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Best of Hadrian's Cycleway

Route Summary

For those looking for a shorter cycling holiday that still offers an exciting historical adventure, the Best of Hadrian’s Cycleway begins at Bowness-on-Solway, approximately 77 miles in from the start of the full route. This option cuts away coastal riding to focus on the wall itself, as well as the magnificent castles, churches and other landmarks on the way to Tynemouth on the East coast.

A variety of landscapes and moderate climbs ensure that the route provides an engaging but accessible challenge for all abilities, while keen historians will undoubtedly relish the opportunity to explore Hadrian’s Wall in its near entirety.


Holiday Highlights

  • Cycling from coast to coast along one of England’s oldest and most well-known historical landmarks, following in the footsteps of the ancient Roman legionaries.

  • Visiting the quaint, welcoming villages and market towns along the route, many boasting their own fascinating history to discover.


Far from limited to a single topic, the cycleway boasts a wide range of sights spaced all the way through history to the present day. Visit the impressive ruins of the 13th century priory at Lanercost; the sunsets that captivated Turner and the sweeping arch of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle.

Wildlife is abundant along the cycleway. Bowness-on-Solway's shingle beds and sand dunes provide essential homes for a broad range of birdlife, which can be viewed from numerous dedicated hides and laybys. Keep an eye out for the elusive red squirrel - Northumberland and Cumbria are two of their few remaining habitats.

When your journey through the natural landscape is complete, the route follows canal paths and riversides through the vibrantly-regenerated city of Newcastle until it reaches its end at the walled ruin of Castle and Priory, right on the shore of the North Sea.


For the Roman enthusiast, Hadrian's Cycleway offers near-endless opportunities to divert to ancient sites and museums. Between Carlisle and Newcastle there are milecastles hiding around every corner, with famous sites at Birdsowald, Housesteads and Vindolanda supported by lesser known treasures such as Piper Sike Turret and Harrows Scar Milecastle.

At the end of the route, the viewing point at the Segedunum Roman Museum offers the chance to look back over the land you have crossed, providing brilliant views of Hadrian's Wall itself.


From Bowness-on-Solway the route is almost entirely flat until Warwick Bridge. From here on it rises and falls steeply through Haltwhistle and clambers all the way up to the route's highest point at Crindledykes, 256 metres above sea level. It's then a long, undulating descent from here down to Newbrough, broken by a hard but short ascent at Fourstones. Only one noteworthy climb remains, leading into Ovingham, and this is barely moderate in difficulty after the hills that have preceded it.

Route profile



  • Smooth, low-traffic roads
  • Country lanes
  • Dedicated traffic-free cycle paths
  • Promenades
  • Riverside paths

Hadrian's Cyclepath rarely strays from good tarmac roads. When it does, it keeps to well-surfaced off-road tracks; only racing slicks will encounter any difficulty on this route.

Route NEWS

12/06/2017 Update
There are no news articles at this moment in time, please check back later.

Route Details

Length: 100 miles / 160 km
Start & end: Bowness-on-Solway / Tynemouth
Season: 2nd January to 24th December


GRADE more info more info  
C-BHC1 3 nights, 2 days £215 £230 Epic More Info Book Now
C-BHC2 4 nights, 3 days £285 £300 Hard More Info Book Now
C-BHC3 5 nights, 4 days £355 £370 Moderate More Info Book Now

The above itineraries show our preferred overnight stops. If accommodation is unavailable at any of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly.

Please note that if you choose not to book luggage transfers for your holiday, you must make sure that you are able to carry all of your luggage with you for the duration of the holiday, whether this be via the use of panniers or any other method you wish. Ensure that you test the weight of your luggage while riding well in advance, so that you are comfortable transporting your own luggage during your holiday. We particularly recommend booking mountain biking holidays with lugagge transfers included.

Pricing Information

Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are riding on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo rider supplement: £35 per person / per night
  • Single supplement: £15 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard) : £50 per person / per night
  • Extra night (Once Brewed) : £55 per person / per night

What's Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • A comprehensive information pack containing maps and/or guide books, a full itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Travel Information

Detailed travel information is sent to you in your holiday pack, but we have provided a summary below.

