Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
steady eddy
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Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby steady eddy » 18 Jan 2017, 12:35pm

What can people tell me about this route? My wife has always wanted to go to the Northumbrian coast - I want to ride part of the Baltic Cycle route. She says that doesn't appeal to her but I can go with my "mates" if I want. But as a compromise, she says would do the Northumbrian coast by bike.

Is it best to follow the coast all the way round or take the inland diversion that seems to go across an area of moorland? Is there much accommodation available - I guess its mainly seaside B and Bs. What's the last bit like getting in to Edinburgh - whilst I am happy with traffic she isn't.
Any info greatly received.

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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby Galloper » 18 Jan 2017, 1:47pm

I can only comment on the stretch from Newcastle to Berwick and on as far as Kelso. There are a few traffic free sections but in general it follows quiet roads. I found the section around Ashington badly signposted and wound up making my own way for a few miles. I enjoyed it and found the further north you went, the more scenic it became.

There are very pleasant Youth Hostels in Alnwick and Berwick which I used. other than that, you shouldn't have much difficulty finding accommodation as there are quite a few touristy places. Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh castles are well worth a visit as is Lindisfarne.

Jon Lucas
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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby Jon Lucas » 18 Jan 2017, 2:09pm

I've ridden this section of the coast, although it was 11 years ago and I was going from Edinburgh, but from memory it was very pleasant. The section out of Edinburgh was along the sea front promenade to Portobello, which I thought was lovely. The views of Bass Rock just east of North Berwick were particularly impressive.

Galloper has mentioned the two hostels, both worth visiting, and there were b&bs in most of the seaside villages and small towns. I enjoyed the section along the Tyneside coast through Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, which are interesting towns to visit, and did find a pleasant b&b in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, which is an old colliery town whose beach still is coated with coal dust. Around Ashington there are busy roads, I don't know what route the Coast & Castles follows there, but north of Ashington the roads were mostly quiet.

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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby geocycle » 18 Jan 2017, 5:42pm

It's a great ride. After Berwick you can choose to continue around the coast or take an inland route, I did the latter and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd recommend you factor in a trip to Lindisfarne (check the tides) and time to enjoy the castles.

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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby 3mn » 18 Jan 2017, 9:16pm

I agree it is a good ride, but some of the route was not suitable for my audax style bike with 28mm tyres last summer and I'm confident on gravel forestry type tracks on it. The coastal bit between Berwick and Lindesfarne sticks in my memory - huge pot holes (I could have hidden in some of them) and then muddy / grassy section across a field.

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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby Tigerbiten » 19 Jan 2017, 7:44pm

I did large sections of it heading south last summer. So I've reversed the route I did.
Ashington -> Waren Mill is fine. Cross A1 then rolling back roads to Beal. Beal -> Goswick can be fun, either follow route 2 miles across grass fields or turn just before railway line to follow macadam farm track. Route goes back to tarmac after Goswick. I did a 7 mile section of the A1 after Berwick where the route cuts more inland. Big dip at Peace Bay then a bit more Macadam before Dunbar. I followed the coast road after Dunbar.

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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby Gattonero » 5 Feb 2017, 5:06pm

I just saw this route, wondering if anyone can suggest campsites around Alnmouth/Dunstan for the 80-90k mark, then another for the 160-170k mark around Berwick/Eyemouth?
I only saw "caravan" sites, and yes I'd prefer to sleep under the stars (I've a good sleeping quilt & mat!) 8)

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

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Re: Newcastle to Edinburgh - Coasts and Castles

Postby Bowak » 8 Feb 2017, 11:14am

It's worth considering starting in Sunderland as the coast road between Sunderland - South Shields is very nice with a cycle path all/most of the way. It takes you past a couple of nice beaches, with quite a dramatic view over to North Shields and the Abbey from the cliffs.

It also means you can use the ferry to cross the Tyne and I'm all for any route that lets you use a boat.