The route begins in Newcastle, a bustling city with lots to see and do. Explore famous bridges, various excellent museums, the Tynemouth Priory and Castle, and plenty more, including a Roman Fort and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
|© Alan Stanton||© James West||© El Ronzo|
Castles are, of course, a reoccurring sight along the way. Warkworth Castle stands tall within its courtyard, while Dunstanburgh cuts a brooding figure over Embleton Bay. Bamburgh Castle rises from the rocky plinth beneath it, beautifully preserved. Norham Castle took an almighty battering from the Scots, but its sturdy remaining walls are free to visit and bear the evidence of historic turmoil. Edinburgh Castle is arguably the most impressive of them all, presiding over the city's cobbled streets.
If it's the area that entices you more than the castles, you can learn about the local lifeboats at the Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh, or sample some truly excellent ice cream at Caldwells in Innerleithen. There are multiple religious remains along this route, from Lindisfarne Priory to Melrose Abbey, and Edinburgh is home to even more attractions than Newcastle, from the Scottish Parliament building to the clear waters of the Union Canal - with plenty of museums, art galleries, shops and World Heritage Site streets between them.
Coast and Castles South is a low-level route on the whole, keeping to flat terrain until its first mild climb between Warkworth and Alnmouth. From here it undulates gently with a handful of slightly harder, short ascents before Melrose.
The highest point is reached in the Moorfoot Hills via a steady ascent with a slightly steeper descent, and returns to flat terrain until one last brief climb and descent in Edinburgh.
- Cycle lanes
- Quiet roads
- Traffic-free cyclepaths
|© Sam Saunders|
Coast and Castles keeps to good surfaces throughout. Long stretches of traffic-free cyclepath feature up the coast, with quiet roads between. There are a few sections of compacted grit, but any road bicycle should do brilliantly for this route regardless.
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