The Search for Back Country


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After traveling around the world, I’ve discovered a lot of opinions on England, with some of the most common conversations go like this:

Example One

New buddy: “Oh, you’re from England, I’ve been there, where about’s are you from?”
Me: “Shropshire” followed by blank pause, “West midlands… near Wales…”
New buddy: “So, north of London?”

Example Two

New buddy: “You ride mountain bikes? Did you start that out here in Canada, there’s nowhere to ride in England, it’s all flat isn’t it?”


So, as you can imagine, I had a little bit of educating to do: “Yeeeah, London is as pretty south as you can go”… “There are so many incredible places to ride all across the Britain, some of the best mountain bike racers in the world come from my home town, Shrewsbury.”

Most people are always so surprised, their image of Britain is it’s: flat, busy, overcrowded, wet, grey with traffic-jams, football hooligans and bad teeth;

It has been my absolute pleasure in showing people otherwise. The first person I really got to show Britain’s beauty to, was my Canadian boyfriend, Mike Hopkins, his opinion wasn’t too dis-similar to others. Mike was shocked at how similar my home village, Snailbeach, was to his home town Rossland. Rossland is basically Snailbeach on steroids, an old mining town, on top of the hill, incredible riding trails straight out the front door, even going down the hill to the next village is the same, down the road to the factory town, with a reputation of being a little bit grubbier. People could think I’m literally talking about either one; a tiny, quaint english village on top of the hill, called Snailbeach, or, a quaint Canadian mountain town, called Rossland.


It didn’t take Mike long to fall in love with my home village, beautiful scenery, awesome riding, with cool old buildings full of history… The deeper into the North Wales mountains we went the more Mike’s mind was blown, mesmerised by the perfectly built ancient stone walls guarding the tiny narrow roads for miles and miles.

Mikes visited a handful of times, but this time I wanted to take him to The Lake District in North England. This place is outstanding, I also have way more exploring of my own to do up there, but last year, during a race (The Three Peaks Yacht Race), I came across a beautiful cottage, tucked away in the middle of the tillest mountains in England. Since then I vowed to come back with Mike and stay in this little cottage; which turned out to be the most remote hostel in Great Britain, only accessable by foot, with the closest road nearly 10 kilometers away.


I wanted to film our journey to show people that England has so much more to offer, we have back-country too and it’s beautiful.

So sit back and enjoy the video we put together, I mean it wouldn’t be a proper British trip without a little bit of rain… however, rain and shine, this place is specatular!