+44(0)191 2651110   info@skedaddle.com
United Kingdom

Northumberland - Sandstone Way

Self-Guided Mountain Bike Weekend

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

5 days

Prices from

£565 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Following the roaring success of our guided Sandstone Way trip, we've launched a self-guided option. We’ve been trying to keep it all to ourselves but the secret is out - Northumberland is a simply brilliant area to get out on your bike.
This challenging yet rewarding and trip takes us over an interesting mix of double-width dirt tracks, sections of thrilling singletrack, scenic unsurfaced lanes and bridleways of all types as well as byways and little known Unclassified County Roads. The Sandstone Way is a rewarding and incredible journey across one of the most remote parts of the UK.
Our Sandstone Way holiday begins with arrival into the vibrant city of Newcastle before being transferred to the historical walled border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Setting off you head south along the dramatic Northumberland Coast before turning inland. It isn’t long before you’re deep into the North East’s finest countryside and exploring England’s least populated county.
Having ridden through some of the region’s remotest towns and villages you will spend your second evening in Wooler on the edge of the Cheviot Hills, situated just outside the stunning Northumberland National Park.
The longest day of the trip passes through the serene Breamish Valley and some of the best singletrack en-route. You'll cross open moorland, through expansive forests and explore exciting trails before a comfortable night at an 18th century staging inn. Your last day completes your journey through the wilds of the the north of England and after crossing the famous Hadrian's Wall your journey brings you to Hexham on the banks of the River Tyne.
This trip is also offered as a fully guided version (on set dates) covering the distance over 3 days of riding.

Holiday Highlights

  • Dramatic hills and remote valleys of Northumberland National Park
  • Biking through the least populated county in England
  • Trying out a selection of fun, flowing singletrack
  • Exploring remote bridleways and little known rights of way
  • Pease pudding and stotties in a local country pub
  • Rolling by wide open countryside with sweeping views and numerous sandstone crags

Back to Top

This was our first self-guided mountain bike holiday and we will be back for more! Would recommend this ride to anyone who likes to ride out in the wild.

Simon, Oxfordshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Newcastle
Non Cycling Day

Newcastle is our chosen rendezvous point for the Sandstone Way ride. With its excellent road, rail and air connections, getting to Newcastle is easy. For those arriving by car, you will be able to leave your vehicle at your accommodation in Newcastle.

Depending on timing, you’ll be met by you Skedaddle representative who will provide your route information and answer any questions about the next few days of riding. If more convenient, this meeting may happen over breakfast the following day.

A meal tonight can be taken at one of the many friendly restaurants on the nearby quayside. With the Millennium Bridge lit up at night, it makes a great backdrop to this bustling part of Newcastle.

Day 2
Berwick to Wooler
34 Miles / 55 Kms approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 590m

After breakfast we transfer you up the coast to historic Berwick-upon-Tweed (1.5hr), where we will unload your bikes and set off on our journey. Our first stage takes you down the dramatic Northumberland coast with incredible views over Lindisfarne before turning inland and starting your exploration of the countryside and moors of Northumberland. Farm tracks and forest roads take you past St Cuthbert’s Cave. Lunch can be remote picnic or taken in a pub en-route as you pass through several quaint villages and below Chillingham Castle before arriving into Wooler for a pint of real ale and an evening of local hospitality.

Day 3
Wooler to Rothbury
37 Miles / 60 Kms approx
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 900m

Our second day of riding takes us deep into the wilderness of Northumberland. Heading south over open moorland trails we pass through the idyllic Breamish valley before tackling the cheeky climb over Wether Hill (and the well-earned descent that follows). We pass by the remote hamlets of Clennell, Alwinton and Harbottle before looping back east. A section of woodland singletrack keeps us on our toes as we descend down to the beautiful town of Rothbury, our overnight stay.

Day 4
Rothbury to Bellingham
28 Miles / 44 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 600m

After a wholesome breakfast you tackle the climb past the Simonside hills, the largest climb en-route, leading you into Harwood Forest and past the spooky Winter’s Gibbet. You’ll tackle some tricky farm tracks and a traverse alongside the River Rede to the village of West Woodburn.

