Fully supported cycling holiday across the ancient Roman frontier of Hadrian's Wall
Four days of history, high-jinx and a few hills on our supported tour across the historical UNESCO World Heritage site of Hadrian's Wall. The tour averages around 40 miles a day with the most challenging day a 42 mile journey across the Pennines. This 165 mile coast to coast tour begins in Ravenglass on the Irish Sea and finishes in Tynemouth on the North Sea, taking advantage of the prevailing winds.
|DAYS / NIGHTS||AVG DAILY MILEAGE||COST|
For our Hadrian's Cycleway self-guided tour and costs please click: Hadrian's Cycleway Self-guided Tour
The tour takes in numerous historical and ancient monuments including Hadrian's Wall itself, Lanercost Priory, a number of Roman Ruins including Vindolanda sitting near the highest point of the tour, and Carlisle Castle. The tour stops over for a night in Carlisle allowing you to explore the ancient border town and its fascinating history. You also pass through stunning scnenic areas including the Solway Coast AONB and the northern Pennines, while passing through picturesque and welcoming towns and villages all with their own story to tell.
The tour finishes in picture postcard town of Tynemouth after passing through the stunning waterfront area of Newcastle with its famous bridges and beautiful buildings, both new and old. A tour with a bit of everything and a tour for all. We offer bike hire to those who need them, providing you with 24 speed hybrid bikes to see you up those hills and over the tracks. Road bikes are fine to complete this tour with, the tour is ridden on traffic-free paths, country lanes and quieter roads.
* All prices per person based on two people sharing.
Example Four Day Tour
|DAY 1||Whitehaven - Silloth||28 miles|
|DAY 2||Silloth - Carlisle||36 miles|
|DAY 3||Carlisle - Hexham||42 miles|
|DAY 4||Hexham - South Shields||38 miles|
The seaside town of Whitehavenwhere two coast to coast cycling tours begin, the C2C and our very own Hadrian's Cycleway, so don't be surprised to see other cyclists hanging out. Whitehaven is a charming georgian town and well worth an overnight visit before hugging the coast on your way to Bowness-on-Solway. In between, you pass many seaside towns where an ice cream is always a good idea to help you on your way.
Further on, you enter The Solway coast, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty(AONB), an area of salt marshes and sand dunes visited by migrating birds, such as Barnacle Geese, as well as having frequent sightings of harbour porpoises in and around the Sillotharea. In Solway, the first town we come to that had been on the wall is Bowness-on-Solway. A village which was built on an old roman fort, it boasts marvellous views across the sands and marshes into Scotland. Leaving Bowness, you follow the sea inlet and wall remains to Carlisle, passing villages with numerous Roman remains-including Burgh by Sands, the village where Edward I (Hammer of the Scots) died and body was laid out. Entering Carlisle you will notice its historical significance from its vast castle ramparts to its grand cathedral. The castle is one of great importance, being where Mary Queen of Scots was held. It was also occupied by the Scots who were led by one “Macbeth” and legend has it that it was the domain of King Arthur, King of the Britons. A place of historical importance and strategic importance, Carlisle is a wonderful place to visit.
Following the UNESCO heritage site east, the wall and the road begin their gradual climb into the north Pennines. You pass some charming towns and villages including the delightfully quaint Crosby-on-Edenand also one of the must-see sights on the tour – the 13th century Lanercost Priory, a few miles after Brampton. We follow the wall for another few miles here with great views over the Irthing Valley to the south. Continuing along the route, there is a short steep climb after the village of Gisland, followed by a gorgeous two mile descent into Haltwhistle. (Two mile descents are always gorgeous, aren't they?!) Out of Haltwhistle the cycling is quite easy for the next seven miles until you come to Bardon Millwhere we start pumping those legs again for a climb towards Hadrian's Wall. We pass another must-see on this tour here – Vindolanda. This is a 2nd century Roman fort, which predates Hadrian's Wall, where you can visit both the excavated site and the Roman Army Museum while experiencing how life was inside some of the newly built wooden structures. Half a mile of climbing after Vindolanda you reach the highest point on this tour, with a six mile descent to the banks of the River Tyne on a fast straight road – enjoy with care! The River Tyne will be a sort of guide for you on your way to the North Sea.
Here, you follow a path into Hexham. Hexham is one of the larger towns on the route, it is dominated by its Abbey, while the Saxon Crypt below the abbey is an exhilarating look at the past. It's a town with history too; burnt by William Wallace, held to ransom by Robert the Bruce (so he wouldn't burn it down!) and the scene of a battle in the War of the Roses. From Hexham, it's not far to Corbridge, another Roman town with very pretty streets and stone buildings.
From Corbridgeto the North Sea is plain sailing with all the climbing behind you. First, you have seven miles of quiet country lanes until you cross the Tyne. This is where you say goodbye to the remaining cars and traffic lights and say hello to cyclists and boats on this popular traffic-free route which leads you into Newcastle. Here, close to your destination, you pass through that famous riverside panorama of seven bridges in the space of a mile. When you come to the Gateshead Millenium Bridge, car-free, cross it and follow the southern bank of the Tyne into South Shields. With six miles of coastline and three miles of riverfront, you're sure to find a fish 'n' chip shop to celebrate your successful crossing of Northern England, to be washed down with whichever beverage you deem appropriate!
Hadrian's Cycleway - Part One Youtube - Whitehaven to Carlisle
Hadrian's Cycleway - Part Two - Carlisle to Hexham
Hadrian's Cycleway - Part Three - Hexham to Tynemouth