a little. New passing places, new crash barriers, and even new parking places with kerbs and pavements (presumably so people can stop to admire the view without blocking the road) possibly spread out the traffic a little. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the run north through Sheildaig and the Torridon Hills where the single track road was almost blocked by convoys of camper vans. I am going to give people the option of missing this bit as it wasn’t fun. We cannot avoid a similar bit near Durness on the North West corner of the route, but after that we turn across country away from the NC500 on some virtually deserted roads in dramatic scenery. I didn’t get many photos as the weather was Scottish, i.e very changeable!

REMAINING EVENTS

SEPTEMBER 25/26th THE BOWLAND AND BAY and AUTUMN IN EDEN

Based at Station Inn, Kendal. Five places left but may be able to take more.

OCTOBER 11-14th THE AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR

Start at Coniston Cold, 2 nights near Carlisle, finish Kendal. Nearly full.

PLEASE NOTE;
Entries can be accepted for individual days of any tour with or without accommodation. Please ask for more information. See itineraries page for more details.

 

JUNE  BLOG 2

A deserted Buttertubs Pass recently.

With all the changes of dates and uncertainties about the future, I thought I had better confirm the proposed Calendar for 2021. With the new ‘freedom’ date of July 19th I think we can go ahead as originally intended. This is the plan as it stands;

JULY   18-21ST LAKES AND DALES
Based at THE VILLA near Kendal.
*Due to recent cancellations there are now two more places available.

AUGUST 9-13TH THE WELSH BORDERS
Based at Fishmore Hall, Ludlow. 2 Places still available.

SEPTEMBER 1-9TH THE WEST COAST 250
Start Kendal, finish Crieff. Possibly one place left.

SEPTEMBER 25/26TH THE BOWLAND AND BAY and AUTUMN IN EDEN
Based at Station Inn, Kendal. Five places left but may be able to take more.

OCTOBER 11-14TH THE AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR
Start at Coniston Cold, 2 nights near Carlisle, finish Kendal. Nearly full.

PLEASE NOTE;
Entries can be accepted for individual days of any tour with or without accommodation. Please ask for more information. See itineraries page for more details.

I have had some enquiries about 2022 but I think it is too early to think that far ahead….

Past adventures . . . . more to come I hope

 

 

STOP PRESS!   NEW EVENT
AUTUMN IN EDEN, BOWLAND AND BAY
September 25/26th

The Tour will be based at the Station Inn Oxenholme, where accommodation can be arranged for 1-3 nights on request. i.e. Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday

SATURDAY – BOWLAND AND BAY

We leave the Station and take the ‘back road’ to Kirkby Lonsdale with Barbon Fell always ahead. We pass through the pleasant market town and head west over Hutton Roof to Burton and then double back via Docker Park to Arkholme and through Gressingham and the narrow bridge over the River Lune. Next we break the journey with a coffee stop in the little village of Wray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Wray we climb into the hills via White Moss, where the majestic Three Peaks come into view ahead (on a clear day). Turning south we cross the wide open expanses of Lythe Fell to Slaidburn and then take some very quiet and picturesque lanes towards Whitwell and onto lunch at the fabulous Gibbon Bridge Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch some more quiet little lanes bring us to the famous Trough of Bowland. We travel the full length of the ‘Trough’ until we get the panoramic views from the   summit over Morecambe Bay. We then cross the Lune Valley again and continue west to cross the M6 motorway and the A6 main road until we reach the shores of the bay near Silverdale. After some spectacular views across the bay we drop down into Arnside with its impressive viaduct with the Lakes Hills beyond. Following the estuary through Sandside we take a cross country run with a little ‘sting in the tail’ to bring us back to the Station for dinner.

SUNDAY  – AUTUMN IN EDEN
(Not The Little Devils Tour)

Well it is sort of! We just didn’t want it to be confused with the Devils Own Rallies run by Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club, even though the inspiration for the routes of the tour come from Devils Own Rallies of the past. We also didn’t want to put off anybody who might associate the name with ‘Devilish’ little un-surfaced roads. There will be no un-metalled roads and NO form of competition on either day.

