C2C And Back Day 4 – 22 August 2015

Back to the East Coast

The final day of my ride started brightly. I had a shower and then went down to the bar for breakfast before throwing my kit back in the bags and setting off at 8.45.

Alston, where I was staying, is not strictly on the C2C route though many people come this way as it has more amenities than Garrigill which also has, what I hear is, a particularly vicious climb. This was not to say however that riding out of Alston was easy. The pub was at the bottom of the town and so the day started with a tough ride. The main drag of Alston is a steep cobbled street and with tired legs that had not yet warmed up so I started the day with a struggle. I took the opportunity of taking some photos of the town as a ruse to keep stopping. (You’ll not see those pictures here – they aren’t very good; but the excuse to stop was still useful).

The climbing continued out of the town and the next few miles continued mostly uphill before a descent down into Nenthead. Fortunately although this climbing was a hard start to the morning it did finally start to get my legs warmed up. This was just as well.

In Nenthead I stopped to check directions and promptly got taunted by a young boy on a BMX who insisted on showing me the way and racing ahead of on the climb out of the village. However as soon as the climb started getting properly steep he bottled out and rode home. The wimp!

Looking back down to Nenthead

Nenthead was another pretty tough climb. Most of it was OK – hard but doable. But every now and again it had some very sharp stretches and I did end up walking a short section. The landscape here was changing now and we definitely into the North Pennines. This was also into old lead mining territory and the hillsides around Nenthead were covered in old mine works which really added to the atmosphere in this part of the country. The climb continued on up for a while until reaching the top of Black Hill; the highest point on the whole of the National Cycle Network. I stopped here where I then met a couple of Dutch guys who were also riding the C2C. We had a quick chat and then both headed off – them first with my following a few minutes later after admiring the views.

The highest point of the National Cycle Network

From Black Hill there were some lovely descents across to Allenheads (there were a couple of climbs but nothing tough and the landscape was so beautiful I barely noticed them anyway). Allenheads is another old mining village with lots of industrial archaeology all over the place from furnaces to the cobbled track way that gave access to the mines for the pit ponies.

There was another tough climb out of the village up a zig zag road. At the top of the hill an odd conical cairn marked the border into County Durham and another nice downhill to Rookhope.

Mine workings near Rookhope

Following the Rookhope Burn this section is even deeper into lead mining country with the remains of much more recent mine heads still extant and, towards the bottom of the valley the Lintgarth Arch. This one arch is all that remains of what was once about a mile long horizontal chimney from the nearby lead smelting works. The chimney had been so built when the factory owners realised that they were losing lots of lead that was literally going up in smoke. By building the chimney horizontally they could send people in on a regular basis to scrape out any residues.

Lintzgarth Arch

From the tiny village of Rookhope riders sometimes have the choice of routes however one of the options depends on the landowner allowing access and, as we were in the middle of Grouse hunting season, that route was closed when I got there. This left me with a ride into Stanhope and then the notorious climb up to Parkhead.

Entering County Durham above Allenheads

The hill profile on the map I had did show that at least I had a nice easy downhill ride into Stanhope to begin with so I was rather surprised to find myself climbing out of the village. Whether it was actually a tough climb or maybe just felt tough as it was completely unexpected, I really struggled with the climb and the ride across to Stanhope – or at least most of it – there was an eventual steep and much welcome ride down to the village. It was along this section that I found myself shepherding a hedgehog off the road. Its always nice to be at one with nature when out on the road.

The excitement was too much and he needed some sleep

Again expecting a tough climb I stopped on a bench in the village and had some lunch (and a belly full of jelly babies) before getting back on the saddle and heading on the road towards Parkhead. I had read on forums that the Crawleyside Bank climb was the worst part of the route and by God I wasn’t disappointed! This hill hurts. I mean really hurts. Its the last climb of the route and so by this time I was tired anyway. I admit I did end up pushing a fair bit on the worst climbs. I really tried not to and rode as much as I could but in some sections I just couldn’t avoid it. It wasn’t even worth (as I sometimes do) stopping to get my breath back before starting again. On this hill there were bits I just was not going to make.

