Four of the most famous cycle routes are close by Haltwhistle
Keen cyclists will be in their element, but Northumberland's quiet rural roads are also perfect for more leisurely cyclists wanting to explore the countryside
There are dozens of outstanding cyle trails nearby, whatever your ability or passion. There is a total of 350 miles of cycle paths in Northumberland. Four of the most famous cycle routes in the country run through Northumberland: Hadrian's Cycleway, The Coast & Castles, Pennine Cycleway, and the UK's most popular route, the Sea to Sea (C2C).
If you’re tempted by a coast-to-coast ride, but fear that the hills will be too much for you, Hadrian’s Cycleway is the one to choose. Never too difficult and with great scenery along the way – from the wild coast to the rugged beauty of Northumberland – it’s the ideal short-break tour.
Market towns such as Brampton and Haltwhistle are lovely places to stop, and the bright lights of Newcastle round off your stay.
It broadly follows the route of Hadrian’s Wall, which started near Carlisle and ended at Tynemouth, near Newcastle. Whereas the C2C climbs 600m above sea level, and the Way of the Roses touches 400m, Hadrian’s Cycleway doesn’t go much above 250m.
Yet there’s still a taste of the Northumbrian wilds, particularly around the Roman forts of Birdoswald and Vindolanda. The route darts back and forth from the wall, preferring quiet roads to historical fidelity, but if anything, that makes it more enjoyably varied.
For more information, visit: www.cycle.travel/route/hadrians_cycleway
The South Tyne Trail
This trail follows the route of the River South Tyne from the source to Haltwhistle. Open to walkers and cyclists, it is almost 23 miles (36.5km) long and is a fantastic two-day experience in the North Pennines. Following the South Tyne Trail, on foot or by cycle, is a great way to get to grips with the River South Tyne. Following the pathway of the former Haltwhistle and ALston railway line for most of the way, it runs over two large viaducts: The Alston Arches in Haltwhistle and The Lambley viaduct.
For more information on cycle routes around Haltwhistle, visit: www.mapmyride.com/gb/haltwhistle-eng/
Cycling in Northumberland
Northumberland is England’s most northern county and being largely rural with an interlacing network of lightly-trafficked quiet roads, it is a gem for cycle touring. Cycling is an excellent and efficient way to get around Northumberland; a bike will get you to places cars can never reach!
Whether you are looking for coastal flatlands or rolling hills you will be spoilt for choice. Iconic landmarks including castles and bastles abound whilst 'big sky' views are your frequent companion. With a wealth of places to visit, picturesque villages and great pubs, cafés and tasty local food, there’s always an excuse to take a break from the saddle.
Wild open spaces make Northumberland a gem for mountain biking with fantastic natural trails, and with more than 100 miles of purpose built trails we have great riding all year round. For more information on everything cycling in Northumberland visit The Cycle Pad. website: www.cyclepad.org.uk
Northumberland has a growing reputation for year round mountain biking with some excellent specialist trails for all abilities such as Kielder Water & Forest Park which has an extensive network of off-road trails, as well as the family friendly Lakeside Way – a 26 mile trail that encircles the shoreline of Kielder Water. These facilities were one of the reasons Kielder Water & Forest Park was voted 'best tourism experience' at the 2013 Visit England awards. Northumberland is also host to superb classic mountain bike routes in particular in Northumberland National Park.
One thing you can count on – which ever route or route combination you choose, you will find an amazing mix of varied and continually changing landscapes and countryside which will set the scene for a truly memorable two wheeled journey of discovery.