By Air
The most convenient major cities and international airports are Newcastle and Manchester.

By Rail
The nearest railway station to the start of the trail (Bowness-on-Solway) is Carlisle (about 15 miles away).

From London - There are frequent trains running between London Euston and Carlisle/Newcastle. A taxi will need to be booked to take you to/from Bowness-on-Solway.

Please note that most train lines will allow for bikes to be taken on board. We advise that you check on as you may need to book a space for your bike or there may be a limit as to how many bikes the train can store.

By Car
For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit which has a very useful route planner.

Please note that most buses in the UK are unable to store bikes on board so we would recommend avoiding this form of transport.

Return to Start
The easiest way to return to the start of the route is to take a train from Newcastle to Carlisle. You will then need to take a taxi to Bowness-on-Solway from Carlisle Railway Station.

Extra Night / Rest Day

If you would like to add extra nights into your holiday to explore Hadrian's Wall and the surrounding areas more thoroughly, there are plenty of excellent destinations along the trail for you to choose from.

Bowness-on-Solway is a popular choice for an extra day and a perfect setting in which to relax and prepare for the start of your cycling holiday. This little seaside village lies within the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering a wealth of gorgeous scenery to discover. Bird spotters will also enjoy the wide variety of birdlife that often makes their home among the sands, including oystercatchers, lapwings, redshanks and turnstones. Take a refreshing paddle in the sea and enjoy a well-earned day of recovery and relaxation before continuing on the trail.

Tynemouth is a great choice for an extra night, and would make a wonderful location in which to celebrate the end of your epic journey. Not only is there a great range of bars, restaurants and cafes to enjoy, but there is also a local physiotherapist and acupuncturist if you have some aches and strains in need of attention. For those looking for some gentle recovery exercise, there are plenty of options, from taking a dip in the local swimming pool, going for a gentle jog along the beautiful sandy beach, testing your skills at the golf course or simply enjoying a leisurely walk around the local area for a spot of sightseeing, making sure to visit the historical Tynemouth Priory and Collingwood Monument.



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GRADE 1: Beginner

Daily distance: approx. 10 – 20 miles / 16 – 32 km
These itineraries are perfect for beginner cyclists, families or explorers eager to sight-see along the route. Expect plenty of time to relax along the way thanks to short-mileage days, with barely a hill in sight!

GRADE 2: Easy

Daily distance: approx. 15 – 25 miles / 24 – 40 km
With longer-mileage days, these itineraries will suit occasional riders who want a bit more of a challenge. As they still steer clear of steeper or more frequent climbs, they're perfect for quick riding, so you can still make plenty of time for lunch or a spot of exploration.

GRADE 3: Moderate

Daily distance: approx. 20 – 40 miles / 32 – 64 km
Longer daily distances team with a few challenging sections on these itineraries, ideal for regular cyclists confident in their fitness. Exploration stops may require an extra rest day - but there should still be time for a relaxing lunch!

GRADE 4: Hard

Daily distance: approx. 25 – 50 miles / 40 – 80 km
If you're looking to test your abilities as a keen cyclist, these are the itineraries for you. The daily mileages aren't just high, they may also include tough or frequent climbs. Get ready to pedal hard and push yourself!

GRADE 5: Epic

Daily distance: approx. 50 miles + / 80 km +
For these itineraries, you're going to need previous experience cycling long distances over consecutive days. Each is designed to test your strength and your stamina, with high mileage days and tough, frequent climbs.

*** Occasionally our itineraries can straddle between two levels of difficulty, such as 'Easy-Moderate' or 'Hard-Epic' etc. This can be for a number of reasons, such as if there is a wide range of distances between the days of the itinerary, or if the distances are ‘Easy’ but the hills and terrain involved are a bit tricky and more ‘moderate’ etc. If you require more information about any of our itineraries, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance.