Grand Tour of Northern Britain

 


 

The Grand Tour of Northern England starts in Newcastle with a transfer to Whitehaven then follows one of Britain’s signature rides; the Coast to Coast, also known as the c2c (sea to sea), or the coast2coast. From the Georgian port of Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to the castle on the rock at Tynemouth facing the North Sea, this ride crosses some of the most dramatic landscapes in the land the silvery, shining levels and the high crags of the Lake District, the vast, eerily empty moorland on the Cumbrian Fells, and the Tyne Valley.

The towns you pass Keswick, Penrith, Alston, Allenheads, Stanhope and Consett are packed full of tea rooms, welcoming pubs and bags of northern charm but it’s the joy of riding through the wild and open countryside that will remain with you, and leave a lasting sense of achievement. The final section of the route follows the River Tyne and onto the Coast & Castles route. Rich in history and strong on character, this part of the ride provides a true taste of the North.

The ride itself is as much defined by water as it is by land: the River Tyne, the North Sea, the mighty Tweed, Leithen Water, Dewar Burn and the Firth of Forth form an almost continuous, fluid companion for nearly 200 miles. When cycling the Northumberland coast, the landscapes are memorable too, though sand dunes, vast beaches, ancient woodlands, castles crowning fists of rock, deep valleys and heather moorland together make for an extraordinary array of scenery. There are plenty of reasons to get off the bike Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle, a pint at the Ship Inn at Low-Newton-by-the-Sea, the town walls of Berwick and Melrose Abbey, to name a few but the road somehow lures you on here, on and up until you reach the heights of the Moorfoot Hills and the staggeringly lovely view down to your journey’s end for your last night in Edinburgh.

Dates

This tour runs on any day from April to October subject to availability. Please contact the office to check availability and for a package price.

Price - £1150

(Based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room)

Supplements

 

Single room supplement - £390

Single Traveller Supplement - £575

Bike hire - £140

E-Bike Hire - N/A

Additional nights - Price upon request

 

Other Info

 

Hire bikes available are quality hybrid equipped with 21 gears, helmet, handlebar bag, water bottle and repair kit.

 

Trip Code

 

GTE13

 

Rob's Highlights

  • Riding the dismantled railway line through lovely woodlands, from Keswick to Threlkeld
  • Tea and cake in Allenheads
  • The birdlife on the high moors of County Durham
  • Riding a traffic-free path along the Tyne River through the heart of Newcastle
  • Sand dunes at Druridge Bay Nature Reserve
  • Warkworth Castle
  • Bamburgh Castle
  • Holy Island
  • Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

 

 

Testimonial

 

"A fantastic break cycling around Northern England, thank you for organising it all." - C. Webb

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Newcastle

Arrive in Newcastle and check in to your accommodation. A member of the Bikecation team will meet you this evening or after breakfast tomorrow, to hand over your route notes and maps, plus your bike if you’re hiring one, answer those last minute questions and give you a few tips.

Day 2: Whitehaven to Penrith – approx 55 miles

You’ll be transferred to Whitehaven. Your epic ride begins on the quay. Quickly, you’re climbing away from the coast. At the foot of the Lakeland Fells, the landscape changes dramatically and the route continues down to Loweswater. You then follow the River Cocker north to Low Lorton up and over the Whinlatter pass. Once on top, the route is then down to Braithwaite. From here you head east along a dismantled railway line, following the River Greta through a thickly-wooded gorge. The landscape changes as you leave the iconic hills, scree slops and crags of the Lake District National Park behind you. You pass beneath the precipitous fell, Blencathra, then out via Mungrisdale on quiet lanes through farmland to the historic village of Greystoke and Penrith.

Day 3: Penrith to Stanhope – approx 45 miles

East of Penrith, you cross the River Eden at Langwathby and start to climb into the north western Pennines. There are a few section of downhill, but the trend is uphill, all the way to Hartside Pass (590m). There is a glorious descent to follow to Alston. There is a museum and heritage centre in Nenthead, the first town on the route. There’s a wonderful long, gentle descent off Allendale Moor into Allenheads. The road does rise and fall all day to Stanhope.

