Cycling Holidays around the Historical Tour of Northern Britain

 

Our cycling holiday around the historical tour of Northern Britain takes you from Hadrian's Cycleway and includes the Coast and Castles route. Cycle in the footsteps of British ancestors on this Tour. A mix of Britain’s past, taking in Hadrian’s Wall, castles, roman forts and quaint villages within unspoiled landscapes, vast beaches, rivers and deep, deep valleys. This 9 day tour covers the best of British northern history.

Originally some 70 miles in length, and six metres high, Hadrian’s Wall is the most important Roman monument in Britain. It stretches from the Solway Firth to the mouth of the River Tyne, across the wild and often eerily beautiful landscapes of this Border country.

The final section of the route follows the River Tyne, one of the great environmental success stories of recent years, and takes you into the cultural and cosmopolitan heart of the north - Newcastle.

From here, cycle the Northumberland Coast to end the route in Edinburgh. This part of the ride is dominated by waterways - the River Tyne, the North Sea, the mighty Tweed, Leithen Water, Dewar Burn and the Firth of Forth form a constant companion for nearly 200 miles.

The unforgettable landscapes, from dramatic sand dunes, vast beaches, and ancient woodlands, to castles growing out of craggy cliffs, deep valleys and heather moorland create an extraordinary array of stunning scenery.

There are plenty of opportunities for a pit stop, too, including Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle, the Ship Inn at Low-Newton-by-the-Sea, the ancient town walls of Berwick and Melrose Abbey. The route continues onwards to the heights of the Moorfoot Hills, offering a staggeringly lovely view down to the end of your journey.

 

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 - £350

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

 

HNE13

 

Rob's Highlights

  • Standing on Hadrian’s Wall near Haltwhistle, surveying the wild and empty lands to the north
  • Birdoswald Fort, part of Hadrian’s Wall, beautifully set above the River Irthing gorge
  • Riding a traffic-free path along the Tyne River through the heart of Newcastle
  • Warkworth Castle
  • Bamburgh Castle
  • A walk around the ramparts of Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

 

 

Testimonial

 

"Great scenery, great accommodation and great history. Thank you for putting this together." - M. Dolan 

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Newcastle

Arrive in Newcastle. A member of the Bikecation team will meet you after breakfast tomorrow, to hand over your route notes and maps, your bike if you’re hiring one answer those last minute questions, and share a few tips. 
 
Newcastle upon Tyne is the thriving, cultural capital of the North-East. There’s always something going on in this bustling city – either at the contemporarily designed Baltic Centre, the northern home of the visual arts, or the music venue Sage Gateshead. Galleries, museums, and fabulous eateries line the ‘Golden Mile of Culture’ and Newcastle is well known for its nightlife. The city has recently become something of a cycling mecca with several routes merging here. The Coast to Coast tour and Hadrian’s Cycleway converge on the dedicated cycle path, winding along the banks of the River Tyne.

Day 2: Whitehaven to Keswick – approx 31 miles

You’ll be transferred to Whitehaven, and this leg begins on the quay. The route leads along a disused railway line, climbing away from the coast. At the foot of the Lakeland Fells, the landscape changes dramatically and the route continues on lanes, round Murton Fell and Owsen Fell, down to Loweswater.  Following the River Cocker north to Low Lorton, the trail starts to climb over the Whinlatter pass. Once on top, the route takes you through Whinlatter Forest Park, down to Braithwaite, around the edge of Derwent Water and into Keswick.

Day 3: Gilsland to Corbridge: approx 31 miles

The route today crosses the highest section of Hadrian’s Cycleway, with dramatic views north, over open farmland dotted with small, dark copses and isolated farmhouses, across moorland and as far as Wark Forest on the horizon. There are several excellent sites you can visit today that show the remarkable civil engineering that brought the Wall into being, including Vindolanda and Housesteads. In Hexham, the bridge over the River Tyne allows amazing views of the salmon and sea trout leaping over the weir in late summer and autumn. Corbridge was prosperous through the Middle Ages and today is full of boutique shops, relaxing eateries and charming backstreets.

Day 4: Corbridge to Newcastle: approx 24 miles

The mighty River Tyne is your companion for much of today. Thirty years ago, the river was heavily polluted by the industry further downstream, but now it’s been transformed into an internationally acclaimed fishing river. The route takes you along narrow lanes, and onto a lovely, long dedicated cycle path through the heart of Newcastle.

Day 5: Newcastle to Warkworth: approx 47 miles

The ride starts on a quiet cycle path, passing underneath the ornate bridges spanning the Tyne, and follows the River east along the north bank, to the sea. You’ll pass the remains of Hadrian’s Wall, and a couple of miles further  you’re on the quays in North Shields, with fantastic views across the Tyne. 
 
Tynemouth, a pretty village with several architectural gems, sits at the mouth of the Tyne, and here you turn north, passing below the 11th century priory and castle. Following the seafront, past a great expanse of golden sand and breaking surf, the route passes along a lovely section around Whitley Sands.  A gravel track leads you towards St Mary’s Lighthouse, with North Sea rollers breaking on the rocks, then back on the cycle path, hugging the coast again, to Blyth. Head off along the 12-mile beach round Druridge Bay, accompanied by the charismatic cries of oystercatchers and curlew, before riding 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 salmon filled Coquet River.
 

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

Alnmouth is the first village on today’s route, and it’s a great spot for a bracing beach walk, before hitting the next stage to Craster. There is a sense of timeless beauty in the untravelled lanes, the remote, bleak seaward farms and the empty, deserted beaches. Enjoy the views along the coast north to Dunstanburgh Castle. Riding past the castle at Bamburgh, the route meanders from sea to land and back again until you reach the causeway across to Holy Island. The final stage takes you past Goswick Sands and round the docks in Tweedmouth towards the bridges over the fast flowing River Tweed, and the day’s night time destination in the historic, fortified town of Berwick.

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

Turning inland, following the Tweed upstream, with the route crossing back and forth over the River, you ride through Norham, Coldstream and Kelso. On the final few miles to the pretty town of Melrose, you skirt beneath the Eildon Hills, three enigmatic mounds rising steeply above the Tweed that legend says are 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 Innerleithen, before turning north and heading for the Moorfoot Hills. The climb is gradual, beside Leithen Water at first but soon enough, you’re alone on the tops of the hills, with glorious views down to the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh. A fast, easy descent brings you to Dalkeith, through the outskirts of Auld Reekie, and to the foot of Arthur’s Seat.

Day 9: Departure

After breakfast, bid farewell and depart from Edinburgh. 

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

Lunches & evening meals

 

 

 

 

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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