Cycling

Information about cycling in Northumberland

Whether for fun, to get to work or school, or for something to really get the heart racing, nothing beats a bike ride.

Cycling Plan Consultation

The draft Northumberland Cycling Plan is out to consultation until 5th January 2015.

Draft Northumberland Cycling Plan

Cycling Plan Consultation Covering Letter

Cycling in and around Northumberland

Coast & Castles Cycle Route

Part of National Cycle Network Route 1, 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 highly scenic but relatively flat, which makes it very attractive for many cyclists. It takes in many attractions en route, including the castles at Warkworth, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh, Druridge Bay Country Park, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Woodhorn Museum.

For more information visit the Coast & Castles Website.

The Coast and Castles route also forms part of the North Sea Cycle Route, which passess through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland and England. Further details are available at www.northsea-cycle.com

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, bringing you into contact with numerous Roman sites, forts and museums. In Northumberland the route runs along the picturesque Tyne Valley between Gilsland and Wylam.

For more information visit the Hadrian's Cycleway website.

The Hadrian's Wall website has further details and information about the area, including a series of circular day rides.

Pennine Cycleway

National Cycle Network Route 68, 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, then passes through Kielder Forest and the 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.

For more information visit the Reivers Cycle Route website.

Cycling at Kielder

Kielder Forest, the largest forest in Britain, surrounds Kielder Water, the largest man-made lake in Europe, creating a spectacular environment for outdoor enthusiasts. The 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. Details are available from the visitor centres or visit www.visitkielder.com

Cycle Hubs

Cycling Hubs in Haltwhistle and Wooler are now established. For more information and route maps visit www.visitnorthumberland.com/activities/cycling/cycle-hubs

Mountain Biking

The Deadwater Trails in Kielder Forest are amongst the best singletrack trails in England and offer some of the finest views in the county. The Red Trail is the highest in England, climbing to 1900ft (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, and in the Cheviot Hills to the south west of Wooler, with good bases in Alwinton and Harbottle in upper Coquetdale.

Cycle Journey Planner

An online journey planning tool is available to help cyclists plan journeys by bike.

Click here to go to the Cycle Journey Planner.

Further Information

More information on cycling & 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.

Organised Rides

The CTC organise regular cycle rides every Tuesday, departing at 10.30am from Merton Hall in Ponteland. Rides average 35-50 miles with a stop for lunch at a cafe or pub, usually returning to Ponteland by 4pm, though riders may opt to leave the group earlier. The pace is easy and no one is left behind.

During the months April to September inclusive, on the last Tuesday in each month the group arranges an “awayday” when, instead of cycling from Ponteland the group meets at another location. This is made known to regular cyclists on the previous Tuesday. Any new or casual attenders should phone Rod Robson for details of the particular location.

For more details go to www.tynesidectc.org.uk or telephone Rod Robson on 07941 947 498 or Heather Evans on 0191 273 8042.

The CTC also have a database of cycle route leaflets available across the UK and Ireland, on a county by county basis, including Northumberland. All details are updated annually.

Skyride

British Cycling and Sky have come together to get a million more people riding their bikes regularly – and everyone's invited. Whatever your age or ability, and whatever kind of bike you ride, we've created a whole range of ways for you to get involved. From big traffic-free events in towns and cities, to local neighbourhood rides; from women-only bike rides and support, to routes and workshops; there's something for everyone.

Visit the skyride website

Barnesbury CC

The Barnesbury CC is a British Cycling Go Ride cycling club based around SE Northumberland. We were established in 1923 and celebrate 90 years in 2013. Every keen cyclist regardless of age or ability should be part of the social events and activities of a club. Whether you intend to race, tour or just potter through the Northumberland country lanes on a Saturday or Sunday morning you will meet like-minded people with similar interests at our club.

The club aims at “developing your cycling potential” and we have riders with a wide variety of interests including road, time trials, cyclo-cross, MTB, BMX and track riding. The club also organises Saturday morning off road coaching sessions at Gallagher Park, Bedlington for youngsters aged under 16 years old which includes BMX and mountain biking sessions. Please see www.barnesbury-cc.co.uk for more information about the club, our activity and how to get involved.

Northumberland Cycling Route Maps

View a list of downloadable maps

The South East Northumberland Cycling Map is a detailed route map covering Morpeth, Ashington, Newbiggin, Bedlington, Cramlington, Blyth and Seaton Delaval. It is compatible with 5 other maps covering Tyne and Wear.

Request printed cycling maps of Northumberland:

Download online cycling maps:

Other Available Maps:

Belford Area Map features three rides of 16-25 miles. Available free from Sustrans. Telephone 0845 113 0065.

Cycling Hadrian's Wall Country features several cycle rides of 5-20 miles in length. Available free from the Hadrian's Wall Information Line on 01434 3220022.

Cycling in the North Pennines, includes the Allendale area and is available from North Pennines AONB. Telephone 01388 528801.

Cycle Rides in the Northumberland Coast AONB (£2.50) contains five routes of 17-30 miles using a mixture of country roads and off-road trails. Telephone 0845 600 6400 or visit www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org

Cycling Maps in other areas of Tyne and Wear

Request printed cycling maps:

To order a copy of the other partner area maps please contact:

Gateshead: neilfrier@gateshead.gov.uk

Newcastle: anne.clark@newcastle.gov.uk

North Tyneside: graeme.clark@northtyneside.gov.uk

South Tyneside: trevor.male@southtyneside.gov.uk

Sunderland: clive.greenwood@sunderland.gov.uk

The maps can also be downloaded by clicking here.

Cycle training

We are rolling out the new national cycling initiative known as Bike-ability, giving school children an opportunity to take part in a fresh approach to cycling plus gain confidence and fitness all at the same time.

Bike-ability adopts similar principles to those behind training standards designed for motorcyclists and car drivers in that it teaches how to assess risks and consider likely obstacles in addition to basic skills such as signalling and balance.

Bikeability lessons are presented at three separate levels:

Level 1 - a basic course suitable for first school pupils that teaches basic cycling and balance skills, off road.

Level 2 - an intermediate course suitable for middle school pupils that introduces on-road training and builds on level 1.

Level 3 - an advanced course suitable for high schools and colleges that includes tackling difficult road features such as roundabouts.

For further details about Bikeability please contact the County Road Safety Officer on (01670) 533939