Bradt’s new cycling guide to Northumbria offers 21 routes covering County Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Each ride includes comprehensive directions plus contextual features on history, wildlife and culture. Each links to OS Explorer maps (and, where relevant, National Cycle Network routes), while QR codes connect with downloadable GPX maps via the komoot app, enabling navigation by smart phone. With a dedicated bike-hire section (so you have an alternative if your bicycle isn’t suitable for a particular ride) and accommodation suggestions, this book is an indispensable travel companion for two-wheeled adventures.
Northeast England is among the UK’s most dramatic and unspoilt regions, boasting long, sandy beaches, upland moors and forests. Its history is rich too, with Celtic, Viking and Roman sites in this battleground for successive border wars between the English and Scots. Majestic castles such as Bamburgh stand guard along its windswept coastline, while Holy Island’s Lindisfarne Castle once provided a haven to Christianity’s earliest missionaries and Alnwick Castle served as Hogwarts School in two Harry Potter films.
Today, the region is becoming increasingly popular for cyclists, particularly off-road mountain biking, but is still a ‘sleeping giant’ for its potential. Collectively totaling 355 miles, rides range from 9–26 miles and are typically suitable for half-day outings. Most are aimed at beginners and leisure cyclists, with several longer or more adventurous routes (including mountain-bike trails) for those craving greater challenge. Many are loop circuits, making travel hassle-free. Several follow established cycle routes, including the Cathedrals Cycle Route, Coast & Castles, Hadrian’s Cycleway (which broadly follows Hadrian’s Wall) and Pennine Cycleway, and can be linked for longer excursions.
So whether you fancy exploring Northumberland National Park via six loop routes, bouncing around roller-coaster tracks in Kielder Forest, freewheeling from Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North statue to Newcastle’s rejuvenated riverfront, or enjoying wildlife by bike, Northumbria is a superb cycling destination with something for everyone – making Bradt’s Cycling in Northumbria brim with inspiration for cyclists of all ages and energy levels.
A seasoned travel writer, Huw Hennessy is also a lifelong cycling nut, never happier than when he’s out on his Nigel Dean road bike, or battered old Raleigh workhorse. Since childhood he has pedalled at every opportunity – from Paris to the Loire Valley upon leaving school, and even exploring the ancient Thai cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai on rusty old boneshakers in 2022. Since moving to Devon in 2004, he has cycled all over southwest England, giving him ample inspiration to write his Bradt guide Cycling in Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly, and has completed the Nello (a 100-mile fundraising ride for cancer charity FORCE) eight times in ten years. His two-wheeled explorations also cover East Anglia, resulting his Bradt book Cycling in East Anglia. He has jumped into the saddle once again, cycling back lanes, forest trails and coastal paths to write Cycling in Northumbria. He lives in Dorset, UK.