Taking a couple of days off at the tail end of the week was an opportunity to explore the area further. This time it was west again out of the city, but rather than an immediate uphill slog it started with a steady ride through the Deerness Valley out to Esh Winning. Winning was a word used to describe striking a coal seam, but the last open cast mines closed here in the 1990s and the landscape has been restored.
From the Herat of the village the road to Cornsay was taken but rather than riding into this colliery settlement, I turned south and began the ascent to Hedley Hill and across the moor. To the west a cracking rainbow lit the valley, it’s rare to see a full one, but the solid headwind and threat of rain encouraged me to press on.
At Tow Law it was time to head for home and wind a mega tailwind it was big ring time all the way. The road to Stanley Crook where I’d stayed in my first week gave some more great views and showed surface mining for coal still in action.
The rest of the ride was on roads I’d driven before, but never in daylight and it’s transformative to see the County in sunshine. Not a bad place to be…