Cycling

Cycling

Here you will find information about cycling in Northumberland including maps and suggested routes.

Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy

Draft Walking and Cycling Strategy

Work on this document has been put on hold while the North East Combined Authority (NECA) have written their Strategy. Further information about NECA can be found here.
 
It is clear that the promotion of walking and cycling as a basis for people to use their cars less and to exercise more is growing in prominence in Northumberland.
 
A concerted effort to maximise the economic, health, environmental, and community gains to be made from more people choosing to regularly walk and cycle is being promoted by the Northumberland Cycling and Walking Board.  This brings together councillors and staff from across Northumberland County Council as well as senior representatives from Sustrans, NHS England, Northumberland National Park, Northumberland Tourism, Active Northumberland, Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust.
 
The vision of the board is clearly set out in its prospectus - 'Geared Up!'
 
For more details or information, contact: HighwaysProgramme@Northumberland.gov.uk

Cycling in and around Northumberland

Here you will find information about popular cycling routes that pass through the County.

Coast & castles cycle route
The coast and castles route runs along the Northumberland coast between Tynemouth and Berwick upon Tweed, entering the county at Seaton Sluice. The route is scenic and relatively flat.

It takes in many attractions, including the castles at Warkworth, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh, Druridge Bay Country Park, Lindisfarne and Woodhorn Museum. The coast and castles route also forms part of the North Sea Cycle Route.
  • Further details are available here.
Hadrian's cycleway
This 150-mile coast-to-coast route between the Cumbrian coast and the North Sea follows the line of Hadrian's Wall, taking in numerous Roman sites, forts and museums.

In Northumberland, the route runs along the picturesque Tyne Valley between Gilsland and Wylam.
Pennine cycleway
The Pennine cycleway runs from Derby to Berwick upon Tweed, entering Northumberland via the South Tyne Valley. The route takes in some of Northumberland's most stunning scenery.

After leaving the North Pennines at Haltwhistle, the route crosses Hadrian's Wall before passing through Kielder Forest and Northumberland National Park.

The route continues through the southern Cheviot Hills and ends at the historic border town of Berwick.
Reivers cycle route
This challenging route runs from Tynemouth to Whitehaven via Kielder Water and the northern fringes of the Lake District. It enters Northumberland at Ponteland before heading north west to Kielder via Bellingham.
Cycling at Kielder
The Kielder Forest area is one of England's premier mountain biking areas, with 13 way-marked trails which vary from easy to demanding.

The 27-mile Lakeside Way is a new path around the lake, giving access to stunning views and abundant wildlife. Numerous shorter routes are also available.
Sustainable travel in our towns
Sustrans were employed by Northumberland County Council to look at ways to improve the walking and cycling facilities across seven market towns in Northumberland: Each town was audited and this generated a list of recommendations on possible improvements. The linked documents outline the recommendations for each town.
 
The Ashington document will be looked at again once the town centre regeneration project is complete.
Cycle hubs
Cycle hubs were trialed in Haltwhistle and Wooler some time ago, with the Wooler project continuing after the trial. This project has gone from strength to strength with the support of Glendale Gateway Trust. For more information, visit the dedicated webpage

There is an annual calendar of events with their flagship event being the Wooler Wheel. For more information click here.
Mountain biking
The Deadwater Trails in Kielder Forest are among the best single track trails in England, offering some of the finest views in the county. The Red Trail is the highest in England, climbing to 1,900ft (580m) or try the extremely challenging Black Trail. For details, visit the Kielder website.

Elsewhere in Northumberland, mountain biking is available on Hexhamshire Common, south west of Hexham with a good base in Allendale. You can also mountain bike in the Cheviot Hills to the south west of Wooler, with good bases in Alwinton and Harbottle in upper Coquetdale.

Mountain Biking can also be enjoyed in Simonside and Harwood Forests as well as Thrunton Woods.
Sandstone Way Mountain Bike Route
The Sandstone Way is  a 120 mile mountain biking route between Berwick upon Tweed and Hexham. It runs along the Sandstone ridge passing through the picturesque market towns of Wooler, Rothbury and Bellingham. For more information please see this website. 
GoSmarter / Cycle journey planner
  • Click here to find an online journey planning tool, available to help cyclists plan journeys by bike.
  • Click here for the GoSmarter website.
Further cycling information
  • More information on cycling and mountain biking in Northumberland is available here (including downloadable day rides).
  • The Northumberland National Park website provides more information on cycling in and around the national park, including routes in Wark Forest and the mid-Tyne area.
  • Cycle Northumberland - one stop shop for all things cycling in Northumberland

Cycle route maps

View the maps of our cycle routes here.

Request printed cycling map of South East Northumberland
The southeast Northumberland cycling map is a detailed route map covering Morpeth, Ashington, Newbiggin, Bedlington, Cramlington, Blyth and Seaton Delaval. It is compatible with five other maps covering Tyne and Wear.
  • Contact us to request a printed copy of the South East Northumberland map.
Download online cycling map for South East Northumberland
Cycle touring map of Northumberland
Please click here for a useful map for recreational cycling and cycle touring in Northumberland and beyond. 
Sandstone Way cycle map
Please click here for the official map for the Sandstone Way
Sustrans maps for NCN routes
Other cycling maps
  • Cycling in the North Pennines includes the Allendale area and is available from North Pennines AONB.
  • Cycle rides in the Northumberland Coast AONB (£2.50) contain five routes of 17 to 30 miles using a mixture of country roads and off-road trails. Telephone: 0345 600 6400 or visit www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org.
Cycling maps in other areas of Tyne and Wear
To order a copy of the other partner area maps please contact: The maps can also be downloaded by clicking here.

Useful organizations

This section contains information about cycling clubs operating in the county and region.

British Cycling
British Cycling was traditionally the administrator of the various sporting strands of cycling. They have broadened their horizons to include things such as leisure and family cycling as well as campaigning.

Click here for British Cycling home page.

To reflect these changes Skyrides occurred all over the country. This has been re-branded as Let's Ride.

Click here for the Let's Ride website.

If you are looking for a cycling club near you click here.
 
Cycling UK (formally CTC)
The CTC were traditionally known for cycle touring and cycle campaigning, when they were re-branced as Cycling UK, to become all things cycling, much like British Cycling. Click here for their homepage.

If you are looking for a regular group ride click here.
Sustrans
Sustrans in partnership with many local authorities co-ordinated the bringing about the National Cycle Network (NCN) as we know it today and is the custodian of the network. They are a national charity who's mission is to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

Click here for the Sustrans homepage.
Watbike
Watbike area a charitable organization based in Ashington but active throughout the North East. They provide regular guided leisure rides, community transport with a bike trailer, innovative bike training programmes, bike repair services and recycle unwanted bikes for re-sale. 

Click here for Watbike website.