Cycling Holidays around Rural and Roman Britain

 

 

Our cycling holidays around rural and Roman Britain take in part of the Coast to Coast route, and Hadrian’s Wall Cycleway.  The tour starts in Newcastle or Carlisle with a transfer to Whitehaven then follows one of Britain signature rides - the Coast to Coast. From the Georgian port of Whitehaven sitting on the Irish Sea to Tynemouth Castle, staring with its rocky edifice out over the North Sea, this ride crosses some of the most dramatic landscapes around. We journey through the silvery, shining levels, the high crags of the Lake District, the vast, eerily empty moorland on the Cumbrian Fells, and before heading down into the Tyne Valley.
The towns you pass Keswick, Penrith, Alston, Allenheads, Stanhope and Consett are packed with welcoming tea rooms, friendly 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 peace.
After a night in Newcastle your journey takes you into Roman Britain following the route of Hadrian’s Wall. This is one of the most important Roman monuments in Britain, and, since 1987, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stretching from The River Tyne across to the Solway Firth you follow the route on arrow straight military roads and cycle paths through wild, and beautifully ancient scenery plunging back through history. Along the route, stop to experience the past at Roman forts, medieval fortified churches and castles and visit market towns such as Brampton, Haltwhistle, Corbridge and Ovingham. Why not enjoy a break in a local tea room or a pint in one of the friendly local pubs, before heading for your journey’s end in Solway Firth, with a transfer and night in Newcastle or Carlisle.
 

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 - £995pp

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

Supplements

 

Single room supplement - £300

Single Traveller Supplement - £500

Bike hire - £125

E-Bike Hire - N/A

Additional nights - Price upon request

 

Other Info

 

Optional hire bikes provided are quality hybrid equipped with 21 gears, helmet, handlebar bag, water bottle and repair kit.

 

Trip Code

 

RRB13

 

Rob's Highlights

  • Riding the dismantled railway line through lovely woodlands, from Keswick to Threlkeld
  • The birdlife on the high moors of County Durham
  • The descent from Hartside Pass to Alston
  • Riding a traffic-free path along the Tyne River through the heart of Newcastle
  • Watching salmon leap over the weir in Hexham
  • Birdoswald Fort, part of Hadrian’s Wall, beautifully set above the River Irthing gorge
  • Birdlife on the Solway Firth
  • Standing on Hadrian’s Wall near Haltwhistle, surveying the wild and empty lands to the north

 

 

Testimonial - Centre 

 

"We had a great time, thank you. A trip we will never forget." - F. Carlisle

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Newcastle or Penrith

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 easy to follow 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 where your adventure begins. From the  quay, you climb away from the coast, and once you reach the foot of the Lakeland Fells, the landscape changes dramatically and the route then continues down to Loweswater. You follow the River Cocker north to Low Lorton and over the Whinlatter pass. Once on top, the route is then downhill to Braithwaite. From here you head east along a quiet disused railway line, following the River Greta through a thickly wooded gorge. The scenery changes as you leave the ancient hills, scree slopes and craggy outcrops of the Lake District National Park behind you. Passing beneath the precipitous fell, Blencathra, the route continues via Mungrisdale on quiet lanes through rolling farmland to the historic villages of Greystoke and Penrith.

Day 3 Penrith to Stanhope: approx 45 miles

East of Penrith, the route crosses the River Eden at Langwathby and starts to climb into the north western Pennines. There are a few sections of free  wheeling downhill, but then it’s up, all the way to Hartside Pass (590m), before another glorious descent to Alston. There is a museum and heritage centre in Nenthead, the first larger town on the route, and a wonderful long, gentle descent off Allendale Moor into Allenheads. The road rises and falls all the way to Stanhope.

Day 4 Stanhope to Newcastle: approx 34 miles

The final day starts with a bit of uphill pushing to reach the start of the Waskerley Way, then it’s pretty much downhill or flat the whole way to Tynemouth. The route, along a disused railway, curves gently round Waskerley and Smiddy Shaw reservoirs, over the magnificent awe inspiring Hownsgil Viaduct and down into Consett. Beyond Consett, you continue along the dedicated cycle trail through the heavily wooded Derwent Valley all the way to the outskirts of Newcastle, and the turbulent Tyne River. Turning east, the route follows the river through the heart of Newcastle to your hotel for the evening.

Day 5: Newcastle to Corbridge approx 30 miles

The mighty River Tyne is your companion for much of today. Thirty years ago, the river was heavily polluted by the runoff from industries further downstream, bu thanks to a massive cleanup operation, and ongoing legislation, it’s now an internationally acclaimed fishing river. Travelling along lanes and quiet traffic-free paths, you’ll ride from the heart of Newcastle, underneath the ornate, timeless bridges which span the Tyne, and continue along to Corbridge. This is a thriving medieval town which was prosperous through the Middle Ages and today is full of boutique shops, delightful eateries and a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Day 6: Corbridge to Gilsland: approx 31 miles

There are several excellent sites you can visit today to learn more about, and experience, Hadrian’s Wall. This remarkable civil engineering project can be appreciated easily at Vindolanda and Housesteads. In Hexham, over the River Tyne, pause for a moment and watch the salmon and sea trout leaping over the weir in late summer and autumn. Your route then crosses the highest section of Hadrian’s Cycleway, with impressive views north over open countryside dotted with copses and isolated, bleak farmhouses, and out across the heather covered moorland as far as the atmospheric black shadow of Wark Forest.

Day 7: Gilsland to Bowness-on-Solway: approx 35 miles

Between Banks and Birdoswald Fort, the route closely follows the line of Hadrian’s Wall. There are the remains of sandstone turrets, a fort and stretches of near-intact Wall. Stop at the Lanercost Priory and Brampton, before heading for Warwick Bridge. The track along the banks of the scenic River Eden leads you through the centre and out into Cumbrian countryside. Speeding through the villages of Kirkandrews-on-Eden and Burgh by Sands you arrive in the outskirts of Carlisle. Follow the Solway Firth west, past sand dunes and across salt marshes, rich in birdlife, until your last section, which is 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, and is the end your relationship with Hadrian’s Wall. You will be met by your Bikecation rep who’ll collect your bikes and transfer you back to Newcastle for the evening.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, bid farewell for your departure home.
 

What's Included 

 

What's Not Included 

24 hour emergency back up support

7 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

7 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

What's Not Included

Bike hire

Drinks

Holiday Insurance

Lunches & evening meals

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