4 Big Northern Cycling Events This Year

It’s never too late to challenge yourself to an epic cycle ride.

With the final third of the year left to go, there’s never been a better time to get into the competitive racing scene in the UK.

You don’t need to be a Chris Hoy or a Bradley Wiggins to enter into one of these races, all you need is a decent bike, a helmet and the stamina to keep pushing through when your body is screaming at you to stop. In all seriousness, some of these events are not for the faint of heart; before you take part in them it’s a good idea to get some long distance training in and buying a decent pair of lycras isn’t a bad idea either.

Whether you’re looking for an introductory race to ease your way in to the cycling scene or a truly huge challenge that will stretch you to your very limits, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye in this nifty list of the biggest cycling events that you can still enter this year.

Fell Beast

The rugged beauty of the Fells awaits you, should you choose to tackle the Fell Beast, one of the toughest cycling events in the UK. There are three routes to choose from in this sportive, with the longest taking you over 101 miles of punishing climbs and rewarding descents that are bound to keep you intrigued. With less than a week to go before this event takes places, if you’re thinking of jumping in you might want to tackle the shorter distance of 37 miles, there’s still a fair elevation gain of 2244 ft to deal with though!

Starts at: Carlisle Racecourse on Sunday 3rd September 2017


Wiggle Ay Up! Yorkshire

Later in September, Yorkshire plays host to the playfully named Ay Up!, a challenging ride built around the steep inclines of the North York Moors National Park. Run by experienced sports events company Wiggle, the long route is a fair 91 miles that manages to pack in almost 6000 ft of elevation. Needless to say, this is an event that demands a bit of uphill training  beforehand. You can enter the shortest form of the Ay Up! for a mere £26, the 32 mile course takes in similarly stunning scenery with a much easier tail-end.

Starts at: Thirsk Racecourse on Saturday 27th September 2017


Galloway Gallop Adventure Cross

Ever fancied tackling 68 miles of mixed surface trails across the moors and forests of Galloway? If so, the Galloway Gallop might be just up your street. Although this route is significantly shorter than the others on this list, you have to consider that you’ll be cycling across a variety of surfaces that will put a much greater resistance than the usual tarmac. Grab a decent mountain bike and some sensible outdoors clothes for this event, as you’ll be cycling over long stretches of exposed moorland. The short route for this course is a decent 43 miles that still manages to pack in a hefty amount of elevation.

Starts at: Kirroughtree MTB Centre on Sunday 1st October 2017


Wiggle Hawker Hurricane

Lastly, here’s a long distance cycle ride that shouldn’t tax you too much and will take you through some of the prettiest villages that Northamptonshire has to offer. Those choosing to take short route will have an easy time of it – the course only rises 1200 ft over the 26 mile route, allowing beginner riders to enjoy the scenery whilst not completely exhausting themselves. The hard route saves all it’s big climbs to the end, where the route enters Burton County Park for a tough final 20 miles. You’ve been warned!

Starts at: Turweston Aerodrome on Saturday 28th October 2017

Cycling Down To The North Wales Coast

This country is full of beautiful places to cycle. It’s also full of really crappy places to cycle. The best way to make sure that we all end up cycling in nice places rather than super  crap places is to make sure that we tell each other about places that are good and places that are awful! That’s what should be done! That is something that we want to get done.CYCLING I went on down to the North Wales Coast on the bicycle recently and had an amazing time. North Wales Coast accommodation is top notch, there are beautiful seaside resorts up and down the coast which have flourished over many years of being attended by the great and the good of many miles around.  It’s a beautiful place to be, cycling along the coast town to town. Just beautiful. Well where do you think is the best place go on a cycle trip? Well? Where? Let us know below….

 

 

Where to go on a Cycling Holiday in Scotland

Following on from our last post, I thought I’d continue with an article about one of my other passions: Holidaying in Scotland. From Northumbria, many beautiful Scottish attractions are a short cycle ride away.

Weekend breaks in Scotland are an ideal way to keep romance alive. Scotland, one of UK’s most alluring countries has a wealth of fantastic attractions, historical cities, spectacular landscapes and as if not enough, a healthy dose of magic and mystery. You can take a stroll through the cobbled, ancient streets in Edinburgh and learn about the fascinating past of the city, don your hiking boots and climb a Scottish mountain or go sailing on a loch in the West Coast of Scotland. Some of the romantic getaways in Scotland include:

Glasgow.

It is among the most colorful and vibrant cities in Scotland. It has numerous galleries and museums as clubs and lively pubs. Whenever the sun appears, spend your day lazing in Kelvingrove Park; if the weather in Scotland is at its worst, have a sumptuous lunch in the beautiful Willow Tea Rooms designed by a Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. During evening hours, indulge in a meal at one of Glasgow’s best gourmet restaurants or book a concert at the SECC. Glasgow is one of the best romantic getaways due to its numerous attractions and fantastic shopping opportunities.

Glasgow

Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is widely recognized as Scotland’s most attractive city hence providing the ideal setting for a romantic break. Take a walk down the Royal Mile or hike atop the Arthur’s Seat for a wide view across the city. There are also numerous places that you can have a picnic on a sunny day: spend your day at the beach at Victorian seaside town Portobello, travel to the picturesque town of Leith or visit the amazing Botanical Gardens.

