Northumberland Cycle Routes
There are several fantastic signed cycle routes that pass through this unique and largely unspoilt county bordering Scotland.
Northumberland National Park is an excellent place to start with several way marked cycle routes in this expanse of beautiful countryside, rivers and valleys.
The Hadrian's Cycleway is also very popular with its views of the countryside and Roman forts around this famous landmark. The routes from Silloth and Haltwhistle below make up the last 2 legs of this route with the first starting in Cumbria.
Also popular is the C2C route which passes through the county with both routes starting in Whitehaven and downloadable from the links below.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Northumberland Cycle Map
There are several National Cycle Network signed routes in the county many of which have been mapped and can be viewed and downloaded below.
For more information on NCN routes in the county (including free cycle maps) please click here
For more information on cycle routes in Northumberland including tips, advice and free cycle maps please click here
|Alnwick to Berwick-upon-Tweed||62 miles (100 km)||This long ride takes you along NCN route 1 and the Northumberland coast from Alnwick to Berwick-upon-Tweed|
You start in Alnwick near the striking castle and then head towards the coast to Alnmouth. The route then follows the coast to Bamburgh and then onto the mystical and ancient Holy Island with its ruined monastery and castle. The final stretch is largely off road taking you up the coast to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
|Bellingham to Berwick-upon-Tweed||78 miles (125 km)||This long challenging cycle ride takes you along NCN route 68 and through the beautiful Northumberland National Park from Bellingham to Berwick-upon-Tweed.|
The ride takes you through some lovely Northumberland countryside giving splendid views of the Cheviot Hills as you go. You will pass through the pretty villages of Elsdon, Harbottle and Wooler with lovely runs along the Rivers Till and Tweed to enjoy on your way.
|Bellingham to Langholm||47 miles (75 km)||This ride follows NCN route 10 through the beautiful and tranquil Northumberland National Park, and over the border into Scotland. You start at Bellingham (known as the gateway to Kielder Forest) with an on road section which takes you along the River North Tyne, around Kielder Water and into the lovely Kielder Forest. The stretch around Kielder Water is spectacular and another lovely waterside run soon follows along the Lewis Burn. The ride then continues through the forest on cycle paths to Newcastleton in Scotland. Quiet roads then take you onto the finish point in Langholm on the River Esk.|
|Berwick-upon-Tweed to Dunbar||34 miles (55 km)||This lovely ride follows NCN route 76 from England into the Scottish Borders giving wonderful coastal views along the way.|
The ride starts in Berwick-upon-Tweed heading north to the coastal town of Eyemouth in the Scottish borders. You continue along the coast to Cove where you will find the beautiful Pease Bay. The final section takes place on a mixture of country roads and cycle tracks, taking you to the finish point in Dunbar.
|Berwick-upon-Tweed to Melrose||45 miles (72 km)||Follow NCN route 1 and the River Tweed from Northumberland in England into the Scottish borders.|
The ride starts near the train station in Berwick-upon-Tweed and heads west along the River Tweed to Kelso, with the crossing of the Union suspension bridge at Horncliffe a highlight. You continue onto the lovely village of Dryburgh in the Scottish borders. Sitting on the river Tweed it is home to the 12th century Dryburgh Abbey which is certainly worth stopping to view.
A short on road section finishes the ride taking you into Melrose, where you finish near Melrose Abbey.
|Bolam Lake Country Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||Enjoy peaceful lakeside walking and cycling in this delightful country park in Northumberland. Bolam lake is located less than 10 miles from Morpeth in the heart of the Northumberland countryside. There are woodland paths, grassland and a super visitor centre with cafe, shop and information area. Cyclists please keep to the marked bridleway and give way to walkers. |
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head a few miles north to Hartburn Glebe where there are peaceful woodland trails, a pretty river and a variety of wildlife to look out for. Another good option is to climb to the nearby Shaftoe Crags. The crags are located just a mile west of the park and include interesting rock formations and wonderful views over the Northumberland countryside.
|Coast and Castles||199 miles (321 km)||The complete National Cycle Network Coast and Castles route from Newcastle to Edinburgh. The ride follows NCN route 1 through Tyne and Wear, Northumbria and then into Scotland. With spectacular coastal scenery, riverside sections and views of the Scottish Hills and mountains there is something for everyone on this fabulous cycle route.|
|Coast to Coast Whitehaven to Tynemouth||137 miles (220 km)||This is the complete C2C NCN route crossing the country from east to west along a number of cycle tracks/paths and minor roads. You will see some spectacular scenery as you pass through the Cumbrian Lake District and Northumberland before the last leg through County Durham and the finish point at Tynemouth Pier on the east coast of England.|
Click here for the C2C from Whitehaven to Sunderland
Click here for a comprehensive guide to this popular route.