Depending on conditions you’ll climb over Highstead Hill or take the lower road leading into Bellingham and your final night.

Day 5
Bellingham to Hexham
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 480m

Your final day of cycling takes you through border country, across challenging bridleways and twisting trails. You’ll skirt past the woodland of Kielder Forest Park and Northumberland National Park. You negotiate a network of bridleways and stream crossings, with a few more cheeky climbs to tackle before arriving in the tiny village green in Simonburn, an ideal lunch spot.

Eventually you pass over the line of Hadrian’s Wall and enjoy a final descent down to the historic market town of Hexham to celebrate our accomplishment. You’ll have a short transfer back to Newcastle to collect your cars or depart for your return train.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

The Sandstone Way uses varied terrain along its whole length taking best advantage of an interesting mix of double-width dirt tracks, sections of singletrack, unsurfaced lanes and bridleways of all types as well as byways and little known unclassified country roads (UCRs).

The terrain can be rough and there are occasional steep and technical sections. Inevitably, there are a number linking sections of quiet minor roads and surfaced country lanes.

Northumberland is a hilly county and significant climbs will be encountered every day of the trip. A good level of fitness is key to your enjoyment of the route.

Standstoneway9.JPG

Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances of 25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day

Aimed at regular cyclists who have a degree of off road experience

Some moderate and difficult technical sections

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

If you have some experience of off road riding on a variety of terrain, and would like to do more, a grade 3 trip could be for you. These holidays give you elements of our higher grade trips but at a manageable level with sections of singletrack (narrow trails wide enough for one rider) and shorter steep sections (both up and down) which require more bike handling ability. A day’s ride can see you on the trails for around 8 hours (with breaks) and covering between 25-50 miles depending on the terrain. If you’re generally fit and manage to ride regularly this could be the level for you.

Back to Top

Dates & Prices

From April to mid-October you choose your start date. Just give us a call or drop us an e mail to check availability.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
£565.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms)

B) Meals as per itinerary – B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

C) Route information including route map, GPX files and a GPS device if required

D) Skedaddle App to access holiday information & navigation

E) Luggage transfer service

F) Skedaddle Local Representative

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Train tickets and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (bar bills, hotel facilities etc.)

I) Transfers other than on scheduled arrival / departure days

Back to Top

The Essentials

Travel Options

If you decide to drive to the start point of your holiday we will provide you with full directions to the accommodation or meeting point. We will also be able to advise about parking arrangements / options for the duration of your holiday.

If you would prefer to catch the train or intend on flying, then please contact us directly to discuss the best options.

Please do not make any travel arrangements without prior consultation with the Skedaddle office.

Accommodation

On the Sandstone Way trip we use small B&Bs, inns and guesthouses all of which offer a friendly welcome after a day out on the trails.

For your initial night in Newcastle we use the centrally based Gateshead/Newcastle Hilton on the quayside. Although much larger than the rest of the accommodation we use during the Sandstone Way it is well placed for pick-ups and drop-offs and situated a short distance from Newcastle Central train station.

For those travelling by car you will also be able to leave your car at the Hilton for the duration of the trip.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent. These bikes are Giant Talon 27.5ers. Very good mountain bikes featuring front suspension, disc brakes and quality components.

On higher grade holidays full-suspension bikes are also available. These are Giant Trance X2 27.5ers XC/trail bikes with 140mm travel.

If you do decide to rent we can include a helmet (though always nicer to bring your own though!!) and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets before your trip.

Should you choose to rent you are welcome to bring your own saddle with you, and if you use clip-in pedals / SPDs you will need to bring these along.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

Our travel guide to 2021

Travel with the seasons! We highlight some of the incredible experiences we can’t wait to share with you...

Sandstone Way: the video

Get inspired by our remote and scenic trip in Northumberland.

12 hours in...Newcastle

Stopping off in Newcastle pre/post trip? Don't miss our ultimate guide to the city.

Reviews

2

You May Also Like...

Back to Top