Cold, driving winds, head on! That was the start of day 2 of the trip. The moors were alight with heather burning (controlled), the smoke was thick and we were heading right into it as we headed towards the disused lead-mine buildings on Grinton moor. Sadly Andy had to head back as the wind and smoke didn't agree with his asthma. The rugged track soon vanished and we were left pondering where the bridleway was - without a gps it would have been very difficult to figure out the line of the track, but we had a few between us and we followed the overgrown, barely used route up the hill, all pushing our steeds; the grass & half burned heather tussocks making it impossible to pedal.
Through the border wall atop the hill, the proper track reappeared and soon we were enjoying a fast, albeit bumpy (for those of us without suspension) descent of Preston Moor, still into the cold wind as we headed towards Castle Bolton.
We lunched in the castle tea rooms with one or two people dressed in period outfits dotted around. They are filming some comedy about William Shakespeare. Alas we didn't see anyone famous.
It was somewhat slow service, but worth the wait!
After lunch we parted company from some riders who had to head home or save their weary legs!
The rest of us enjoyed a loop into the bottom of the valley following East Bolton Moor & descending into Carperby. The sun was now shining and the winds had dropped.
As we climbed back up to the castle, there was a definite evening glow forming.
Rather than take the road option back, we followed a track directly northwards to Greets Hill. Bits were rideable, other bits less so - but those bits meant we could have a good natter, a few breathers and admire the view.
route can be seen / dloaded here