At the top of Crawleyside Bank

I was pleased therefore to eventually find the hill start to flatten out. Not that it was really flat but compared to what had gone before it was at least rideable. And then finally I hit the top and crossed to the Parkhead Café. The café is an old station master’s house that has since been developed into a lovely café; ideally placed at the top of the final hill on the C2C route. I stopped for some more coffee and cake and to admire the views. It was a bit windy on the exposed tops but glorious nonetheless and I can see why the place is so popular with cyclists and walkers.

Coffee and maps

From here on I was on the home straight; albeit with another 30 miles to go quite a long straight. From here on in it would be all downhill (well there is the occasional rise; but no more hills to speak of) to the coast. The route here joins the Waskerley Way – the former Stanhope and Tyne railway that carried limestone from the quarries on the hill tops here down to South Shields. It did also carry passengers as well though was never successful. Now however it forms a lovely gentle route downhill and despite a bit of rain in the air now the ride down to Consett was easy going and left me grinning like a Cheshire Cat again. If the whole of the route down to Sunderland would be like this I would be there before I knew it.

Sculpture on the Waskerley Way

Coming into Consett the route did divert off onto some regular cycle paths and back streets which did slow me down again but after getting through the town, and through a rather magically weird section where the route passes through a large landscaped sculpture and back onto old railway lines through Annfield and Stanley. Along the next few miles a range of line side sculptures added to the quirkiness of the route and before long I had passed over the main East Coast Railway and A1(M) and came down into Washington.

Artwork by the side of the route

From here on unfortunately the way become much slower and a bit less fun. The route does pass through some lovely parks but also follows a number of side roads around industrial estates and takes a large number of weaves and turns, not all of them signposted clearly. The downhill was now largely finished as well as I was following the Wear valley. As such the remaining few miles did feel as though they were taking a long to complete and I lost a bit of the joy as I was now feeling tired and was ready to see the sea.

Telescope Sculpture

As the route passed under the A19 and came onto the Wear riverside path I did realise that I was almost in Sunderland however the route did again divert slightly inland through some more industrial estates and I did get lost in one poorly signed area; but I carried on and soon could see the Stadium of Light on the river bank a short way ahead and knew that now I was really getting close.

Sunderland Ahoy

I passed by the stadium; a match was taking place inside but there didn’t seem to be much atmosphere coming from inside and I had to weave my way around a large number of hot dog wagons parked up around the concourse before re-joining the riverside path and following the last section of the Wear down to the sea.

As far east as one can go

One final diversion around a small marina and some new housing and there was the sea and a short way further along the official end point of the route. Arms off the handlebar and high in the air I crossed the finish line and rode the bike down onto the beach for the customary photo of the bike with the front wheel in the sea – to mirror the picture I had taken previously at Workington. Just to make sure I also rode along the harbour arm for a few more pictures by the lighthouse at its end and then headed back to get properly off the saddle and finished up.


There was another bunch of about twenty people on bikes there also celebrating. They had just finished as well and some of the guys said that they had seen me yesterday at Hartside – they were just leaving the café as I was pulling in (they had continued on a fair way further that day so were less inclined to linger at the café). We shared stories of the hills, and I was certainly glad from what they said that I had ridden through Alston rather than Garrigill – apparently that climb was as bad as Crawleyside Bank. Then I bade them farewell – grabbed a burger from a little café across the road and got changed into civvies and waited for one of my old university friends Trixie to collect me. Living in Durham now Trixie was putting me up for the night and we got through a few bottles of wine whilst I slowly fell comfortably and sound asleep before waking the next day and getting the train back down South – with a rather marvellous adventure complete and a tremendous feeling of achievement.

Heading Home

Day Four Stats:

  • Distance: 62.12 Miles
  • Ride Time: 5 Hours, 21 minutes and 44 seconds
  • Maximum Speed: 36.0 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.5 mph
  • Average RPM: 54
  • Revolutions: 17,374
  • Ascent: 3,878 feet
  • Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/375334617


Overall Stats:

  • Distance: 266.35 Miles
  • Ride Time: 22 Hours, 59 minutes and 51 seconds
  • Maximum Speed: 38.3 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.59 mph
  • Revolutions: 78,746
  • Ascent: 14,546 feet
The last of my army of helpers

C2C And Back Day 3 – 21 August 2015

Stone Circles, Tweed and Hills

I woke to the sound of rain tapping loudly on my bedroom window. Peering through the curtains the weather looked set and the weather app on my phone also suggested that this was the case. Having woken up I started the day with a bath (real luxury having had one when I had arrived the evening before) before heading down for a marvellous Full English with the obligatory Cumberland Sausage. The food was good and the service charming and after plenty of coffee and orange juice I went back up to finish loading the paniers and climb into the wet riding gear.