 From the Station Inn we head north to skirt the town of Kendal on an old rally favourite, “Paddy Lane”, and then on through Patton with views of the Whinfell Hills ahead, to Selside where we join the old A6 over the infamous Shap Fell. From Shap village we take to the quiet lanes which bring us to the majestic Lowther Castle for coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After coffee we head east again via Cliburn and on to the ‘Camels’, a series of quite severe blind brows through the secluded woods surrounding the Centre Parks resort. We then cross the A66, via an under pass, and pass through Culgaith village and onto more quiet lanes at the foot of the Pennines. Turning south we skirt the old ‘County’ town of Westmorland, Appleby, and head out onto the army ranges at Warcop. We will only use the public road across the ranges but pass the army roads used on KLMC’s Pendragon Stages rally.

We then cross the A66 again and drive through Warcop village and back towards the Eden Valley going through Blea Tarn, which is notable for the fact there is no tarn! However we do go past Sunbiggin Tarn where there is a tarn! We won’t drive the full length of the Tarn road but make a little detour whilst taking in the views of the northern side of the Howgill Fells. Lunch will then be taken at Tebay.

 

 

 

 

The afternoon run is where the driving really starts with such classics as; The Fairmile (high on the side of the Howgills with the River Lune far below), Crook ‘o Lune Bridge (very narrow), Fox’s Pulpit (which gives views down the length of the Lune Valley) and onto the lanes around Killington Lake, before we finish back at the Station Inn for dinner.

N.B. Accommodation at the Station Inn is limited, so it will be on a first come/first served basis. Rooms are available for Friday/Saturday/Sunday, additional accommodation may be available at The Glen B+B down the road.

Single day – no accommodation – £49
Single day with one nights dinner, B+B – £199
Two days with one nights dinner,B+B – £249
Two days with two nights dinner, B+B – £350
Two days with three nights dinner, B+B – £549

 

MAY BLOG

With the easing of Lockdown I have managed to get out and do some route noting for the tours nearest to home. I was a little surprised to set off one day in beautiful sunshine and then run into snow as I got higher in the hills.

I am pleased to say the route noting went well and you can see from the pictures the scenery wasn’t bad at all! I wasn’t in the Porsche when it snowed!

There hasn’t been the rush of bookings I half expected with all the talk of ‘staycations’, so things are pretty much as they were in the last blog with a couple of places left on each tour. I did look at adding an extra small tour to co-incide with the local Motor Club’s Classic Car show but it was too close to my Lakes and Dales Tour, and would have had to be in the same area, so it wasn’t really viable. I have cancelled my trip to Spain and Portugal so it does leave me with a little more time to fit something else in, but it is difficult to find a suitable date, so I think we might just have to settle for the tours already planned and start looking at 2022. I did publish a proposed calendar a few months ago but I will start to put the itineraries together in more detail, maybe for next month’s ‘blog’.

 

 

 



On the car front, the Escort is running really well so I have entered a local competitive event. The Porsche is unfortunately off the road with power steering problems, but will hopefully be back in action by the time we get some better weather. It hasn’t really been too much of a disappointment not being able to use it as even when we have had sunny days it has been bitterly cold. AND I am trying very hard to get the old Alpine going again. We may have identified some electrical problems which were causing it to stop when hot, and almost impossible to re-start, which didn’t give me confidence to go very far in it. As mentioned, the Spain/Portugal trip is off but we have transferred the entry to the Scottish Malts rally, so I am hoping the Alpine will be fit for that, but if not the Escort will be a good substitute. In the meantime, the faithful old ‘company car’ is doing a stirling job on the recces.

 

 

 

APRIL BLOG
THE LAKES AND DALES TOURS July 18-21st

Due to the amount of interest shown in this tour we have decided to re-locate it to a 4-5 star hotel rather than the village pub and b+b. This does not alter the itinerary significantly but does put the price up a little. The hotel is now fully booked for the first night so there is an option to do a shorter version as below.

We meet on Sunday night, July 18th for dinner at our new base,
THE VILLA HOTEL, just outside Kendal.
DAY ONE  Monday July 19th  THE DALES  
Day Two Tuesday 20th   DIFFERENT DALES
Day Three  Wednesday 20th THE LAKES/BAY WATCH TOUR

NOW FULLY BOOKED  BUT 2 DAY OPTION AVAILABLE

Normal price = 4 nights, dinner, b+b   £899
2 nights, Tues/Wed £449
2 days, 1 night(Tues) £225


       Duddon Valley                                       Summer Lodge Moor

AUGUST             9-13th         WELSH BORDERS        

As advertised for June. Based in Ludlow 3 PLACES LEFT

HIGH ROADS    CANCELLED

SEPTEMBER     1-9th            SCOTLAND NORTH WEST 250      

As previously advertised for May. ONLY ONE PLACE LEFT

OCTOBER 11-14th                    AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR

Already in double figures.