Stirling and Argyll.

The west coast of Scotland is absolutely impressive; with dramatic cliffs, crashing oceans and enormous swathes of sand. Argyll is the ideal place to attempt scuba diving or even sailing, with secluded beaches and bays, overlooked by the high peaked mountains. For people who do not consider the wilderness their ideal romantic holiday, they could head to Stirling for an alternative break from the city. With its quaint villages, abundance of gardens and beautiful castle, this is the perfect example of a romantic destination.

Romantic cottages in Scotland.

Whether your idea of romance is walking in magical wooded glens, snuggling up beside a fire or having dinner in a top notch restaurant, you can find it all in Scotland. Staying in a holiday home provides you the freedom to just be yourselves together, eat when you want, and get up when you want. Additionally, you can select accommodation that provides you with a lovely place to be together or will add sparkle to your stay.

Take your loved one away to one of the romantic lodges in Scotland (Highland Heather Lodges) overlooking the Speyside hills or Loch Lomond. Hole-up in the heart of historic Stirling or go to a remote cottage situated in the highlands. The privacy and flexibility of self catering accommodation will come true, whatever your romantic Scottish dream is.

Cycling in Southern Scotland

The Scottish Borders to the south east of the country are a varied and fascinating region which is fantastic for cycling. From long distance routes to gentle family rides, there is something for everyone, whatever their age and fitness level. So hop on your bike and come and see what this area between Berwick Upon Tweed and Edinburgh has to offer. You will find cycling in southern scotland to be more interesting, beautiful and varied than you ever imagined. Here are a few route suggestions for excellent rides:

– Long Distance

The Border Loop is a 250 mile route that takes you down quiet country lanes that will lead you to much of the best of what this region has to offer, from castles and abbeys to hills and valleys, this varied and sometimes steep route will take most cyclists around a week to complete, though it could take a lot longer if, as is tempting, you keep stopping to admire the view.

– Mountain Biking

If you are into mountain biking in Britain then you will be doubt have heard of the 7stanes. These mountain bike trails scattered over southern Scotland provide adventure and adrenaline to keen mountain bikers. Glentress and Innerleithen are good for all ability levels and can be fun for all the family, providing some of the best mountain bike trails in the country.

– A Day Ride

For a pleasant day ride, why not try the 19 mile loop from Hawick nicknamed Cavers and Stobs. There are some long steeps on this route but if you take it easy, it is not too much of an endurance grind and the views gained by the increase in altitude are exceptional, making it all worth while. Another option from Hawick is to head on the Denholm loop, 14.5 miles with a few steepish sections, but some lovely downhill stretches and an easy last leg back into Hawick.

– An Easy Family-Friendly Ride

Families and other recreational cyclists may enjoy the five mile Tweed Valley Railway Path, which runs along the river Tweed in the route of the old railway. This is an easy and pleasant cycle that can be undertaken even with young children. Another option is a five mile circular route from Melrose up by Abbotsford. There is a short climb but it is not too challenging.

Throughout southern Scotland you will find a whole variety of cycling options. Cycling is a good way to explore the beautiful scenery and varied historic and cultural attractions of this region.

Cycling Routes in Northumbria

Northumbria was an ancient Kingdom which covered the land now occupied by North East England and South East Scotland, stretching past York in the South, and up as far as Edinburgh in the North. This broad area has a lot of excellent cycling routes, so why not take to the highways and byways to explore this ancient Kingdom, and see what cultural traits (if any) the people of this region still share? Here are a few suggestions for the best long-distance cycle routes on offer in this part of the world:

– Coast and Castles Cycle Route

This route follows the North Sea Coast up Northumberland, through the Scottish Borders and East Lothian to Edinburgh, with many historic castles, beautiful sea views, and wildlife havens along the way. This is a fairly flat route, with plenty of pleasant places to break up the journey as you go along. It is 192 miles long, most of it on or near the dramatic shoreline.

Hadrian’s Cycleway

This route bisects England from Ravenglass, in the Lake District, to Tyneside. Explore this regions Roman Heritage for the 33 miles that traverse Northumberland, and gain an insight into a fascinating historical period.
cycle northumbria
– Reivers Cycle Route

This route travels across the rugged and sparsely populated terrain of Northumberland for 60 miles or so before reaching the Scottish Border. The route through Northumberland begins in the East in Ponteland and becomes increasingly hilly as you move towards the Scottish border. This is a fairly challenging route, especially as it progresses to the West, but will take you through some wonderful landscapes. Kielder Forest Park is a particular highlight.

– Borderloop Cycle Route

This 250 mile circular route takes in some of the picturesque towns and villages of the Scottish Borders, opening a window onto this regions turbulent history. This is a moderate route with some steep sections, though can easily be broken up to tackle it in smaller stages, and you could easily amend the route to make it shorter, or indeed longer, if you wished.

– Tweed Cycle Route

On this route along the river Tweed, you will travel from Biggar, 650 ft above sea level, to Berwick-Upon-Tweed on the coast. It is also a moderate route with some steeper sections, but will take you through some of the beautiful towns of the Borders, and some lovely landscapes.

The whole of the ancient Kingdom of Northumberland is threaded with beautiful cycle ways, lanes and small roads that are perfect for cyclists, so get on your bike, and come and see for yourself what this region has to offer.