- 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
We all really enjoyed the experience, would definitely recommend it to family and friends and would like to return!
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 Bowness-on-Solway to begin your family cycling adventure. Bowness-on-Solway is the beginning of the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, and the village sits on the stunning Solway Firth (an 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. Our 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. From Carlisle you continue to Warwick Bridge; this section along the river is very picturesque – so cameras at the ready! You continue cycling on arriving at your accommodation in Brampton for the evening.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 650m
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….who in the family will be first up the hill? Just before Birdoswald Roman Fort, there is a superb section of the wall, right next to your cycling route, which leads all the way to Birdoswald. Thirwall Castle (14th Century and built with stone plundered from the wall) and the remains of the Roman river crossing at Willowford are also nearby and worth a viewing if time permits. 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. 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 South Tyne Valley to a summit at Smith’s Shield, which will bring you to your accommodation at Twice Brewed.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 450m
After breakfast, you start your day with an exhilarating descent to Vindolanda; a Roman frontier military and civilian site, and a must for those in the family looking to learn a little more about 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; 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 then drop towards Fourstones before passing through the market town of Hexham, towards the garrison town of Corbridge. 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 Stevenson’s Cottage and then crossing the River Tyne twice, you will cycle along an old wagonway towards Newburn following the banks of the Tyne.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 300m
All the ups and downs are now behind you and you can take your time cycling on your final day of cycling.
As you get closer to Newcastle it’s time to count the bridges along the River Tyne. This includes the “blinking eye” Millennium Bridge which you will cycle past, and spans the river from Newcastle on the North bank to Gateshead on the South bank where the Baltic Arts centre and Sage concert hall dominate the skyline. The Cycle Hub is situated on the route just after this and is the perfect place for a well earned cuppa and a slice of delicious hub-made cake. It’s dedicated to the cyclist and also the home of Saddle Skedaddle so why not come and say hello?
Not far to the end now as you head into the heart of the ship-building 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. Look out for the viewing platform in the shape of a Roman Centurian’s helmet!! Continuing along close to the river we soon reach the Fish Quays of North Shields, 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 – ice creams all round? We will meet you in Tynemouth and 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 path. 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.
A really good experience! The excellent Roman museums on route brought Hadrians wall to life.
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...
Megan, USADoing a family cycling holiday was great!
Our favourite day was the third day of cycling which took us from Twice Brewed mostly downhill through the countryside. The weather was great, the cycling was lovely, and the scenery was beautiful.
Andrea, Lincolnshire, UKCannot fault.
Our son had an injury just before our original dates…no problem! Saddle Skedaddle rearranged at no additional cost. We arrived at the cafe early on the last day… no problem! SS brought forward the pick up point at the end of route. Cannot fault. We particularly loved the accommodation at Scotch Mews. A lovely gem for our first night en route. Our favourite day was day 2 from Brampton to Newbrough – this was the longest but also the most satisfying, and with greatest exposure to sites of interest along Hadrian’s Wall. Perhaps we will be more ambitious in route selection next time. We loved Vindolanda and were really glad that we stopped at the Roman Army Museum too. We were also glad that we had elected to stay an extra night in Newcastle at the end which avoided a lengthy car journey in sweaty cycle kit!
Jane, Hampshire, UKA really good experience
A really good experience for myself and 15 year old son. The excellent Roman museums on route brought Hadrians wall to life!
Mary, West Midlands, UKExcellent!
The accommodation was fab – the lady at Brookside was so helpful in taking us and picking us up from the pub; the room at Twice Brewed was lovely and big (useful when you have a teenager who likes to spread the contents of her bag….) and Keelman’s was huge, plenty of room to dry out soggy kit and the restaurant was vey reasonably priced! I was also impressed by the advice from the rep and the back up provided. It helped that the route was relatively easy and not too far from civilisation so finding lunches/rest stops etc wasn’t a problem.
Suzanne, London, UKGood!
We all really enjoyed the experience of the ride and the quality of the accommodation, so definitely recommend it to family and friends and would like to return.