Northumberland National Park

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
iandusud
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Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby iandusud » 2 Aug 2019, 11:16am

Thank you all for your helpful replies. I'm working away from home for the next two weeks. When I get back I'll review all the advice with my wife.

Cheers, Ian

iandusud
Posts: 198
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby iandusud » 13 Aug 2019, 10:30am

As above, thanks for the helpful replies. We're now looking at cottages in the Hexham area with a view to exploring around there.

mattheus
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Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby mattheus » 13 Aug 2019, 11:21am

iandusud wrote:As above, thanks for the helpful replies. We're now looking at cottages in the Hexham area with a view to exploring around there.


Having done a (somewhat express, audax-based) mini-tour in that region 2 weeks ago, Hexham looks like an excellent centre. Kielder is lovely, you're a short drive* from Yorkshire Dales, and the more remote/northerly bits of Northumberland aren't too far away. : )


*Stanhope is quite a short ride away ... but a ridiculous climb coming back! Gorgeous though.

iandusud
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Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby iandusud » 3 Sep 2019, 9:34am

I thought I'd give some feedback on our trip to Northumberland. We rented a cottage for a week in Barrasford, a small village on the River North Tyne about 10 miles north of Hexham. We used this a base for our tandem rides. We were blessed with some wonderful weather, arriving on the Saturday of the hottest August bank holiday weekend on record. We had some lovely rides and I would highly recommend the area for cycling. We stuck to minor roads and used the NCN routes 10, 72 and 68 as well as local cycle routes extensively. We also found a lovely little road/track that takes you from Wark up onto Ward Lane. We found a lovely café in Simonburn which was a Godsend. Most of the rides were very hilly as we went from one valley to another but this was rewarded with changing scenery and wonderful views. I was surprised to not see more cyclists. If fact on our first ride on the Sunday we only saw 6 other cyclists and four of them were on tandems!!! We did see some more cyclists on the other days when we were riding on NCN routes 72 and 10. I would highly recommend route 72 travelling west out of Hexham. The climb up from Newbrough up to Chesterholme is rewarded with a lovely road with fantastic views and no traffic. All the commercial traffic is on the A69 to the south and the tourist traffic on the B6318 to the north. We did a ride out heading east on route 10 and this was our least favourite. It was nice rolling countryside but nothing like around the North Tyne and its tributaries and the Hadrian's Wall area.

All in all a great success, so thank you to everyone who helped us in our planning.

Cheers, Ian

Ben@Forest
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Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby Ben@Forest » 4 Sep 2019, 1:26pm

iandusud wrote:We stuck to minor roads and used the NCN routes 10, 72 and 68 as well as local cycle routes extensively. We also found a lovely little road/track that takes you from Wark up onto Ward Lane. We found a lovely café in Simonburn which was a Godsend. Most of the rides were very hilly as we went from one valley to another but this was rewarded with changing scenery and wonderful views. I was surprised to not see more cyclists. If fact on our first ride on the Sunday we only saw 6 other cyclists and four of them were on tandems!!! We did see some more cyclists on the other days when we were riding on NCN routes 72 and 10.


Well done, the 72 is a good ride from start to finish though the mid section is hilly. You really feel the climb out of Vindolanda! I've done a fair bit up there (it's not far 'up' for me).

I think its only downside is the rurality means a dearth of shops, cafes or even pubs. I recently cycled a 40 mile stretch in which l saw no shops, one pub (not yet open) and Wallington and Kirkharle tea shops which l avoided because they're visitor attractions. I was pleased to get to Hexham!

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andrew_s
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Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby andrew_s » 4 Sep 2019, 2:01pm

Bellingham is a good place to stay. There's a decent Co-op, a small bike shop, and the Cheviot hotel is the best pub.
The forest tracks that I tried around Keilder are mostly pretty good for a tandem, apart from the one across to Kershopehead (about 1.5 km of singletrack, may have to be walked), and NCN68 through the forest just north of Haltwhistle (all proper track, but stretches of sizeable unconsolidated stones).

Tigerbiten wrote:There's a C&CC site on the left as you go into Bellingham from the south.
There's also one at the other end of the res and one down in Haltwhistle.

There's also one in Bellingham itself http://www.demesnefarmcampsite.co.uk/
The CCC site probably has a better toilet/shower block, but it's not within an easy walk of the village centre.
No midges that I encountered (June).
There were midges at Keilder campsite, which also suffers from the lack of any nearby shops (milk from Keilder Waterside near the other end of the reservoir, closest proper shop is probably Bellingham).

Haltwhistle CCC campsite is at the bottom of a fairly steep hill (~15-18%?), and the only alternative routes out have equally steep hills on them.

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nick12
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Joined: 26 Sep 2017, 9:10pm
Location: york

Re: Northumberland National Park

Postby nick12 » 4 Sep 2019, 5:48pm

Don't miss out on the bakery in Bellingham next to the co-op. The macaroni pie is fabulous as are the other pies. Called in a few times this year.