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Hadrian's Cycleway


Route Summary

Shadow the line of Hadrian's Wall all the way from Ravenglass to Tynemouth on a cycling holiday along the coastline, through salt marshes, and across the green hills of Northumberland into Newcastle.

Here, the sedimentary progression of history stands on full display: in the castles and churches built on the foundations of ruined Roman forts, and in the houses and towers crafted with stone from Hadrian's Wall.

Amplify the effect with visits to local Roman excavations, or focus instead on the countryside views and quiet, smooth roads.

We also offer a ‘Best of Hadrian’s Cycleway’ route for those looking for a shorter, faster route that still explores the most prominent features of this trail.

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Holiday Highlights

  • Looking back over your journey along the largest ancient monument in northern Europe from the viewing platform in Segedunum.
  • Cycling up the slopes with the wind at your back, sampling views of green farmland and the spine of Hadrian's Wall, and coasting down the descents along quiet country roads.


HISTORY, BEAUTY SPOTS AND WILDLIFE

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 pre-Norman crosses at Beckermet Church; the impressive ruins of the 13th century priory at Lanercost; the sunsets that captivated Turner, the 18th century "painter of light", at seaside Silloth; 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 vibrantly-regenerated Newcastle until it reaches its end at the walled ruin of Castle and Priory, right on the shore of the North Sea.

TOURING HIGHLIGHTS ROMAN RUINS

For the Roman enthusiast, Hadrian's Cycleway offers near-endless opportunities to divert to ancient sites and museums. In Ravenglass stands the ruin of a bath house, one of the tallest remaining Roman structures in Britain, while the largest collection of Roman altars in Europe can be found at the Senhouse Roman Museum in Maryport.

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.

ELEVATION VARIED

Mild undulations at the start of the route reach a peak at Moor Row before descending to Whitehaven. A gradual climb leads up to Distington and dips back down to Workington, and gentle undulations lead the way to Silloth.

Beyond Silloth, 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 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

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THE TERRAIN SOLID SURFACES THROUGHOUT

  • 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
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Route Details

Length: 175 miles / 280 km
Start & end: Ravenglass / Tynemouth
Season: 2nd January to 24th December

Itineraries


TOUR CODE ITINERARY NO LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
WITH LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
GRADE more info more info  
C-HC1 4 nights, 3 days £285 £310 Epic More Info Book Now
C-HC2 5 nights, 4 days £355 £385 Hard More Info Book Now
C-HC3 7 nights, 6 days £495 £535 Moderate More Info Book Now
C-HC4 9 nights, 8 days £635 £685 Easy 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

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 city and international airport is Manchester. You can then continue the journey to Ravenglass Rail Station by train, which is the closest rail station to the start of the route, changing at Lancaster. The journey takes between 3-4.5 hours.

By Rail
There is a railway station at the start of the trail in Ravenglass.

From London - There is a train from London Euston to St Bees via Carlisle or with a change at Preston and Lancaster. The journey takes between 5-5.5 hours.

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

Return to Start
The easiest way to return to the start of the route is by taking a train from Newcastle changing at Carlisle. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours.

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.

Dubbed the Georgian Gem of the North, Whitehaven is well worth an extra night to give you plenty of time to explore. Not only is there a variety of eateries, health food shops, swimming pools and sports centres to ensure you are fully prepared for the rest of your adventure, but those interested in the local history will want to check out the various museums, as well as St Nicholas' Church, Whitehaven Castle and the old harbour, all found around the local area.

Bowness-on-Solway is another popular choice for an extra day and a perfect setting in which to relax and prepare for the next stint of your 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.

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