|Druridge Bay Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||This beautiful country park on the Northumberland coast consists of three miles of beach and sand dunes, a large freshwater lake, peaceful woodland and meadows. The coastline is simply stunning with a lovely cycling and walking path running alongside the beach. You could continue your outing by following the coast north towards Amble with views of Coquet Island, or head south to Newbiggin-By-The-Sea. There are several nature reserves in the area so there are plenty of opportunities for bird watching too.|
|Haltwhistle to Bellingham||28 miles (45 km)||This ride follows NCN routes 72 and 68 through the beautiful and tranquil Northumberland National Park. You begin by Haltwhistle rail station and follow NCN route 72 to Bardon Mill following the River South Tyne. Here you turn north along NCN route 68 taking you through Northumberland National Park on off road tracks and quiet roads where you will pass the famous Hadrian's Wall. The final stretch takes you along the Pennine Way to the finish point at Bellingham which has plenty of places for an overnight stay.|
|Haltwhistle to Tynemouth||57 miles (92 km)||This route is the final leg of 3 making up the Hadrian's Cycleway. The ride has some fabulous scenery as you pass through the counties of County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. Route highlights include the Vindlolanda and Cordbridge Roman forts, Tyne Green Riverside Park at Hexham and some lovely traffic free cycling along the River Tyne. The final section takes you through Newcastle Upon Tyne on your way to the finish point on the east coast.|
|Harwood Forest||27 miles (44 km)||Enjoy a largely traffic free cycle ride through Harwood Forest and the Simonside Hills in the Northumberland National Park. The route runs from Elsdon to Hepple and makes use of the Border County Ride cycle track which runs through the heart of Harwood Forest. The route starts in the village of Elsdon and passes Battle Hill, Fallowless Lough, Whitefield Hill and the River Coquet before arriving at Hepple. Return to Elsdon via the same route.|
If you're looking for more cycle rides nearby then you could try the Kidland Forest cycle route which also makes use of the Border County Ride.
|Kidland Forest||14 miles (23 km)||Explore Kildand Forest and Upper Coquetdale on this circular cycle ride in the Northumberland National Park. You'll enjoy off road woodland tracks and a long riverside section on this varied ride. |
The route starts near the parking area at Barrowburn and follows the Border Country Ride off road cycle track into Kidland Forest. You then follow the track along the edge of the forest, passing Nettlehope Hill and Saughy Hill on the way. At Alwinton you pick up a country lane which takes you along the River Coquet to Barrowburn.
If you're looking for more cycle rides in the area then you could try the Harwood Forest cycle route which also makes use of the Border County Ride. You could also explore further into Kidland Forest as it has a number of other super mountain bike trails.
|Kielder Forest Lakeside Way||22 miles (35 km)||This fantastic circular cycling and walking route takes you around the beautiful Kielder Reservoir in Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland. The route is known as the Lakeside Way and follows the shoreline of the reservoir on a lovely multi-user track. Along the way you can see twenty pieces of outdoor public art including the futuristic Belvedere shelter and the three large rotating Janus Chairs. There's excellent wildlife spotting opportunities with Ospreys regularly seen around the reservoir. |
The route also passes Kielder Dam and Kielder Castle where you will find an excellent visitor centre with exhibitions, information and a cafe. The castle is also the centre for cycling within the park - you can hire a bike here or get your own repaired. It is located at the northern tip of the reservoir at Kielder village.
If you're looking for a more challenging cycle ride you will also find several colour coded mountain bike trails within the park. They range from the easy Borderline trail to the thrilling Deadwater black trail.