I was ready to go on the dot of nine and as if by magic, as the hotel staff fetched my bike out of the lockup the rain stopped. The hill tops were still hidden in the clouds however as I climbed into the saddle and pulled out of Portinscale. The riding started slowly and easily; crossing the River Derwent and heading into Kewsick; stopping at a garage on the way into town to pick up some supplies for the day.

Leaving Portinscale

I had last been in Keswick about 18 years earlier and the little I saw from the bicycle did not look remotely familiar. However the last time had been whilst drinking after an end of season rugby match playing for Ormskirk RUFC and my memory of the evening is largely hazy and what I do remember is best forgotten. The town looks nice though….

At a set of lights I picked up three other cyclists on fancy road bikes. They were also doing the C2C but at what I suspect would be a rather different pace and with someone following along behind them with all of their luggage. What cheats! They were sure to be leaving behind fairly quickly anyway but not long after joining the old railway line that the route follows eastwards out of town I turned off anyway and left them to it.

I had made the decision to take a little detour to the south of the route and so rather than following the valley on the old railway line I instead headed up the steep climb out of town in the direction of Castlerigg Stone Circle. The climb up was tough going but a good leg stretcher and was definitely worth it as the views opened up from the top of the hill. The site itself is in a field immediately to the right of the side road I had taken. The site is absolutely stunning and the light and clouds gave it an incredible atmosphere. I could have sat there for ages but I had a lot of riding ahead and I could see rain coming back in so I headed back to the bike just as the rain did indeed start again. I put the wet weather gear back on and headed back down towards the main cycle track joining it at Threlkeld.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

From here the route headed along some quiet tracks to the side of the main road, undulating as it headed along the side of the valley. The lane passed through some lovely farms and fields. The surface is good however the riding was a little stop start as there are a number of gates to pass through; normally just as you’d get some speed up on a down hill section. After a mile or two the lane turned slightly northwards towards Mungrisdale where the route crosses the river, and then immediately heads back down the other side of the valley before joining along the side of the A66.

Side roads and nice riding

Here I was to make my first overtaking of ‘Tweed Man’. More of him later. After a mile or two alongside the busy trunk road (not directly on it fortunately) the cycleway headed sideways onto some quiet country lanes which I would be following for most of the rest of the day.

The Legend Lives

After a couple of miles the road started dropping down into the village of Greystoke and I hunted out of the Cycle Cafe on the edge of the village. This tea shop is a truly remarkable establishment. It is open 10-6 for cyclists (and support drivers) but less frequently for other passers by. As well the glorious tea shop itself they have a barn full of equipment in case you need to give the bike a quick service and also a regular timetable of events occurring. There was a whittling workshop taking place as I arrived so I ordered a milkshake and a brownie and watched as the good folk whittled away. The only down side was the large number of wasps in the garden but this is certainly an absolute must stop site for anyone riding the sea to sea route.

By now the sun was fully out (and it was to remain that way for the rest of the day) and beautifully refreshed and cheered I headed back on the side roads towards Penrith. The riding was pretty good and fast going with the exception of a very short sharp up hill in the village of Newton Rigg where a big screen by the side of the road loudly shouted out that I was climbing up it at a whole 6mph – yeah thanks for that.

A short section of off road track brought me into the edge of Penrith. Having stopped at Greystoke I had no need of the Penrith Tea Rooms and I wasn’t after the finest wines known to humanity anyway (not just yet anyway) so I merely collected some cash and filled up the water bottles before climbing out of town. The climb up Fell Lane onto Beacon Ridge is a tough steep ride but over soon enough and I was soon riding up and down some smaller hills before eventually dropping down into the pretty village of Langwathby, passing ‘Tweed Man’ for the second time on the way into the village (presumably he had passed me whilst I was resting in the cycle cafe – he should have stopped!).

