- 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
- Corbridge and sinking a well-deserved pint of local ale – It’s not all about the kids you know!!
- Seeing who’ll be the first to spot the ‘Blinking Eye’ bridge in Newcastle
- Ice cream in Tynemouth and the sense of achievement having ridden from coast to coast as a family
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.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 400 Metres Approx.
After a hearty breakfast, you will be met by our Skedaddle representative at your accommodation in Newcastle and they’ll provide you with your rental bikes (if renting) and your map and chat you through how to use the Skedaddle App. They will then transfer you to Bowness-on-Solway to begin your journey.
Bowness-on-Solway is the beginning of the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, and sits on the stunning Solway Firth AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The views of Scotland from here are simply breathtaking. The area is also a haven for wildlife, so keep an eye out for wildfowl during this first part of the trip.
Your first day’s riding is a gentle introduction to the trip with a flat ride by the banks of the Solway Firth before skirting Carlisle. This thriving regional city is well worth a visit if time allows; showcasing some of the area’s historic treasures in the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, and boasting Carlisle Castle; still welcoming visitors since Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobites. The route gently undulates towards Warwick Bridge and this section along the river is very picturesque – so cameras at the ready!
Your destination for today will be Brampton, your home for the evening.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 600 Metres Approx.
Your cycling today starts with a short roller coaster of a ride that takes you past Lanercost, with its impressive priory and onto your first uphill section of the day towards Gilsland. Just before Birdoswald Roman Fort, there is a superb section of the wall, right next to the cycling route, which leads all the way to Birdoswald. Thirwall Castle (14th Century and built of Roman stone plundered from the wall) and the remains of the Roman river crossing at Willowford are also nearby and worth visiting if time permits.
You will cross the Pennine watershed and gradually climb out of Greenhead before a welcome descent into the South Tyne valley down into Haltwhistle. If you‘re in need of a rest and recharge (and maybe a cake and cup of tea), there are plenty of tea shops here to take your pick from.
At Bardon Mill you head back up the valley to the summit at Smith’s Shield, which will bring you to your accommodation at Twice Brewed.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 300 Metres Approx.
After breakfast, you’ll start your day with an exhilarating descent to Vindolanda; 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 30 years ago) form the earliest archive of written material in British history and are matched by similar tablets from the Eastern Frontier; it’s a sort of 360-degree view of empire life.
A slight detour towards Housesteads provides outstanding views over Vindolanda and classic Hadrian’s Wall scenery. A cheeky climb takes you to Crindledykes, the highest point of the route (263 metres above sea level). You’ll then pass through the market town of Hexham, towards the garrison town of Corbridge and your accommodation for the evening.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 450 Metres Approx.
With all the major climbs behind you, the route begins to follow the valley floor towards Prudhoe. Passing through the pretty villages of Ovingham and Wylam, passing Robert Stephenson’s Cottage and then crossing the River Tyne twice, you will cycle along an old wagonway towards Newcastle following the banks of the Tyne. You will take in views of the famous bridges across the river, including the “blinking eye” Millennium Bridge, with the imposing Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art dominating the skyline. The Cycle Hub is situated just after this and the perfect place for a well-earned cuppa and a slice of delicious homemade cake. It’s dedicated to the cyclist and also the home of Saddle Skedaddle so why not come and say hello?
Not far to go now as you head into the heart of the shipbuilding area of the Tyne. On passing Wallsend – literally the “Wall’s end“, keep an eye out for Segedunum Roman Fort Museum if you fancy a little more Roman history to end your Hadrian’s Wall experience. Continuing along close to the river we soon reach the North Shields Fish Quay, where you’ll find a bustling little harbour and be able to sample some of the finest fish and chips in the North-East!
You are now at the mouth of the Tyne and a few more pedal turns lead to your final destination, Tynemouth. Time to celebrate your achievement, before we whisk you back to Newcastle.
Hadrian’s Cycleway runs mainly on country lanes and quiet roads, interspersed with sections of traffic-free path, promenade and riverside paths. The coastal sections at either end of the route are relatively flat, but there are a few steep, short hills in the central section.
The majority of the route is paved, with a couple of short sections on hard-packed gravel. A hybrid bike is recommended, but a road bike fitted with touring tyres is also suitable when ridden with a little extra care.
Family Cycling Grade
Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 trips
Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes
Some modest climbs
Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).
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 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those perhaps who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads, however there will be some days / sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc). Suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.
Dates & Prices
Daily departures available from April to mid October. Choose your own dates from:
2023 $765 per person
2024 $830 per person
For children below the age of 18 who are travelling with 2 full-paying passengers, we are able to offer a 25% discount off the basic holiday cost.
If you‘re happy sharing a family room, once we’ve received your booking we will check what rooms are available and we may be able to offer (up to) an additional 25% discount for the children (subject to availability).
A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms)
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Access to the Skedaddle App for holiday information and navigation
D) A printed map
E) GPX files available upon request
F) Luggage transfer service
G) Local Skedaddle representative
H) Emergency tool kit, pump etc. (if renting 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 rental (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
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