With the ongoing situation in Europe I think it wise to put all plans for events on the continent ‘on hold’ for now, including those proposed for 2022. I have plenty of routes in reserve in the UK to fill the calendar next year if necessary.

Just a reminder of the Alps. 2023 maybe?

I am also looking into something completely different. It may not appeal to most of my regular customers but it might be of interest to those of a more adventurous nature?? How about a trip to Morocco?

The idea would be to fly out and hire 4×4’s. Nothing competitive, not the Paris –Dakar, but the opportunity to drive in the desert, or on the beach, as well as more traditional tourist elements. I have contacts who have contacts out there, and we are looking at putting something together. Again it may not be possible before 2023 but there is food for thought. I only need 2 or 3 prospective bookings as my contacts will also be taking bookings, and there will probably be a maximum of ten crews.

If you are interested please let me know in the not too distant future so that I can decide if it is worth pursuing. I will then put an itinery together.

 

MARCH  BLOG

Just a little more news as things are developing rapidly. All the tours are getting booked up, or more to the point the chosen hotels are getting booked up! Therefore I cannot add extra bookings at a later date. So if you are thinking about any of them get your bookings in now. I know things are not 100% definite, even after June, but if we do have to cancel anything for COVID related problems, there will be a full refund of any money paid at that point. Therefore, deposits are now being taken!

STOP PRESS;   The Lakes and Dales Tour is nearly fully booked and there are only 3 places left on the Welsh Borders Tour and only one place left for Scotland!! The Autumn Tour is also into double figures but there may be time to get more hotel rooms.

If there is demand I may also add another short tour to the calendar if I can find an available date.

THE LAKES AND DALES TOURS
July 18-21 ONE PLACE LEFT!

AUGUST             9-13TH         WELSH BORDERS        As advertised for June. Based in Ludlow 3 PLACES LEFT

HIGH ROADS    CANCELLED

SEPTEMBER     1-9TH            SCOTLAND NORTH WEST 250      As previously advertised for May. ONLY ONE PLACE LEFT

OCTOBER 11-14TH                                AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR
Already in double figures.

 

FEBLOG (Boris Blog)

In case you had forgotten = A Kirk Road

I have been waiting for Boris to make his announcement on the 22nd before making my own.

It is still a little too early to make definite plans but as I hinted in last month’s ‘blog’, the events in April, May and probably June will have to be postponed. It is too soon to know what restrictions might still apply 3 or 4 months ahead, but with such uncertainty it is not practical, or even possible, to organise or book anything. Social distancing rules may apply for some time which would make some venues un-viable.

As things stand there is a promising amount of interest in the Welsh Borders and Wolds – Windermere events. However I have decided to postpone Wolds to Windermere until 2022 as Social distancing rules might make the train ride and the Fish and Chip Supper difficult to organise. Also I have cancelled the planned High Roads Tour in August as at the moment there isn’t much interest and it does go into Scotland which may still have different rules. The Welsh Borders Tour can take those dates subject to hotel availability and I may be able to fit the proposed April Lakes and Dales Tour in at the end of July if everything is going according to plan.

 I am pleased to say that there is reasonable interest in the Scottish Tour and the Autumn Tour so I am cautiously optimistic that these should go ahead as planned, even to the point I would say that if you are interested, please let me know fairly soon, as current indications are that there may be a rush on ‘staycations’, and hence a demand for hotel rooms, later this year.

As soon as I have checked the accommodation I will send out a Bulletin with a revised calendar, but for now it looks like this;

REVISED CALENDAR 2021

MAY                    WOLDS TO WINDERMERE         POSTPONED TO 2022

JULY                   18-21ST         LAKES ‘N DALES    As advertised for April. Based in Kendal.

AUGUST             9-13TH         WELSH BORDERS        As advertised for June. Based in Ludlow

HIGH ROADS    CANCELLED

SEPTEMBER     1-9TH            SCOTLAND NORTH WEST 250      As previously advertised for May.

