Eden Valley MotorBike Tour
‘Episode 3’

We leave to continue the adventure as it gets even more interesting. Once back on the A6, again travel south when shortly afterward you will enter the village of Clifton. The site of the last battle, some say a skirmish rather than a battle, on English soil in 1745 (although this is disputed by other places in England).

The Clifton Moor Skirmish took place on Wednesday 18 December 1745 (29 December) during the Jacobite rising of 1745. It was fought between Jacobite rebels and forces of the British-Hanoverian Government. Since the commander of the government forces, the Duke of Cumberland, was aware of the Jacobite presence in Derby, the Jacobite leader Prince Charles Edward Stuart decided to retreat north back towards Scotland. He began his retreat from Derby on 6 December 1745.

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This is sometimes claimed to be the last battle on English soil, but there are numerous other claimants, such as the Battle of Graveney Marsh, fought in 1940.

Who would have thought just a few miles south of Penrith lay this village stuffed to the gills with history? Just wait, however, because as we get to the end of stage two, it gets even ‘BETTER’. Leaving Clifton behind we head towards Shap. Everyone who has ever listen to the travel news, or weather forecast during winter will have heard of Shap. It is a high point in reference to the M6, that is just over the hills to the east of the village.

Although just after we cross the M6 bridge we turn right into Lowther estate and head towards one of the most beautiful hidden stretches of water anywhere in Britain.

Haweswater…….

First, we must ride through the Lowther estates and you will see to the left the splendid Lowther Castle. Lowther Castle is a country house in the historic county of Westmorland, which now forms part of the modern county of Cumbria, England. It has belonged to the Lowther family, latterly the Earls of Lonsdale, since the Middle Ages.

We keep going unless of course, you wish to partake in a closer view of the castle or to enjoy the vast grounds of Lowther estates. 

On reaching Askham we turn left and head off into absolutely splendid countryside twisting and winding our way towards Haweswater. On reaching Haweswater you have just entered paradise. It is here you must be especially careful that the ‘view’ pixies do not take your eyes hostage, or the imagination fairies do not kidnap your mind!. It is here we end stage 2 with no better place in Britain to relax and enjoy the stunning vista’s that only Haweswater can provide. Haweswater is a reservoir built in the valley of Mardale. The controversial construction of the Haweswater dam was started in 1929, after Parliament passed an Act giving Manchester Corporation permission to build the reservoir to supply water for the urban conurbations of north-west England.

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At the time there was much public outcry about the decision as the valley of Mardale was populated by the farming villages of Measand and Mardale Green, and the construction of the reservoir would mean that these villages would be flooded and lost, and the population would have to be moved. In addition the valley was considered one of the most picturesque in Westmorland, and many people thought it should be left alone.

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Kevin J. Lear

Kevin J. Lear MotorBike Adventures

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