In Langwathby I caught my first sign of the imminent arrival of the Tour of Britain which was due to be heading this in a few weeks from now. The village was already bedecked in signs and there was also a yellow spray painted bicycle by the road sign – these bikes were appearing all over the country in places that the tour was going to be passing through. It therefore seemed that this would be a good place to stop for lunch – especially as there were a few climbs ahead of me that I needed refuelling for and also as there was a village shop from which I could stock up on water and jelly babies.

Tour of Brtain bike in Langwathby

Have I mentioned the jelly babies? Possibly the most wondrous invention when undertaking long rides or runs. I’d first come across their particular magic during training for the Great North Run some years earlier but had since found them to be even more amazing when spending a day in the saddle. Your Lucozade’s and SIS drinks and sachets of gunk are great; but still not a patch on the amazing energy giving jelly baby. I now would never imagine venturing out on a long day’s ride with a pack (or two) in the panniers.  End of advertisement.

After a light lunch on a bench on Langwathby village green and a pop into the local shop to refill my water bottles I was ready for the next stage. Ahead of me from here was about another 10 miles of undulating hills (with a few steep climbs and drops on the way) before I would make it to the bottom of Hartside Hill.

Through Little Salkeld a fairly short but steep climb led me past Tweed Man for the third time today (we appeared to be doing the classic hare and tortoise riding – he was going slow and steady with few if any stops whilst I was shooting past him and then resting allowing him to head past me again). At the top of the hill I took a small diversion to head off to see Long Meg and her daughters. Not some family friends but another stone circle.

In many ways Long Meg is a more impressive site than Castlerigg which I had visited at the start of the day however, almost due to its much larger scale, it didn’t quite much the atmosphere. I was pleased to have visited the site though. Both here and Castlerigg are sites that I’d long had on my list of places to visit and so to do them both in the same day and entirely under my own steam felt really good.

The next five miles were not particularly eventful, other than having the opportunity to pass Tweed Man for the fourth time on another steep incline but there was some tough riding with some short sharp hills that were starting to take effect in my legs. With Hartside ahead I was starting to fear how I would tackle the big one.

I didn’t have long to worry. Before long I came across the sign marking that I was at the bottom of the Hartside climb. Although not the worst climb on the C2C route, Hartside is probably the most famous. At about 1,000 feet over roughly four miles its the single biggest and longest climb on the route (though there are a couple of tougher climbs). I stopped at the bottom, fuelled up on water and jelly babies and got myself ready for the ride up. Just as I was preparing for the off Tweed Man came and joined me. He did at this point choose to have a break for once and joined me briefly. His break did not consist of jelly babies but rather a roll up cigarette instead – to which I have to doff my cap (bike helmet). To climb these hills with the extra weight he had on his bike and in the clothes that he was wearing was pretty good going as it is; but to do so on reduced lung capacity takes some doing.

At the Foot of Hartside

I choose not to hang around with him whilst he finished his fag but instead said that I’d meet him in the cafe at the top and, both of us wishing the other luck, went on my way.

In the end Hartside didn’t turn out to be too awful; just a very long climb. I set myself off in a low gear at a steady cadence and slowly watched the altitude increasing on my bike computer, and the distance adding up on the phone GPS software strapped onto my arm. I passed a few young lads who I’m sure should have been in much better shape than an overweight 42 year old. This made me feel good at least; though I’m not sure that it did them any good as they all immediately stopped and started pushing up the hill instead. I did take a short breather after about two miles but was soon back on my slow and steady way.

I am writing this blog post up some months after the event and referring back to the diary I made on the day I wrote that “Riding up was tough on my nadgers. Also hands going numb”. This particular mix of sensations was not something that I now particularly recall but I have since noticed it whilst doing other long climbs . Odd…

I was also forced for a second stop where the side road that I had been riding along meets the main A686. This was due to traffic on the main road but the junction also has a particularly nasty corner that did mean that I had to push the bike around onto the main road – but I’ll forgive myself that.  The main road section proved easier going than the side road as the incline was very regular. I had heard that riding this section can be a bit hairy due to drivers trying to audition for Top Gear (and generally driving like nobs) but fortunately I encountered no such issues and before too long I was rounding the final hairpin and headed straight for summit and the Hartside Cafe.

