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United Kingdom

Northumberland - Sandstone Way

Guided Mountain Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

4 days

Prices from

$1,035 P.P.

E-MTB HIRE AVAILABLE

This tour is great fun on a regular mountain bike or an e-mountain bike and you can choose to hire either when you book your holiday with us! If you’re an experienced rider, you can choose one of our quality e-mountain hire bikes and experience the buzz of a pedal-assisted ride.

Select your e-MTB hire when you book a holiday with us. Bear in mind that the pace will be set to riders with a regular mountain bike.

BOOK NOW
The Sandstone Way is a rewarding and incredible journey across one of the UK's most remote areas. 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 and this place to place mountain biking trip is now a classic!
Our 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 country roads.
Our Sandstone Way holiday begins with arrival into the vibrant city of Newcastle before our transfer to the historical walled border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Setting off we head south along the dramatic Northumberland Coast before turning inland. 
It isn’t long before we’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, we will spend our 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. We cross open moorland, travel through expansive forests and explore exciting trails before a comfortable night at an 18th century staging inn.
Our last day completes our journey through the wilds of the the north of England and after crossing the famous Hadrian's Wall our journey brings us to Hexham on the banks of the River Tyne.
Looking to do this trip self guided or with a bunch of mates? Then contact us to discuss this option.

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

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I always look at Skedaddle first when I look for a biking holiday!

Peter, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Friday Evening - Arrival
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 very straightforward.

For those arriving by car, you will be able to leave your vehicle at your accommodation in Newcastle, or if the train is your preferred transport mode, we will be happy to collect you from the Newcastle train station at the designated time.

After meeting up early evening, you’ll have the chance to get to know the rest of the group and chat with the Skedaddle guide about the next few days of riding. The meal tonight will 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 Upon Tyne.

Day 2
Berwick to Wooler
36 Miles / 58 Kms approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.

After breakfast we transfer northwards up the coast to the historic Berwick-upon-Tweed (1.5hr), where we will unload our bikes and set off on our journey.

Our first stage takes us down the dramatic Northumberland coast with incredible views over Lindisfarne (Holy Island) before turning inland and starting our exploration in the countryside and moors of Northumberland.

Farm tracks and forest roads then take us past the Kyloe Hills and St. Cuthbert’s Cave.

After lunch we continue westwards and pass through several quaint villages and below the ghostly Chillingham Castle before arriving into the market town of Wooler for a pint of real ale and an evening of local hospitality.

Day 3
Wooler to West Woodburn
48 Miles / 77 Kms approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,450 Metres Approx.

Our second day of riding that 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). A section of woodland singletrack keeps us on our toes as we descend down to the beautiful town of Rothbury for lunch.

A climb past the Simonside Hills leads us into Harwood Forest and past the spooky Winter’s Gibbet before we tackle some tricky farm tracks and a final traverse alongside the River Rede before finishing close to the small village of West Woodburn.

Day 4
West Woodburn to Hexham
30 Miles / 48 Kms approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 850 Metres Approx.

Our final day of cycling takes us through border country, across challenging bridleways and twisting trails.

Today we pass through Bellingham and skirt past the woodland of Kielder Forest Park and Northumberland National Park. We negotiate a network of bridleways and stream crossings, with a few more cheeky climbs to tackle before our last picnic in the tiny village green in Simonburn.

Eventually we 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.

From here we have a short transfer back to Newcastle (30-45 minutes) to collect our cars or to catch our return train.

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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, 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 of 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.

The pace of this holiday will be set by regular bikes but appropriate Electric Mountain Bikes may also be suitable. E-bikes would be beneficial for some of the short and sharp off-road climbs, but also for the longer climbs particularly the Simonside Hills after leaving Rothbury.

Please note – E-bikes are heavier than standard mountain bikes, so worth considering when handling, picking the bike up, or carrying it over obstacles such as gates or footbridges, and rougher terrain. Please chat to our team if you would like to use one.

For more information about riding an e-MTB on our holidays please click here

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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 rides 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.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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There was such variety every day that it’s difficult to pick a favourite. I had not previously realised the beauty of the Northumberland countryside!

Peter, UK

Dates & Prices

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a $125 deposit and nothing more to pay until 30 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
02/08/2024
Guaranteed
Return Date
05/08/2024
Duration
4 days
Price
$1,035.00
Start Date
09/05/2025
Return Date
12/05/2025
Duration
4 days
Price
$1,115.00
Start Date
18/07/2025
Return Date
21/07/2025
Duration
4 days
Price
$1,115.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

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

C) Full support service including a guide qualified in First Aid and a back up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike

D) GPX files available upon request

E) Scheduled train station transfers on arrival and departure days

G) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike and helmet rental (available if required)

B) Travel or flight costs or 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 (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres

I) Other optional activities

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Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

The Essentials

Travel Options

With its excellent rail and air connections getting to Newcastle is easy. Newcastle has an airport, although transatlantic options are limited and most routes will come via London.

If travelling by train we ask that you arrive into and depart from Newcastle Station. Group train station transfers are included in the holiday price and there will be a Skedaddle transfer at 18.30 from Newcastle train station on the arrival day to the accommodation. Following completion of the ride in Hexham at approx. 16.00, we will return you to Newcastle Train Station. Please do not book any return trains prior to 17.30.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers and logistics.

Please note If you make alternative travel arrangements, which fall outside of the group schedule, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

In the UK we use good quality 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs, inns and family-run guesthouses that are cycle friendly, located close to the cycling route and showcase the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting.

Where possible we prioritise locally owned businesses and those offering locally sourced food, drink and speciality products. This all promotes sustainability in-line with our responsible travel policy.

All our UK trips are operated on a double/twin-share basis. Single occupancy rooms can be provided for a supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent.

For this tour we have Giant Trance and Stance full suspension Enduro/Trail bikes. These are 29ers set up tubeless with disc brakes, dropper seatposts and quality components.

We also have hardtail bikes available to rent. These bikes are Giant Talon XC/Trail bikes with front suspension, disc brakes and quality components.

We also have a limited number of Electric Mountain Bikes available to rent. These bikes are good quality Giant Trance X E+ 2 with 625Wh batteries. The full suspension electric Enduro / Trail bikes are tubeless 29ers with disc brakes, dropper posts and quality components. All eMTB rentals are dependent on availability which will be checked for you at the time of booking and one of our team will be in touch to confirm the details.

If you do decide to rent a bike we can include a helmet (though always nicer to bring your own!) and all necessary spares for the trip. If you would like to borrow a helmet please let us know before the trip.

Our bikes come with high quality male and female MTB saddles but you are welcome to bring your own if you would prefer. If you use clip-in pedals / SPDs you will need to bring these along.

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News, Reviews & Stories

8 reasons to cycle Northumberland

Lose yourself in this beautiful county, riding off into the hills, admiring endless coastal skies and immersing yourself in the ancient history.

Sandstone Way: the video

Get inspired by our remote and scenic trip in Northumberland.

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

Reviews

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