7 Must-Ride Cycle Routes in Northumberland
7 Must-Ride Cycle Routes in Northumberland
Ah, Northumberland – a mesmerising tapestry of rugged coastlines and rolling hills, where history echoes in every stone-laid castle. But what truly allows one to unravel its beguiling charms? Two wheels and an insatiable curiosity. While some might opt for a languid stroll along its golden beaches or a reflective pause in its historic market towns, the truly adventurous understand that Northumberland unfurls its wonders best when traversed by bicycle.
Imagine pedaling through serene landscapes, the whispers of ancient tales wafting through the wind, and the sun casting long, lustrous shadows on the land. For those of us with a penchant for a bit of exertion coupled with exploration, Northumberland’s cycle routes promise a veritable feast of experiences. And trust me, it’s not just about the destination; it's the journey. From the unexpected pockets of nature's brilliance to the scent of wild heather under the soft English sun, these routes are more than mere pathways; they're portals to tales untold.
Join me as we embark on a two-wheeled adventure, exploring the 10 must-ride cycle routes in Northumberland, a realm where every turn promises a new story.
The table above lists all the best cycle routes in Northumberland. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that route.
Alnmouth and Warkworth Loop
Meandering a mere stone's throw away from the wild North Sea, this 10.5 mile long cycle path promises more than just a jaunt between two charming Northumberland villages. Twists and turns along the way offer delightful glimpses of ancient castles and the ever-shifting dunes. Why simply pedal when one could indulge in a poetic dance with nature? Pedal amidst glorious views of the Northumberland coastline enjoy a spot of tea in Warkworth, musing over the serenity of the River Coquet.
Stretching a majestic 83 miles, this route isn't just about flexing those cycling muscles; it's a journey through time. As you pedal, ancient Roman history unfolds, with remnants of Hadrian's Wall accompanying your trail. From Carlisle to South Shields, the way isn't merely paved with asphalt, but with tales of Roman legions, border skirmishes, and distant echoes of centurions' march. Most of the journey is on tarmac with some bumpy sections along the way.
Aln Valley Railway Cycle Path
Both passionate cyclists and those just out for a leisurely ride will find themselves swept up in the rich tapestry of history and the serene beauty of nature along the Aln Valley Railway Cycle Path. Originating from the market town of Alnwick, this scenic trail follows the old Aln Valley railway line, covering approximately 1.4 miles to the village of Alnmouth. The cycle route offers a gravel path that is easy to ride, catering to cyclists of all skill levels. Throughout the journey, riders will be treated to breathtaking sights of the countryside with glimpses of wildlife and remnants, from the railway's past.
Newburn Industrial Estate to Prudhoe
Northumberland's rich tapestry of landscapes is further embellished by its web of cycling paths, and among these, the Newburn to Prudhoe Cycle Path stands out. Beginning at the bustling Newburn Industrial Estate, this route stretches for approximately 5.7 miles, leading riders straight to the historic town of Prudhoe. As you ride, the route reveals a combination of city and countryside landscapes showcasing the county's history alongside its captivating natural scenery. With a generally off-road flat terrain, interspersed with a few gentle inclines, it caters to cyclists of varying abilities.
Coast and Castles Cycle Route
Few cycling trails capture the essence of a region as brilliantly as the Coast and Castles Cycle Route. Covering an impressive 192 miles, cyclists journey from Newcastle to Edinburgh on this unparalleled route. Riders will pass iconic landmarks on their journey: Bamburgh Castle, the mystical Holy Island, and the historic Hadrian's Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even though the overall distance may appear challenging, you have the option to conquer the trail in sections ensuring that it remains manageable for riders with different levels of stamina.
The Pennine Cycleway North
An exhilarating route that entices cyclists in the North Eas is The Pennine Cycleway North. Carving a path through the rugged backbone of England, this section covers a significant stretch of the larger 327-mile Pennine Cycleway. Commencing from the historic market town of Appleby, it winds its way northward, presenting riders with awe-inspiring views of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ancient Roman roads and beautiful villages punctuate the route. And the best part? Its terrain suits riders of every skill level but the inclines may be more suited to families with older kids.
MTB: Kielder Forest
For mountain biking enthusiasts, Northumberland's Kielder Forest offers an unparalleled adrenaline rush. Boasting over 100 miles of purpose-built trails, Kielder stands as the north's largest mountain biking area. The forest is not just vast but diverse, presenting trails that range from gentle family-friendly rides to the challenging, black-graded descents that test even the most seasoned bikers. As riders navigate through the lush forest, they're treated to breathtaking views of Kielder Water, England's largest man-made lake. Apart from the excitement of the journey the trails in Kielder are also teeming with wildlife and breathtaking natural scenery. If you're looking for a blend of adventure stunning views and a bit of a challenge then you must explore the mountain bike trails in Kielder Forest. They are gems in Northumberland just waiting to be discovered.
In this blog post, we have shared some of the best Northumberland cycle routes. To find out more about things to do in this area, click on the buttons below:
All outdoor activities including cycling involve a degree of risk. The routes are recommended due to the well known features of each route but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each route so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your cycle!