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Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 6:11am
by Woodtourer
So how would you rate this route as far as scenic and safety? As I am from the US I would appreciate your advice.
Thanks!

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 7:18am
by Paulatic
I see no route

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 7:33am
by PT1029
It can be as scenic/safe or not as you make it! Go down the A1 and you'll have a grim time and need good health insurance.
Lots of quiet/scenic country all the way (more or less) between Newcastle and London if you avoid the large cities/industrial splurge in between.
Down the center of the country is more hilly/mountainous, nearer the coast more flat/rolling countryside.
From a trip some years ago, central Newcastle is very nice. We took a Sustrans cycle route west out of the city, following the river, that gets you out of the center.
Using in line mapping tools is a good way to tinker about/work out milage, and if unsure of what is what, using Google Streetview shows you what the layout is.
Basically avoid "A" roads (unless a quite/rural one). If keeping east, the Humber Bridge near Hull (major road) has a separate cycle track on it.
Approaching Heathrow from the west is probably the best bet, though the last few miles are a bit grim with wear houses/freight forwarders etc associated with the airport.
The last time I cycled to Heathrow, I aimed to arrive quite early to allow time for punctures etc, with a back up plan. I arrived early, so I overshot to spend the time at nearby Osterley House (National Trust), about 6 miles from the airport, thus my tour of Iceland photos start with a large English country house.
Having toured in the US, UK daily milage tends to be a bit lower for me, lots of junctions/wiggly roads, rather than the more direct quiet roads in the US.

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 9:39am
by NickWi
Newcastle and directly south of it is quite industrial and whilst I'm not saying there isn't scenic countryside between Newcastle and Middlesborough, you might be better off heading west out of Newcastle for a few miles before turning south. South Northumberland and Teesdale are very scenic, albeit a little hilly in places, (but that's what provides the scenery to me).

You might also get some ideas for routes by search for UK Audax events & routes. London-Edinburgh-London must (I assume) go via Newcastle or if not close. Similarly London-York is well known route and maybe stringing some of these together might give you your ideal route. Either way, others with either local knowledge or a need to cover some miles for another purpose will have done a lot of the work for you!

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 9:44am
by mjr
Route 1 down the North Sea coast has its scenic parts and is probably well documented, then if time is limited you could use Route 11 from King's Lynn (my area) through Ely and Cambridge to Harlow to avoid the East Anglian coast and see some lovely rural villages in the Cambridgeshire/Essex/Herts borders before rejoining Route 1 then 12 then London CS1 into the capital.

Don't be afraid to stray from the signed route, especially if a site like cycle.travel suggests it without much prompting: there's a B road from outside Cambridge to somewhere north of Ware that I keep meaning to try as a faster alternative to Route 11's meanders and gaps near Stansted, for example. As others have said, I'd stay off the A roads between southern English cities unless they make a route much shorter. Too many are like an A1A design quality road with I-95's traffic trying to use it, which isn't relaxing.

Then from central London some mix of CS 3, 9 (if built yet), National Routes 6 and 4 will get you to very near Heathrow. Terminal 5 seems easiest to get to, while 4 is possible but was an unsigned gate off a poor sidepath cycleway last I saw. The others have to be reached from those by train (not tube) because bikes are banned from the approach tunnels.

Edit to correct myself: National (red number) Route 4 would be scenic but a long way round (it keeps to the river and loops a long way south between Barnes and Staines) and it seems that the Grand Union Paddington Branch part of Route 6 is becoming Quietway (purple number) 16 soon. I suspect that means it's no longer signed as Route 6 - I've not ridden there for a while. Following the Grand Union to West Drayton and then turning south is probably a quiet, easy but not quick way to Heathrow. It looks like London Cycle Network Route (blue numbers) 44 runs from Hyde Park along High Street Kensington and the Great West Road to the edge of Heathrow but I think that's poor sidepath again, giving way at dodgy positions on side road junctions. CS9 will bypass Blue 44

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 10:19am
by Paulatic
NickWi wrote:
You might also get some ideas for routes by search for UK Audax events & routes. London-Edinburgh-London must (I assume) go via Newcastle or if not close. Similarly London-York is well known route and maybe stringing some of these together might give you your ideal route. Either way, others with either local knowledge or a need to cover some miles for another purpose will have done a lot of the work for you!


