Cycling Holidays around the Grand Tour of Northern England

 

 

Our cycling holiday around 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. From the Georgian port of Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to the castle on the rock at Tynemouth facing the North Sea, the route 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 stunning Tyne Valley.

You’ll pass through Keswick, Penrith, Alston, Allenheads, Stanhope and Consett, which are packed full of tea rooms, and welcoming pubs with bags of northern charm. The joy of riding through the wild and open countryside will remain with you, leaving a long lasting memories. The final section of the route follows the River Tyne and onto the Coast & Castles Bikecation route. Rich in history and strong on character, this part of the ride provides a true taste of the charismatic North.

This ride itself is as much defined by water as it is by land - the majestic River Tyne, the North Sea, the mighty Tweed, Leithen Water, Dewar Burn and the Firth of Forth form a long watery companion for almost 200 miles.

When cycling the Northumberland coast, the landscapes are unforgettable, though vast sand dunes, long, wide beaches, ancient woodlands, castles perched on rocky cliff tops, deep valleys and heather moorland all make for an extraordinary variety of scenery. There are plenty of chances for a relaxing break, too -  Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle, the old Ship Inn at Low-Newton-by-the-Sea, the impressive town walls of Berwick, and Melrose Abbey. The route continues on until you reach the heights of the Moorfoot Hills and the outstanding views to your journey’s end 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 - £1150pp

(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, your bike if you’re hiring one, answer those last minute questions and pass on a few tips.

Day 2: Whitehaven to Penrith – approx 55 miles

You’ll be transferred to Whitehaven quay where your epic ride begins. Quickly, you’re climbing away from the coast. At the foot of the Lakeland Fells, the landscape changes dramatically, leading you down to Loweswater. You’ll then follow the River Cocker north to Low Lorton up and over the Whinlatter pass. Once on top, the route takes you down to Braithwaite.

From here you head east along unused railway line, following the River Greta through a thickly-wooded gorge. The landscape changes as you leave the steep sided hills, scree slopes and craggy peaks of the Lake District National Park behind you. You pass beneath the dramatic fell, Blencathra, then out via Mungrisdale, continuing along quiet lanes through rolling 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 majority is uphill, all the way to Hartside Pass (590m). There is a glorious descent that takes you to Alston. The museum and heritage centre in Nenthead, the first town on the route, are well worth a visit. There’s a wonderful long, gentle trail off Allendale Moor into Allenheads, before the road rises and falls all the way to Stanhope.

Day 4: Stanhope to Tynemouth – approx 40 miles

The last day of cycling this Coast to Coast route starts with a bit of an uphill ride to the start of the Waskerley Way, followed by an easy trail that’s downhill or flat the whole way to Tynemouth. The old railway line meanders gently around Waskerley and Smiddy Shaw reservoirs, over the magnificent Hownsgil Viaduct and down into Consett. Beyond Consett, you’ll continue on the rural tracks through the heavily wooded Derwent Valley, all the way to the outskirts of Newcastle, and the mighty Tyne River. Turning east, the route lies along the Tyne, through the heart of Newcastle following a cycle path 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 dedicated cycle path, passing beneath the architectural bridges spanning the Tyne, and follow the river east along the north bank to the sea. You’ll pass the ruins of the world famous Hadrian’s Wall, before reaching the quays in North Shields, allowing fantastic views across the Tyne.

Where the river runs out to the sea, sits Tynemouth, a pretty village with several impressive architectural features. Passing below the 11th century priory and castle, you’ll turn north at Tynemouth along the seafront expanses of sand and breaking surf. There’s a lovely trail along the old seafront round Whitley Sands, and then a gravel track towards St Mary’s Lighthouse, with cold North Sea waves breaking on the rocks. Then back on a cycle path, hugging the coastline again, to Blyth. Head off along the 12-mile beach round Druridge Bay, where you’ll hear the harsh cries of black and white oystercatchers and tawny coloured curlews. 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, famous for its delicious salmon.

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

Alnmouth is the first village on today’s route, and a great spot for a beach walk. Then head to Craster right on the coast. There is a sense of remote timelessness along the rural lanes, the bleak seaward farms and the desolate, deserted beaches. Enjoying the view along the coast north to Dunstanburgh Castle, you’ll ride past the castle at Bamburgh, before the route heads inland, returning to the sea once more near the Holy Island causeway. The route skirts Goswick Sands, around the docks in Tweedmouth and reaches the bridges over the mighty River Tweed, and the day’s final destination – the historic, fortified town of Berwick.

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

You turn inland, following the Tweed upstream where the route skips back and forth over the River, in and out of Scotland, through Norham, Coldstream and Kelso, before the final few miles to the picturesque town of Melrose. The route continues beneath the Eildon Hills, three enigmatic and mysterious mounds that rise steeply above the Tweed and are, according to legend, the resting place of King Arthur.

Day 8: Melrose to Edinburgh – approx 45 miles

You continue west along the banks of the River Tweed from Melrose to Innerleithen, before heading north towards the mist shrouded Moorfoot Hills. The climb is gradual, alongside Leithen Water initially, but soon enough, you’re alone among the tops of the hills with glorious views down to the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh. An easy descent brings you down to Dalkeith, through the outskirts of Auld Reekie, to the foot of Arthur’s Seat. Your tour finishes with a well earned rest  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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