Day 4: Stanhope to Tynemouth – approx 40 miles

The last day of cycling the Coast to Coast starts with a bit of uphill to reach the start of the Waskerley Way - it’s pretty much downhill or flat the whole way to Tynemouth. The old railway line curves gently round Waskerley and Smiddy Shaw reservoirs, over the magnificent Hownsgil viaduct and down into Consett. Beyond Consett, you continue along the traffic-free path through the heavily wooded Derwent Valley all the way to the outskirts of Newcastle, and the mighty Tyne River. Turning east, the route follows the Tyne through the heart of Newcastle following a traffic-free path all the way to the North Sea.

Day 5: Newcastle to Warkworth – approx 47 miles

Today you start cycling the Coast and Castles route. The ride starts on the traffic-free cycle path that passes underneath the ornate bridges which span the Tyne, and follows the River east along the north bank, to the sea. You pass some remains of Hadrian’s Wall and a couple of miles further and you’re on the quays in North Shields, with great views across the Tyne. When the river runs out to the sea, you’ve reached Tynemouth, a pretty village with several architectural gems. Passing below the 11th century priory and castle, you turn north at Tynemouth and follow the seafront, past a great expanse of sand and breaking surf. There’s a lovely section along the old seafront round Whitley Sands, and then a gravel track towards St Mary’s Lighthouse, with North Sea rollers breaking on the rocks. Then back on a cycle path, hugging the coast again, to Blyth. Head off along the 12-mile beach round Druridge Bay. You should hear the weeping cries of oystercatchers and curlew. Slip through the fishing port of Amble, and you’re on the home stretch to Warkworth. This charming village, dominated by a medieval castle, is encircled by the Coquet, a famous salmon river.

Day 6: Warkworth to Berwick-upon-Tweed – approx 53 miles

Alnmouth is the first village on today’s route. It’s a great spot for a beach walk. The next section to Craster hugs the coast. There is a sense of timelessness in the unfrequented lanes, the remote seaward farms and the empty beaches. Enjoy the view along the coast north, to Dunstanburgh Castle. Past the castle at Bamburgh, the route heads inland and back to the sea again, near the causeway over to Holy Island. Past Goswick Sands and round the docks in Tweedmouth to reach the bridges over the mighty River Tweed, and the day’s final destination – the handsome, historic, fortified town of Berwick.

Day 7: Berwick-upon-Tweed to Melrose – approx 45 miles

You turn inland, following the Tweed upstream. The route crosses back and forth over the River, in and out of Scotland, through Norham, Coldstream and Kelso. On the final few miles to the effortlessly picturesque town of Melrose, you skirt beneath the Eildon Hills, three enigmatic mounds that rise steeply above the Tweed and are thought to be King Arthur’s resting place.

Day 8: Melrose to Edinburgh – approx 45 miles

You continue west along the banks of the River Tweed from Melrose and on to Innerliethen. You turn north and head for the Moorfoot Hills. The climb is gradual, beside Leithen Water at first. Soon enough, you’re alone among the tops of the hills with glorious views down to the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh. A fine descent brings you down to Dalkeith. The route brings you through the outskirts of Auld Reekie, to the foot of Arthur’s Seat. Your tour finishes with a nights stay in Edinburgh

Day 9: Departure

After breakfast, bid farewell for your departure home. 

What's Included 

 

What's Not Included 

24 hour emergency back up support

8 nights in small & intimate hotels or B&B's

Bed & Breakfast

Luggage transfers

Meet & Greet by Bikecation rep

Transfer from Newcastle to the start of the trip in Bowness

Trip planner with route notes and maps

 

Bike hire

Drinks

Holiday Insurance

Lunch & evening meal

 

 

 

 

What's Included

24 hour emergency back up support

4 nights in small & intimate hotels or B&B's

Bed & Breakfast

Luggage transfers between hotels

Meet & Greet by Bikecation rep

Transfer to Whitehaven

Trip planner with route notes and maps

What's Not Included

Bike hire

Drinks

Insurance

Lunch & evening meal

misc

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