OCTOBER 11-14TH AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR

Follow the route of the Settle- Carlisle Railway and the Waverley route. Yorkshire Dales and Scottish Borders. Optional return via Lake District.

Meanwhile I am being a little more optimistic about 2022 or if necessary 2023. (Even if the Covid threat is reduced in England we don’t know when the rest of Europe, will open up. Therefore I have been looking into more details for events further into the future. Proposed itineraries to follow.

2022 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

MARCH              HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR

Cotswolds to Fens, start and finish near Stratford

APRIL                 WOLDS TO WINDERMERE

                             As planned for 2020

MAY                    SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 500

Borders, Forth Bridge, Ballater, Cullen (as in Skink), Cairngorms, Isle of Mull, Loch Lomond (and much more!)

JUNE/JULY                 DUBLIN TO DONEGAL

Via Galway, Clifden, Wild Atlantic Way, Atlantic Drive and Knockalla.

AUGUST             WELSH HIGH ROADS TOUR

North Wales, based near Llandudno, Snowdonia, Lleyn Penninsula, Llangollen.

SEPTEMBER 2022                EIFEL TOUR

As planned for 2020 with extension to Technik Museum Speyer.

OCTOBER          AUTUMN IN EDEN

Some of the planned 2020 Autumn Tour and new routes in north Cumbria.

SEPTEMBER     2023 THE ALPS RE-VISITED

A new route in the Swiss/Austrian Alps including the Stelvio Pass and the Furka Pass (the highest road in Switzerland where the opening sequences of the James Bond epic, ‘Gold Finger’ were filmed.)

Essential journey to ASDA, one mile away.
Must have taken a wrong turning- 20+mls on trip when I got home?
(and before you comment, no, I wasn’t using one of my Road Books!)

 

JAN BLOG
Here’s Hoping for a Happier New Year

A Rose tinted spectacle!?

 Thank you for your support in the past and hope to see you all in 2021

Oh dear, spoke too soon again! With the latest Lockdown now in place it definitely looks as though we won’t be doing anything before April, so I am not sure if the Spring Lakes and Dales will run or even the Wolds-Windermere in May. All we can do is stay safe and wait and see. I may look at running the Spring Tour as soon as things look viable, e.g. in June/July. The routes are all ‘done and dusted’ being on my doorstep, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to arrange accommodation at short notice. The Welsh Borders re-scheduled for June may depend on just how soon we can get out and about again, as I still need to recce most of the route, and will need to re-organise the hotel. Hopefully things will be better in the second half of the year, the season may not realistically start until August.

Hopefully you are reading this on a new website. Sorry if you were looking for things over Christmas, the old website was taken down but the new one has just gone up.

The weather has been a little grey and wet recently so I haven’t had many scenic walks with my camera, but at least we didn’t get much snow unlike everywhere around us. The cars have hardly moved. Ironically the Escort went in for an M.O.T. just before ‘lockdown’ and is still there, so at least it is warm and dry. I may have to get the Porsche out for an essential shopping trip soon, a pity it is barely a mile to ASDA, mind you, I could get lost on the way home.

Grey skies are going to clear up – eventually.

In the meantime, whilst ‘confined to barracks’, I have been ‘fleshing out’ some of the itineraries for further ahead, i.e. Scotland 2022 and the Alps 2022. I may put them on the website in due course..

PROVISIONAL CALENDAR 2021   Subject to Lockdowns and limitations.

  LITTLE LOCKDOWN TOURS
(Lakes and Dales Spring Tour)
Based at Station Inn, Oxenholme. Two days in the Yorkshire Dales and one in the Lake District.
Probably postponed.

WOLDS TO WINDERMERE
As planned for 2020. Start near Hull, The Yorkshire Wolds/Moors/Dales, 2 nights near Whitby (a day on the North Yorks Moors Railway) finishing with 2 nights at Crooklands and a day in the Lakes.
Maybe Postponed

  WELSH BORDERS AND SHROPSHIRE HILLS
As planned for 2020 but 4 nights and start and finish in Ludlow. Wyre Forest, Severn Valley, Long Myndd, Wenlock Edge. Lake Vyrnwy.
Maybe postponed

JULY       Hopefully I will be busy!