LEL goes nowhere near Newcastle :D Comes over West to Moffat nowadays. The original LEL was A1 A68 :) Who’d fancy doing that nowadays?
You could pick up the LEL route from around Scotch Corner

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 12:32pm
by eileithyia
As a Midlander I would ask which Newcastle?

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 6:00pm
by foxyrider
eileithyia wrote:As a Midlander I would ask which Newcastle?


Or Wales or Cornwall (IIRC)! :lol:

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 7:56pm
by coastman
Hi,
I did this route a couple of years ago although I was going to Kings Cross.
Leave Newcastle over the Tyne bridge and head south on the A167 to Birtly, Darlington, Northallerton. Then the A168 to Thirsk and meander down to York. I would keep off that section of the A19. The A19 out of York isn’t too bad and gets you to Selby, leave it there and head to Snaith and Doncaster following some canal paths. Leave Doncaster and cycle to Retford and onto Newark on Trent, Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard and Hemel Hempstead. You can then make your way south west to Heathrow. A lot of this route was on minor roads which you can map out between the main towns. It was also the most direct.

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 9:13pm
by Woodtourer
The Newcastle closest to where the ferry comes in from The Netherlands.

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 10:02pm
by Paulatic
Woodtourer wrote:The Newcastle closest to where the ferry comes in from The Netherlands.


North Shields :D
Take the ferry to South Shields and you’ll never be in Newcastle.
Route 1 towards Teesside then head inland a bit making for York but stay off A19. I’m lost after that :lol:

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 1 Feb 2019, 10:48pm
by foxyrider
coastman wrote:Hi,
I did this route a couple of years ago although I was going to Kings Cross.
Leave Newcastle over the Tyne bridge and head south on the A167 to Birtly, Darlington, Northallerton. Then the A168 to Thirsk and meander down to York. I would keep off that section of the A19. The A19 out of York isn’t too bad and gets you to Selby, leave it there and head to Snaith and Doncaster following some canal paths. Leave Doncaster and cycle to Retford and onto Newark on Trent, Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard and Hemel Hempstead. You can then make your way south west to Heathrow. A lot of this route was on minor roads which you can map out between the main towns. It was also the most direct.


There is of course the traffic free cycle track from York to Selby!

I might be inclined to go south from Newark towards Stamford via Grantham then cut across Rutland and take the Northamptonshire lanes to MK - possibly bit quieter and less hilly than going MM/MH.

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 2 Feb 2019, 1:47am
by simonhill
Canals?

I remember going through Milton Keynes when riding down the Grand Union Canal. If the OP wants a bit of diversity he could follow that all the way to London.

Just a thought.

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 2 Feb 2019, 10:08am
by mjr
simonhill wrote:Canals?

I remember going through Milton Keynes when riding down the Grand Union Canal. If the OP wants a bit of diversity he could follow that all the way to London.

Just a thought.

Just north of MK, the GU towpath is variously grass and gravel, plus a couple of long tunnels to avoid. I've used it because it was the most direct route to north MK from where I lived, but I even preferred riding the A5 most of the time!

Also, the MK redways are a shadow of their former smooth selves. I'm not sure I'd recommend a long detour to visit for a few years. It sickens me because I remember how they were.

Re: Newcastle to Heathrow?

Posted: 2 Feb 2019, 2:02pm
by gbnz
Woodtourer wrote:The Newcastle closest to where the ferry comes in from The Netherlands.


Ah, the only toon known as nooocasle.

I've done Newcastle / London a number of times, though only to Heathrow once.

Staying east of the main North / South motorway (A1) is the quickest advice. Put simply, the land to the east tends to be less affected by industry, from the 17th century to the current day, c/w lower population levels, quieter roads and any number of superb villages, towns and landscapes to pass through. While I rarely plan a route, heading south via Durham, York, Lincoln, Stamford / Cambridge ensures a decent ride.

Obviously areas to the west are worth it, if you've the time! Areas to the west of the A1 in County Durham are less affected by post industrial coal mining / chemical works, c/w higher aesthetic landscape values. And west of the A1 in North Yorkshire brings the Dales, hard work, but worth seeing if you've the time (NB. Or at least skirt around the eastern edge I.e.via Richmond, Leyburn et al).

Worth bearing in mind the train lines which can be used to jump over the final urban conurbations