I gave myself a hearty cheer as I reached the summit; stopped to pose for some selfies at the top; and then road over the road to the cafe where I was greeted and cheered in by three gentlemen who were working for the Tour of Britiain. Hartside was to be the end of a day’s stage and these guys were making sure that the prep was done ready for when the circus rolled into town. They said that they had been watching me riding up and had been impressed – which was nice to hear. They did also tell me that they had seen a guy in Tweeds further down the hill also making good, if slow, progress.

Made It!

I sat with them over a coffee and a slice of cake and chatted about their work on the tour. They left before me so I got another cup of coffee. I had finished my final climb for the day; I only had about 5 or 6 miles left for the day and they were downhill so I had no time worries and it lovely to sit and admire the view back over the land that I had ridden across to get here. It all felt rather magic. Just then Tweed Man entered the cafe so I waved him over and we sat and chatted properly for a while at last.

Hartside Café

Rather stupidly although I did get his name I never noted in my diary and writing this up now I shamefully cannot recall it. I do recall however that he had been visiting friends in Cumbria and was now on his way home to Newcastle. He was also staying in Alston this evening so was also pretty much done for the day as well. He was camping somewhere in the village but I invited him to come and join me for a pint in the Cumberland Inn (where I was staying) if he fancied; though he never did and as I bade him farewell at the cafe (whilst he had another roll up) that would be the last I saw of him on the trip.

View from Hartside

The ride down to Alston was as easy and glorious as I had hoped. The weather had fully cheered up again and once I had got the bike up to speed I let the wheels do all the work for me on the fast open road. Often on descents like this I am left thinking that any such easy ride normally has a big horrible climb at the end of it. This was indeed still true; however that climb would be for tomorrow.

The Cumberland Inn was right at the bottom of the hill not long after entering Alston and I almost overshot it. However before too long the bike was locked up in the cellar and I was soaking in the bath. After writing up my diary and uploading my GPS files I headed downstairs. I had booked bed, breakfast and an evening meal and soon found myself a comfortable perch for the evening. Cumberland Sausage, Mash, Onion Rings and Gravy were washed down with three or four excellent pints of local bitter and then before too long I was back in my room and snoring like a good ‘un.

Day Three Stats:

  • Distance: 48.95 Miles
  • Ride Time: 4 Hours, 27 minutes and 44 seconds
  • Maximum Speed: 38.3 mph
  • Average Speed: 10.9 mph
  • Average RPM: 61
  • Revolutions: 16,332
  • Ascent: 4,132 feet
  • Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/374155807

Next: Back to the East Coast

C2C And Back Day 2 – 20 August 2015

West, South and East

I woke fairly early although not as early as originally planned on account of needing to get the bike repaired. I tidied up my kit (some was still not quite dry), showered and went down for the joys of an Ibis hotel breakfast buffet. Collecting the bike from its storage place hiding behind a service lift at the rear of the hotel I wheeled it around to one of the two neighbouring bike shops (one did not open until 10am so they were ruled out by default). The shop were able to fix the chain and give me a replacement tyre – although the only one they had in stock was more for ‘city’ riding (its still on the bike quite happily several months and another thousand miles later). The work would take them about an hour so I wandered around a bit and then and back to the hotel to finish packing and to check out. Back at the bike shop my bike was made ready and, after also buying an extra couple of tubes and a bungee cord to keep the broken panier in place, I was back under way shortly after 10am.

Carlisle City Centre

Unfortunately I was not able to make up too much time straight away on account of my (apparently foolishly) choosing to follow the proper advertised cycle route out of Carlisle. Route 72 follows the River Eden out of the town and I was expecting and hoping for a nice riverside ride to start the day. Which to be fair I almost did. Unfortunately however having to lug the bike up and down several sets of steps and over a stile was not ideal. It took almost an hour to get out of the town and onto the cycle way proper.

The road to Bowness started off with some nice undulating terrain through some pretty villages before heading onto the very flat and low lying tidal plain from which I could look across to Scotland a short distance the other side of the Solway Firth. Bowness on Solway marked the end of Hadrians Wall and, just off a little side path, I found the shed that formally marks the western end of it. I wished a group of walkers well as they were starting to begin walking the route from west to east and then I set off again.