  THE HIGH ROADS TOUR (Pennine Way)
Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Pennines, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland and Borders. Overnight stops at Coniston Cold and Langley Castle.
Hopefully running as planned.

 SEPTEMBER     1-9TH SCOTLAND NORTH WEST 250
As previously advertised for May.

OCTOBER 11-14TH AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR
Follow the route of the Settle- Carlisle Railway and the Waverley route. Yorkshire Dales and Scottish Borders. Optional return via Lake District.

2022 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

APRIL                 HEART OF ENGLAND TOUR
Cotswolds to Fens, start and finish near Stratford

MAY                    SCOTLAND EAST-WEST 500
Borders, Forth Bridge, Ballater, Cullen (as in Skink), Cairngorms, Isle of Mull, Loch Lomond (and much more!)

JUNE                   DUBLIN TO DONEGAL
Via Galway, Atlantic Drive and Knockalla.

JULY                   EIFEL TOUR
As planned for 2020 with extension to Technik Museum Speyer.

AUGUST             WELSH HIGH ROADS TOUR
North Wales, based near Llandudno, Snowdonia, Lleyn Penninsula, Llangollen.

SEPTEMBER     THE ALPS RE-VISITED
A more compact version of the 2019 tour – or – a new route in the Swiss/Austrian Alps including the Stelvio Pass and the Furka Pass (the highest road in Switzerland where the opening sequences of the James Bond epic, ‘Gold Finger’ were filmed.)

OCTOBER          AUTUMN IN EDEN
Some of the planned 2020 Autumn Tour and new routes in north Cumbria.

 

DEC BLOG

Well it has been back to walking the Helm again – I haven’t got a dog!

     

 

Lockdown Lake                                                                             The boulder of contemplation.

The only trouble is the weather hasn’t been as nice as the first lockdown, so it isn’t always suitable for long leisurely rambles and moments of contemplation. However Cumbria is in Tier 2 now, so the pub is doing a roaring trade on Scotch eggs, and I did manage 100 miles in the Porsche with the top down on the first day of freedom – just ‘cos I could! Some sunshine and only 2 degrees at times, but the heated seats work a treat and the Lakes were looking at their best.

 

  Things are looking a little more hopeful for next year but I will not attempt to run anything before April. 
I need time to organise things when I know it is viable, and. I suspect most people will not want to commit themselves until things settle down a little.

In the meantime, just to keep you occupied over Christmas, I will do a ‘TABLE TOP TURKEY TREASURE HUNT’. This is because social distancing rules will make it impracticalto run the usual Stuff the Turkey car treasure hunt.

All you need is an O.S., 1:50,000 Map 97, some map reading abilities and a warped sense of humour. E-mail me at mikekirkrallying@aol.com for the entry form and route instructions,then, send me your answers by e-mail before January 10th. There will be a prize for the winner.

PROVISIONAL CALENDAR 2021   Subject to Lockdowns and limitations.
APRIL 24-27TH    LITTLE LOCKDOWN TOURS

(Lakes and Dales Spring Tour)
Based at Station Inn, Oxenholme. Two days in the Yorkshire Dales and one in the Lake District.

MAY 17-21ST  WOLDS TO WINDERMERE
As planned for 2020. Start near Hull, The Yorkshire Wolds/Moors/Dales, 2 nights nearWhitby (a day on the North Yorks Moors Railway) finishing with 2 nights at Crooklands and a day in the Lakes.

JUNE 13-17TH  WELSH BORDERS AND SHROPSHIRE HILLS
As planned for 2020 but 4 nights and start and finish in Ludlow. Wyre Forest, Severn Valley, Long Myndd, Wenlock Edge. Lake Vyrnwy.

JULY       Hopefully I will be busy!

AUGUST 9-12TH    THE HIGH ROADS TOUR (Pennine Way)
Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Pennines, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland and Borders.
Overnight stops at Coniston Cold and Langley Castle.

 SEPTEMBER     1-9TH SCOTLAND NORTH WEST 250
As previously advertised for May.

OCTOBER 11-14TH AUTUMN RAILWAYS TOUR
Follow the route of the Settle – Carlisle Railway and the Waverley route. Yorkshire Dalesand Scottish Borders, Optional return via Lake District.