- Cycling next to Hadrian’s Wall near Birdoswald
- Seeing a live archaeological dig at Vindolanda
- Beating your parents up one of the cheeky Skedaddle climbs
- Checking out the Roman Army Museum
- Following in the footsteps of the Roman Empire
- Corbridge and sinking a well-deserved pint of local ale – It’s not all about the kids you know!!
An enjoyable trip with great support!
Getting to Newcastle is easy. If you are planning to arrive by air, there is an airport at Newcastle with direct services to Newcastle Central train station. For those arriving by car, you will be able to leave your vehicle at your accommodation, or if the train is your preferred transport mode, you can either take a taxi from the station to your accommodation or it is just a short 10-15 minute walk away.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 500m
After a hearty breakfast, you will be met by our Skedaddle representative at your accommodation in Newcastle who will provide you with your hire bikes (if hiring), an Information Pack including route notes, maps and additional information for your trip. They will then transfer you to the start of your cycle ride at Banks, with its stunning views. Your cycling today takes you onto your first uphill section of the ride and goes directly past Birdoswald Roman Fort which stands high above a bend in the River Irthing, in one of the most picturesque settings on Hadrian’s Wall. A Roman fort, turret and milecastle can all be seen on this excellent stretch of the Wall. With probably the best preserved defences of any Wall fort, this was an important base for some 1,000 Roman soldiers, succeeding an earlier fort of turf and timber. Passing the ruins of the 14th century Thirwall Castle, (built out of stone plundered from the wall), you will cross the Pennine watershed and gradually climb out of Greenhead before a welcome descent begins into the South Tyne Valley down into Haltwhistle. At Bardon Mill you head back up the South Tyne Valley to a summit at Smith’s Shield, before arriving at your accomodation at Twice Brewed.
If time permits, Vindolanda is only a short ride away from your accommodation. Vindolanda was a Roman frontier military and civilian site and a must for those in search of Roman history and culture. Dating back to just before the Wall was constructed, the 2,000 writing tablets (discovered just a mere 30 years ago) form the earliest archive of written material in British history and are matched by similar tablets from the Eastern Frontier and can be seen in the museum.
Why not add a rest day so that you can explore this wonderful part of Hadrian’s Wall at your leisure? The Roman Army Museum, Steel Rigg, Sycamore Gap, Housesteads and Vindolanda are all within easy reach of your accommodation and well worth a visit.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 300m
A day of quite a few ups and downs and so make sure you all have a hearty breakfast! You start your day with an exhilarating descent to Vindolanda followed by a cheeky climb that takes you to Crindledykes, the highest point of the route (263 metres above sea level). You then drop towards Fourstones before passing through the market town of Hexham, towards the garrison town of Corbridge.
Corbridge has a rich Roman heritage – the invaders regarded the town as strategically important since it served as a garrison town for the central section of Hadrian’s Wall and was also a River Tyne crossing place. On the outskirts of the village, you can see the remains of the Roman version of Corbridge, which they called Corstopitum. The extensively excavated remains include a fountain house with an aqueduct, a pair of granaries, and walled military compounds containing barracks, temples, houses and a headquarters building with a below ground strongroom.
In the thirteenth century Corbridge was second only to Newcastle in wealth and its citizens were heavily taxed to help pay for Edward I’s Scottish wars and its medieval street plan is much the same today. As far back as 1827 Corbridge was a place renowned for its small shops and several of the decorated fronts still survive. Today Corbridge is still known for its quaintness and unique boutique shops and is an ideal base to explore the beauty of Northumberland.
You will then be met by our representative and transferred back to your car in Newcastle or Newcastle train station as appropriate. If you would like to add an extra night in Corbridge, no problem! Just let us know at time of booking.
The Hadrian’s Explorer runs mainly on country lanes and quiet roads, interspersed with sections of traffic-free and riverside paths. There are a few steep, short hills during the trip within the grading for this particular cycling trip.
Family Cycling Grade
Aspects of both our grade 1 and 2 holidays
Suitable for those looking for a relaxed ride
Occasional ups and downs
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?
Holidays that are graded as a 1-2, will have aspects of both our grade 1 and grade 2 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those looking for an accessible cycling holiday with manageable daily distances, along predominately flat terrain, however there will be some days / sections where we’d expect you to be up for a slightly cheeky challenge. It might be that the distances are a little longer on some days or that the terrain is slightly more undulating, but the rides are still relaxed and manageable for families who are generally fit and healthy.
We felt we had time to go round all the museums without the pressure of getting to the hotel. And the cycling was really fun!
Dates & Prices
Daily departures available between April and early October.
20% discount for children below the age of 18 who are travelling with 2 fully-paying passengers. Additional 20% discount for children sharing a triple or family room.
A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms)
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Skedaddle App to access holiday information and navigation
D) Detailed Skedaddle route notes and relevant maps
E) GPX files available upon request
F) Luggage transfer service
G) Skedaddle Local Representative
H) Emergency tool kit, pump etc. (if hiring your bike from Skedaddle)
What's not Included
A) Personal clothing and equipment
B) Travel insurance
C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.
D) Bike & helmet hire (available if required)
E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
F) Single room option (may be available if required)
G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres
H) Other optional activities
12 hours in...Newcastle
Stopping off in Newcastle pre/post trip? Don't miss our ultimate guide to the city.
Cycling in Northumberland
A journey along the northern boundary of the Roman Empire...
The Guardian (2020), 10 of the best October half-term activity holidays in the UKAs seen in the press...
Budding historians and archaeologists will love this self-guided ride designed by one of the UK?s longest-running cycling holiday companies, Saddle Skedaddle. Cruising next to a 40-mile chunk of Hadrian?s Wall from Banks to Corbridge, the ride takes in sweeping views and quiet roads and also the chance to experience a live archaeological dig at Vindolanda. The trip includes transfers from the start and finish and luggage forwarding, two nights? B&B and plenty of opportunities to refuel in pubs and tearooms. Bikes and kit, including electric bikes, trailers and bike seats can be hired, making this an excellent taster trip for the less experienced.
Daily Mail (2019), Let the games begin! From triathlons to circus skills and football, we've found eight of the most exciting activity holidays for the entire familyAs seen in the press...
Britain’s love affair with two wheels shows no sign of abating. If you don’t fancy a DIY bike trip, Saddle Skedaddle offers three-day self-guided trips exploring Hadrian’s Wall on mainly traffic-free routes – it’s the ideal way to enjoy a World Heritage site. You’ll cover 36 miles in two days, including parts of Hadrian’s Cycleway, the route that links the north-west and north-east coasts.
The Guardian (2019), Bank holiday bangers: great late August festivals and funAs seen in the press...
For something gentle, Saddle Skedaddle has a three-day, self-guided family cycling trip along Hadrian’s Cycleway. Historic sites range from Hadrian’s Wall to Roman forts, through landscapes of river valleys and gentle hills, staying in bed and breakfasts with luggage transported.
Emma, LondonReally fun!
We felt we had time to go round all the museums without the pressure of getting to the hotel. And the cycling was really fun and my 10 year old was more than happy!
Yat, SingaporeAn enjoyable trip with great support...
My family of 3 had an enjoyable time doing the Hadrian’s Wall ride. Our rep Peter was very kind to help us adjust our bikes, and he was also kind enough to pick us up earlier than planned. His friendly support was greatly appreciated.
Emilie, New JerseyExcellent!
We had beautiful weather and enjoyed each day cycling along beautiful scenery.