The shed that Hadrian built to mark the end of his wall

From Bowness I had reached the end of the wall and as I was not planning on completing the whole of the Hadrians Cycleway as it continues another 70 miles down the west Cumbria coast I allowed myself a couple of short cuts from the advertised route, cutting off detours around Cardurnock and Silloth. After stopping to get some supplies and to chat with another couple of cyclists out on day rides in the pretty village of Abbeytown, I pointed the bike in the direction of the coast.

Ignoring the road to Silloth

There was an ever increasing headwind as I headed south westwards and the going was quite tough but eventually I met the west coast proper just north of the village of Allonby.

On the West Coast

The coastline here is quite open and exposed and the going remained difficult as I followed the coast southwards through Maryport and into Workington and the end of the first leg of my ride. From the centre of the town I rode out to the lighthouse at the end of the harbour arm which marks the western end of the Workington leg of the Sea to Sea (C2C) route.

The way ahead

After stopping for some lunch here I wheeled the bike down to dip the rear wheel into the sea to formally start the ride back east.

Starting the C2C in traditional style

The first few miles out of Workington were along a very welcome stretch of disused railway although that ran out sooner than hoped and it was back on to some quiet, but undulating, country lanes up the Derwent Valley towards Cockermouth. I don’t really recall much of this stretch of the route to be honest, or of Cockermouth itself. At this point I was just trying to prepare myself for the big climb a few miles outside of Cockermouth up to Wythop Woods.


One of the benefits of starting at Workington rather Whitehaven was that the routes did not join until the final ride into Keswick. The route from Workington has a big enough climb but considerably less than the ride over the Whinlatter pass that riders from Whitehaven have to endure. You can therefore imagine just how pleased I was to find a sign a couple of miles outside of Cockermouth informing me that the Wythop Woods route was closed and that I would have to divert across several hilly miles just so that I could swap over onto the Whinlatter Pass route instead. Avoiding the diversion signs that tried to push me further back the way that I had come I cut across along a busy B road adding to the pleasure before eventually dropping into the hamlet of Low Lorton from where the climb would start.

The Hills Ahead

I took a rest before starting the climb but it was still a hard climb. I was already 66 miles into the day at this point and now had an 800 foot climb stretching out in front of me. The climb properly started upon leaving the neighbouring village of High Lorton. This was quite a struggle that took a lot out of me and I wasn’t able to complete the climb without having to stop a couple of times for a breather.

On the way up Whinlatter

At the top of the first section of tough climb I had one of the oddest feelings I’ve ever had whilst cycling. The road levelled out and though it was still climbing it was such a change from the previous section of road that my head actually thought I was going downhill and couldn’t understand why it was still a struggle to keep the bike moving. It actually got to getting off the bike to check that the wheels were moving freely and that the brakes were not rubbing. After establishing that they were all fine it was only when I took a step back that I realised that I was indeed still climbing and not going down at all. Confused, but relieved that the bike was ok, I got back on my way and it was not long anyway before any confusion was again out of the window as the climb began again in earnest.

After the climb comes the descent

This time the climb was still tough but not as relentless as the first section and I was able to keep my head down and just keep pedalling. Eventually I saw the sign for the Forestry Commission site that marked the top of the pass and was soon very able to prove that the bike was free wheeling happily as I started the sharp descent back towards Keswick. Other than a stop to admire the view down over Bassenthwaite Lake I let the bike run freely down to the bottom of the hill at Braithwaite from where a couple of miles of fairly easy riding eventually brought me into the village of Portinscale and the Rickerby Grange Hotel that was my base for the night.

Bassenthwaite Lake

On arriving the owner met me and took my bike to lock it away safely and then showed me to my room. I had a single room with an ‘off suite’ private bathroom with a good sized bath tub that I was soon making good use of. The late start, slow going out of Carlisle and the diversion over Whinlatter had meant I had arrived later than planned and by the time I got there the local pub had stopped serving food; although I did persuade them to do me a bowl of chips and, coupled with two welcome pints of bitter I was soon relaxed and refreshed and ready for my bed.

CTC Winged Wheel at Braithwaite

Day Two Stats:

  • Distance: 74.05 Miles
  • Ride Time: 6 Hours, 13 minutes and 14 seconds
  • Maximum Speed: 36.4 mph
  • Average Speed: 11.8 mph
  • Average RPM: 57
  • Revolutions: 21,274
  • Ascent: 3,215 feet
  • Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/372906681

Next: Stone Circles, Tweed, and Hills