We are delighted to see that Garrigill is back in business now that the George & Dragon has reopened, after being closed for 18 months. Tony and Jeanette Reynolds have signed a ten year lease on this hub of village life.

Garrigill is at the bottom of a perilously steep and winding lane as you head east along the C2C. Many cyclists have come to grief descending into the village and the helicopter ambulance is called out at least once a year to lift cyclists who have lost control, so be warned.

To get to Garrigill there is a clearly signed lane off to the right after Hartside. If you miss it you’ll simply end up in Alston, where most riders now go anyway.

Garrigill once had a thriving population of 1,000 thanks to the lead mining. Now it is down to less than 200. It looks like the perfect English village, complete with green and post office. Some of the hardest riding is ahead, so for many it makes a natural overnight stop-off, especially if you have slogged all the way from the fells west of Penrith.

For those who like an extra challenge there is the tough route out of the village, up the very steep and rough track onto the B6277, then left onto a forest track and down into Nenthead the hard way.