9 Superb Cycling Routes through Yorkshire and Northumberland
More people are getting on their bikes and exploring the British countryside. This article reveals nine scenic cycling routes between Yorkshire and Northumberland.
Maguires Country Parks welcomes many cyclists who have already completed one of the routes below. One of the best ways to travel to Northumberland by bike is to hug the east coast and there are some lovely cycle routes to be had here, alternatively you may prefer to head inland and take on the challenge of the North Pennines
Scarborough to Whitby
Following a disused railway track, the Cinder Track as it is also known, offers scenic views of both moors and sea including stunning views of Robin Hood’s Bay and the lovely beauty spot of Hayburn Wyke.
The route has seen little maintenance so it is a challenging surface, especially in the rain, but reasonably experienced cyclists should be able to complete the 22 miles in around half a day.
Whitby to Middlesbrough
This 40-mile stretch is one of the most scenic parts of the Route 1 National Cycle trail. Leaving Whitby, you will enjoy superb coastal views of Sandsend and Runswick Bay.
The route passes through picturesque villages before arriving at Marske by the Sea where you will continue on the traffic-free coastal path towards Redcar.
The final stage of this journey follows the River Tees and continues towards the centre of Middlesbrough.
If you are cycling from further inland you may wish to make your way across the North Yorkshire Moors, with its rugged scenery and literary inspiration. If so, Boltby Forest makes a great starting point
On the western edge of the moors, the forest has miles of bridleways, footpaths and tracks with spectacular views.
The Cleveland Way can be found at the eastern edge of the forest, which you can pick up and make your way further north towards Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough to Sunderland
Route 1 and 14 of the National Cycle Network takes cyclists between these two north eastern cities.
Heading out of Middlesbrough along the banks of the Tees towards Stockton on Tees, the trail continues with a traffic-free section: The Castle Eden Walkway.
Once you reach the lovely coastal resort of Seaham there is a long off-road section heading on to Sunderland.
Sunderland to Morpeth
This section follows the scenic National Cycle routes 1 and 155 from Tyne and Wear into Morpeth, the county town of Northumberland.
Beginning in Sunderland and heading north along the coast towards South Shields you catch the South Shields Ferry then continue through Tynemouth, Whitley Bay and Blyth.
Turning inland once you reach Newbiggin-By-the-Sea, route 155 then takes you through Queen Elizabeth Country park and on towards Ashington and Morpeth. This scenic coastal route has several traffic-free segments and the 37 miles is relatively easy.
Newcastle to Bellingham
If you’ve had enough of coastal scenery and want to head inland, this longer route takes you from Newcastle into Northumberland.
Take route 72 along the River Tyne to East Howdon, then route 10 continues on towards Ponteland along a disused railway line.
This route has some outstanding scenery along the way, including the Colt Crag Reservoir. The trail ends in Bellingham, a popular finishing point for hikers and cyclists on the North Pennine Trail.
Bellingham to Berwick
At 78 miles, this route is more challenging but offers great rewards fro your efforts. From Bellingham, a small village, nine miles from Kielder Water and Forest Park to Berwick upon Tweed, takes you on route 68 of the National Cycle Network and passes through the stunning scenery of Northumberland National Park. You will enjoy magnificent views of the Cheviot hills.
While you are in the vicinity of Northumberland National Park, it would be a shame to miss this beautiful traffic-free cycle trail through the Simonside Hills and Harwood Forest. It is 27 miles in total and will see you pass through ancient woodland, hill farms, heather-covered moorland and idyllic villages.
Starting in Elsdon and travelling the 13.5 miles to Hepple, you then return along the same route
Kielder Forest Lakeside Way
Any lover of cycling cannot go to Northumberland without exploring the Kielder Forest Lakeside Way. This circular cycling route takes you around the shoreline of stunning Kielder Water.
The trail passes Kielder dam and castle where you will find a superb visitor centre with fascinating displays and a cafe. There is also a cycle centre at the castle should you need any repairs and there are some mountain bike trails along the way too which are colour coded according to difficulty.