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.
– 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.