For great views over the Lake District and the Scottish Hills you could climb Deadwater Fell from Kielder Castle.
|Morpeth to Alnwick||31 miles (50 km)||Travel along NCN routes 155 and 1 on this lovely ride which takes you along the Northumberland coast.|
|Newcastle to Bellingham||56 miles (90 km)||This long route takes you from Tyne and Wear into Northumberland along NCN routes 72 and 10. You start by Newcastle rail station and head along NCN route 72 and the River Tyne to East Howdon. A long off road stretch along a dismantled railway line followed by some country roads takes you to Ponteland along NCN route 10. The ride continues on road through Northumberland with some lovely scenery including views of the River North Tyne and Colt Crag Reservoir. You finish at the tourist information centre at Bellingham - a popular stopping place for walkers and cyclists visiting the Pennine Way Trail.|
|Penrith to Consett||53 miles (85 km)||Travel from Penrith in the Cumbrian Lake District along the C2C NCN route to Consett in Durham. This can be completed as the 2nd leg of the C2C ride following from Whitehaven to Penrith. Highlights on this ride include spectacular views of the Penines and a number of cycle friendly off road tracks. Also of interest are the Long Meg and Her Daughters Stone circles near Penrith and the beautiful scenery of the South Tyne Valley (below).|
|Plessey Woods Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||This pretty country park is situated on the River Blyth at Hartford Bridge, 5 miles south of Morpeth. There are 100 acres of woodland and meadow to explore and a lovely long waterside stretch along the River Blyth. There's also an abundance of wildlife with woodpecker, nuthatch, tree creeper, kingsfisher, red squirrel, roe deer and fox. There are a number of self guided walking trails and a bridleway for cyclists. The park has an excellent visitor centre with maps, guides and a cafe. |
If you have time you could head half a mile east to Bedlington country park.
|Queen Elizabeth II Country Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||Enjoy a short cycle or walk around the large lake in this pretty country park. The lake is surrounded by woodland and grassland and there is also a miniature railway to ride. The park is situated on the site of the Woodhorn Colliery and the old colliery buildings have now been turned into a museum. Queen Elizabeth II Country Park is located near the Northumberland coast between Newbiggin-By-The-Sea and Ashington.|
Druridge Bay Country Park is only a few miles north so you could continue your walk or ride along the coast to this beautiful park.
|Ravenglass to Tynemouth||180 miles (290 km)||This is the complete route for the Hadrian's Cycleway which runs from east coast of England to the west coast passing through some fabulous scenery.|
For a comprehensive guide to the route including accommodation, guide notes and photographs please click here.
|Silloth to Haltwhistle||63 miles (102 km)||This route forms the 2nd leg of the magnificent Hadrian's Cycleway-a 174 mile National Cycle Network route running through Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyneside. Highlights on the route include the splendid views of the Solway Firth, a lovely run along the River Eden through Carlisle and of course the views of Hadrian's Wall particularly as you pass through the beautiful Northumberland National Park.|
|South Tyne Trail||23 miles (37 km)||Travel through the fabulous North Pennines AONB and enjoy some spectaular scenery on this shared walking and cycle path.
The trail starts off at Tyne Head - the source of the River South Tyne. You then head north to Garrigill along the river passing the impressive Ashgill Force waterfall as you go (see video). The trail continues to Alston where you will run alongside the fabulous South Tynedale Steam Railway (see video).
From Alston you head through Slaggyford and Lambley where you will pass the striking structure that is Lambley Viaduct. The final section takes you through Coanwood to the finish point at Haltwhistle rail station.
This is a terrific riverside trail with moors, fells and beautiful countryside to take in.
|Sunderland to Morpeth||37 miles (60 km)||This ride follows NCN routes 1 and 155 through Tyne and Wear and into Northumberland. You start in Sunderland and head north along the coast to South Shields where you can catch the South Shields Ferry across the harbour. You then continue along the coast through Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Blyth. Near Newbiggin-By-the-Sea you turn inland along NCN route 155 passing through Queen Elizabeth Country park and Ashington before finishing by crossing the River Wansbeck at Morpeth.|
This is an interesting, largely coastal route with several off road sections making for a worthwhile ride.
|Tyne Green Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a riverside walk or cycle along the River Tyne in this country park in Hexham. There are lovely tree lined avenues to stroll down, a golf course and club house, play area, cafe and watersports centre. Tyne Green is also good for birdwatching - look out for Goosander, Goldeneye and Teal on the river. |
The park is located right next to Hexham railway station.
|Whitehaven to Sunderland||134 miles (215 km)||This is the complete C2C NCN route crossing the country from east to west along a number of cycle tracks/paths and minor roads. You will see some spectacular scenery as you pass through the Cumbrian Lake District and Northumberland before the last leg through County Durham and the finish point at Roker Pier on the east coast of England.|
Click here for the C2C from Whitehaven to Tynemouth
Click here for a comprehensive guide to this popular route.