- Following the Tyne past the dramatic Tynemouth Priory
- Cycling past the pristine dunes and sandy beaches at Druridge Bay
- Stunning vistas as you approach imposing Bamburgh Castle
- Glimpsing Edinburgh as you cycle from the Moorfoot Hills
- The rugged beauty of the Scottish Borders
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 (supplement payable), 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.
You can arrive in Newcastle at any time during the day and the group will meet up at the accommodation in the evening. The Skedaddle guide will also meet you there and there will be a chance to chat about the next few days riding over a drink and something to eat.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 450 Metres Approx.
Our journey starts with cycling along the Newcastle quayside past the Millennium Bridge as we head eastwards along the River Tyne to the coast. We’ll soon find ourselves passing through the heart of the former ship building area of the Tyne and at Wallsend, literally the end of Hadrian’s Wall, keep an eye out for Segedunum Roman Fort Museum and its viewing tower shaped in the form of a Roman helmet.
Continuing along close to the river we soon reach the Fish Quays of North Shields, and its bustling little harbour. We are now at the very mouth of the Tyne and after a few more pedal strokes along its quayside, we pass Lord Collingwood to reach Tynemouth. From here we continue along the seafront riding past the Victorian resort of Whitley Bay and on to the seaport of Blyth, with its imposing wind turbines.
We’ll soon leave the urban surroundings behind and pass into much more open countryside and quiet country lanes. The next point of interest is the stunning Druridge Bay. With its seven mile sandy beach, nature reserve and some of Northumberland’s biggest sand dunes it is a real treat. Next comes Amble, which proudly declares itself as ‘the friendliest port’ and your accommodation for the evening
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.
After a hearty breakfast, we‘re back on our route once more and heading towards the impressive medieval castles of Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, and the attractive coastal village of Craster. At Bamburgh, as well as the castle in its dramatic setting on a rock outcrop, there is the Grace Darling museum, a famous heroine of the lifeboats. Just past Bamburgh we come to Lindisfarne, otherwise known as Holy Island, a key site in early Christianity and the place where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created in the 8th century. If the tide and time allows, it’s worth a visit by crossing the tidal causeway.
From Holy Island, it’s on to the Elizabethan border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with its complex defences built up over the years of border wars, and our stopping place for the night. If you have the energy left then a wander around the city walls is recommended and with plenty of good places to eat you‘re not going to go hungry tonight!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.
From Berwick-upon-Tweed, it’s inland along the Tweed valley to Melrose. On the way we’ll cross the border into Scotland, then back into England over the famous Union Suspension Bridge, that spans the River Tweed between Horncliffe in Northumberland and Fishwick in the Scottish Borders. No doubt on the schedule is a quick stop at the Chainbridge Honey Farm, where you can get a cup of tea and feast yourselves on yummy cakes and enjoy them on an old green Bristol Lodekka double decker bus! As the name implies, you can buy lots of honey there too. A few miles on we cross back into Scotland at Norham Castle, and on to Kelso, with the impressive Floors Castle. The final section today takes us through Melrose, famed for its impressive Gothic-style abbey – thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
- Ascent: 1000 Metres Approx.
Leaving Melrose, we continue along the increasingly deep Tweed Valley, surrounded by forested hills and following the course of this famous salmon river to Innerleithen, passing Traquair House, reputedly the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. The busy little town of Innerleithen is well known for its mountain biking scene, and no doubt you will see armoured and full face helmeted riders around the town. Heading north out of Innerleithen the route climbs up and over the Moorfoot Hills, with views of Edinburgh in the distance. Dropping down from the hills and heading through Dalkeith and Musselburgh you make your way into Edinburgh through the Innocent Tunnel and past Arthur’s Seat to the finish point.
This is where we will meet up with the minibus at the end of the ride, load up the bikes and head back to Newcastle.
The route has some sections of urban riding, on quiet roads or purpose built cycle paths, but most of the route follows quiet country lanes, cycle tracks, and some bridleways. There are a few off-road sections, with tracks across grassy fields or farm roads. Being a National Cycle Network route, there are no “technical” off-road sections. With a mix of tarmac and some gravel or stoney/grass surfaces, we recommend a hybrid bike, or a mountain bike fitted with semi-slick tyres for this route. Road bikes are not suitable for this tour.
Leisure Cycling Grade
Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips
Suitable for the leisure cyclist who rides frequently, and who’s comfortable with some moderately challenging climbs
Some of the terrain may vary, potentially including sections of uneven or unpaved ground
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?
