Historical Tour Of Northern Britain

 


On this UK Leisure cycling holiday, you are cycling Hadrians's cycleway and then cycling the coast and castles route. Cycle in the footsteps of British ancestors on this Historical Northern England Tour. A mix Britain’s past with Hadrian’s Wall, castles, roman forts and quaint villages with unspoiled landscapes, vast beaches, rivers, deep valleys and not to forget the warm welcomes. 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 heart of the north, Newcastle.

From here, cycle the Northumberland Coast to the end of the route in Edinburgh. This part of the ride 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.

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.

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 - £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

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 (plus your bike if you’re hiring one) answer those last minute questions, and hand over a few tips. Newcastle upon Tyne is the thriving, cultural capital of the North-East. There are many excellent restaurants. If you arrive in good time, there’s nearly always something on – either at the Baltic Centre, the contemporary visual arts venue, Sage Gateshead, an excellent music venue, or one of the other galleries or museums along the ‘Golden Mile of Culture’. Newcastle is also well known for its nightlife. The City has recently become something of a cycling crossroads – as various cycle routes like the Sea to Sea and Hadrian’s Cycleway converge on the traffic-free cycle path that winds along the banks of the River Tyne.

Day 2: Whitehaven to Keswick – approx 31 miles

You’ll be transferred to Whitehaven. Your epic ride begins on the quay and quickly, you’re on 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. You then follow the River Cocker north to Low Lorton and start to climb, up and over the Whinlatter pass. Once on top, the route is on trails through Whinlatter Forest Park, and then down to Braithwaite. Then round to the edge of Derwent Water and into Keswick.

Day 2: Bowness-on-Solway to Gilsland: appox 37 miles

Transfer from your hotel in Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway, a sleepy village on the Solway Firth facing the hills of southern Scotland. This was once the most northern outpost of the Roman Empire: it’s the end of Hadrian’s Wall, and the start of your ride. The first few miles follow the Solway Firth east, past sand dunes and across salt marsh. The area is rich in birdlife. Speeding through the villages of Burgh by Sands and Kirkandrews-on-Eden, you arrive in the outskirts of Carlisle . A path along the banks of the River Eden leads you through the centre and out into Cumbrian countryside. Warwick Bridge to Brampton then onward to Lanercost Priory. Between Banks and Birdoswald Fort, the route closely follows the line of Hadrian’s Wall. There are the remains of turrets, neatly aligned sandstone blocks that comprise stretches of the wall and a fort.

Day 3: Gilsland to Corbridge: approx 31 miles

The route today crosses the highest section of Hadrian’s Cycleway: there are grand views north, over open farmland dotted with copses and isolated farmhouses, across moorland as far as the dense, black mass of Wark Forest. There are several excellent sites you can visit today to learn more about the Wall, and appreciate the remarkable civil engineering project it was: Vindolanda and Housesteads are the most impressive. In Hexham, pause on the bridge over the River Tyne to see salmon and sea trout leaping over the weir, in late summer and autumn. Corbridge was prosperous through the Middle Ages and today, it’s full of boutique shops and charm.

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. It’s now an internationally acclaimed fishing river. On lanes, and then on a lovely, long traffic-free path, you glide through the heart of Newcastle.

Day 5: Newcastle to Warkworth: approx 47 miles

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 cyclepath, 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.

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

Testimonial

 

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

 

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