Cycle Coast & Castles Newcastle to Edinburgh
Single / Double
Any Start Date February to November
An seven centre self-guided bike tour from Newcastle in England to Edinburgh in Scotland. 8 nights bed and breakfast in ensuite guesthouse/hotel accommodation, and 6 days cycling with hire of a 21 speed all-terrain bike delivered to the start and collected at the end of the tour. Also includes luggage transfers, emergency back-up*, and route navigation. We highly recommend adding an extra night in Alnwick to explore this interesting market town with its famous castle.* emergency back-up may incur an additional cost
On this bike ride you will soon see why they call it the Coast and Castles route. The Northumberland coast is the best way to discover the history of the border wars between England and Scotland. Starting in Newcastle half the route is along the beautiful Northumberland coastline of northern England. Set at a nice easy pace, you will have plenty of time to view the many castles as you go. After Berwick the route follows the River Tweed inland through the borders of Scotland, passing many abbeys and more castles. A hilly section takes you over a particularly bonnie section of the route with fantastic views over the magnificent city of Edinburgh, the final destination of the tour.
ARRIVAL DAY: Newcastle. Your 1st night’s accommodation is in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Spend the remainder of the day exploring this vibrant city. Overnight: Newcastle, England.
DAY ONE: Cycle from Newcastle to Ashington. Distance approx. 27 miles (41 km). After breakfast your bikes will be delivered to your hotel and help will be given with adjustments. The start of the ride is traffic-free along the river Tyne quayside, passing a mixture of old and modern architecture. At Tynemouth there are the ruins of a priory and castle (the first of many) before the route heads north along the Northumberland coast. There are plenty of opportunities to buy refreshments or lunch from seaside towns such as Whitley Bay. This very enjoyable ride takes you along the seafront until you head a few miles inland to your next overnight stop, Ashington. Overnight: Ashington, Northumberland, England.
DAY TWO: Cycle from Ashington to Alnwick. Distance approx. 27-30 miles (41-50 km). From here the route becomes much more scenic as you leave urban Tyneside behind. This beautiful stretch of the Northumbrian coastline takes you through a nature reserve at Druridge Bay and picturesque towns like Amble and Warkworth. Heading inland you leave the coast along quiet country roads through lush green farmland with an option to visit Alnwick where you might stay overnight. The castle and gardens here are well worth a visit before heading back to the coast and your next overnight stop at Alnmouth. This pretty little fishing port has a choice of pubs for your evening meal. Overnight: Alnmouth, Northumberland, England.
DAY THREE: Day off to explore Alnwick
DAY FOUR: Cycle from Alnwick to Bamburgh. Distance approx. 25 miles (40 km). Today you cycle along the coast on quiet minor roads passing through quaint little fishing villages such as Craster, famous for its kippers (which you may have had for breakfast). Next are the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. This 14th Century castle is perched right on a cliff edge. The route then takes you inland for a while before returning to the coast at the aptly named seaside village of Seahouses. Bamburgh is the most impressive castle of them all. It housed more people than any other castle in England (with the exception of Windsor castle). The small village of Bamburgh is the birthplace of Grace Darling famed for her daring rescue of 5 people from a shipwreck. Overnight: Bamburgh, Northumberland, England.
DAY FIVE: Cycle from Bamburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Distance approx. 23 miles (37 km). Heading inland again on quiet country roads broken up by farmsteads and villages, you will catch sight of Holy Island. Adding an extra 6 miles to your ride, this excursion is well worth the additional effort. Subject to the tide times, this unique island is cut-off from the mainland twice a day by the incoming North Sea. Once on the island historically known as Lindisfarne there is a castle and a priory to visit with plenty of places for refreshments or lunch. The last section of the route is a mixture of country lanes and gravel tracks along the coast to the Scottish border town of Berwick. This attractive walled town changed hands 13 times in the England Scotland Border wars. Overnight: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England.
DAY SIX: Cycle from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Dunbar. Distance approx. 34 miles (54 km). Today the ride is longer than previous days following NCN route 76. Leaving Berwick the route heads inland for a while following the border between England and Scotland before officially entering Scotland. Quiet country lane cycling through some small villages and hidden coastal coves and bays is the order of the day. A gradual climb in the morning will be rewarded by spectacular views and a long downhill glide to Pease Bay and then Cove. You will pass the nuclear power station at Torness on the final section of the ride to Dunbar. Overnight: Dunbar, Scotland.
DAY SEVEN: Dunbar to Edinburgh. Distance approx. 33 miles (58 km)
You’ll get the full spectrum of cycling today (countryside, coastal, and urban). The route follows minor roads inland to Haddington. As you leave Haddington you’ll follow a rail path for 5 miles to Longniddry and out to the coast. Much of the cycle to Musselburgh is traffic free close to the coast. The final cycle into Edinburgh will follow the John Muir Way, a traffic free path leading to the heart of the city where your tour will end and your bikes will be picked up. Overnight: Edinburgh, Scotland.
DEPARTURE DAY: Departure from Edinburgh. The tour finishes after breakfast.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to NEWCASTLE (NOT included in tour price): There is an hourly train service from London (King's Cross) to Newcastle. The nearest international airport is Newcastle.
RAIL TRAVEL from EDINBURGH to LONDON (NOT included in tour price): The nearest airport is Edinburgh. There is an hourly train service from Edinburgh to London.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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GRADE C (cycling): Between 18 - 35 miles (27-56 kms) a day. The route is principally a flat ride, but there is a steady climb of about 250 feet on the penultimate day. We recommend that clients bring their own cycles, clothing and equipment. We can arrange for the hire of this, if required. The cost would be about £50. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.