Trips that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 trips. These tours are suitable for those who keep themselves relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on the bikes at the weekend. Your preference may be for flatter terrain, but you don’t mind tackling some hills, the occasional steep climb and some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc.). It might be however that on some days the distances will be longer than a standard grade 3 trip, or some of the climbs may be quite challenging. You may also require some previous experience of tackling some uneven / unpaved ground to comfortably and safely ride certain sections of the route.
Dates & Prices
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.
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 in a back up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike
D) Access to the Skedaddle App for holiday information
E) GPX files available upon request
F) Scheduled train station transfers on arrival and departure days
What's not Included
A) Riding guide
B) Personal clothing and equipment
C) Travel insurance
D) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.
E) Bike & helmet hire (available if required)
F) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
G) Single room option (may be available if required)
H) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres
I) Other optional activities
8 reasons to cycle Northumberland
Here's why we think this often-underrated destination is perfect for those seeking a holiday at the speed of the bike...
12 hours in...Newcastle
Stopping off in Newcastle pre/post trip? Don't miss our ultimate guide to the city.
Yvonne, Northamptonshire, UKFive stars!
This is the first time I have done an organised cycle tour, and now I’ve done one trip and it was so successful I am definitely intending to do more next year, and will be venturing further afield too!
Our tour guide, Les, was absolutely superb. He had everything under control at all times and looked after all of our needs perfectly. I couldn’t rate him highly enough.
The lunches provided were just fantastic. Huge range and variety of food and drinks, Les went to so much trouble to provide really fresh and healthy food
It was all superb!
Now that I have had such a positive experience of one Skeddadle holiday travelling alone, I am also keen to broaden my horizons a bit to European destinations maybe. The service offered by Skeddadle was exceptional – as a solo traveller I did not feel lonely or isolated for a second of the holiday.
As a final point, I would just mention that I have just returned from doing the Way of the Roses tour which was organised by friends of ours with a different tour operator. The stark difference in the level of service and professionalism between Skedaddle (five stars) and the other company (two stars at best) confirmed in my mind that all future cycling holidays for me will be with Skedaddle!!
Keep up the good work!!
Kathryn, Birmingham, UKFelt like a real achievement!
I loved all days. The trip was really interesting and felt like a real achievement at the end.
Two amazing and helpful guides. Very friendly and knowledgeable and both helped me with my bike. A credit to Skedaddle. I hope to do another holiday with them both. Cannot thank them enough!
Miles, Surrey, UKFabulous views and scenery...
Our guides, Les and Francis, worked as a great team – very efficient and relaxed. It was great to catch up with Francis again (he was on our Hebridean tour). Their enthusiasm is infectious! Day Amble to Berwick was my favourite – fabulous views and scenery and a good riding distance too.
Larry, Warwickshire, UKEverything I wanted and more!
It was everything I wanted and more!
Our Tour Leader Les was a great guide with plenty of local knowledge, as well as being a great chef!
Alan, Essex, UKAn excellent route
The Coast and Castles route is an excellent route. The service provided by the group leader/guide was nothing short of excellent. Knowledgeable and a good communicator. Food and drinks during the rides were superb as were the locations chosen for stops.
Roger, BerkshireThe holiday exceeded my expectations...
The holiday exceeded my expectations, and at the age of 74 this trip is perhaps my last! My favourite day was the last day from Melrose to Edinburgh, in particular the 16 miles in the morning from Melrose to Innerleithen along the Tweed was glorious.
Our tour leader, Les, gave daily briefings to all members of the group, and provided me with one to one support and encouragement as the last person behind the group during the latter stages of the third day from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Melrose. He provided a replacement bike after my bike had a technical issue which could not be fixed on the second day and fitted my clip-in pedals to the bike, subsequently fitting my Brooks saddle to this Skedaddle bike for the last day from Melrose to Edinburgh. In addition he has a good historical knowledge of Newcastle and gave short talks to the group during the walk back from Dinner to the Hilton Hotel on the first evening.
I also need to comment on the service provided by Brian, the Tour Guide / Assistant Leader. He like Les provided support and encouragement to me during the latter part of the ride into Berwick-upon-Tweed. In addition he helped me on two occasions when my chain came off. Perhaps his greatest service was stopping me from taking the alternative route to Lindisfarne when I failed to distinguish between an alternative route (1) in brackets and 1.
Massively enjoyed the tour – wonderful changes in the landscape, from the coast near Lindisfarne to the hills south of Edinburgh. For me personally the distances were just a tiny bit out of my comfort zone, so this tour was doable, but challenging for me.
Day 2 was an excellent day. Loved cycling at the coast, Bamburgh Castle, Druridge Bay and Holy Island were great sights. The paths changed quite a bit here which was great fun to cycle on!
Peter, WorcestershireExcellent as usual
This was my 5th trip skedaddle. I like and appreciate the way the holiday is organised.