Tyneside to the Tweed

Northumberland’s beaches are spectacular. Joining them all up in a fatbike journey is something I’ve been thinking of for a while. With Liz away for a weekend swimming at Swanage, it seemed the ideal time.

I parked the car up at work and relived my old commute from the days we lived in North Shields, so riding through Hebburn and Jarrow to get the passenger ferry over to North Shields.

Once in North Shields, a short cycle to the mouth of the Tyne and the proper coastal riding begins.

After a bit of roadwork, I drop down onto Whitley Bay beach. Just after taking a photo, I chat with a runner, who calls me “hardcore” and them am joined by another fat biker, and we ride together chatting until he needs to head off to see his mother (which is good for me, as I can ease off the pace).

North of Whitley Bay there’s some off-beach riding by St Mary’s Lighthouse and up towards Blyth. Still nice riding though.

After Blyth there’s lots of cycleway as the route meanders around to cross the River Blyth, River Wansbeck, and avoids the power station at Lynemouth. There’s still some interest though.

However, on entering Cresswell, and stopping for lunch at the Drift Cafe, the top quality riding begins with Druridge Bay.

After completing the ride along the massive beach, there’s a ride through Amble, then onto Warkworth (with the amazing castle) and a bridge to cross the River Coquet, then it’s back on the beach.

Approaching Craster, the route is again off the beach, but with great riding, and great views down to some of the small coves in this area, such as the beautiful Sugar Sands.

On the road towards Craster, for a change there are interesting views inland, with some lovely cloud formations.

After following and off-road cycleway to Dunstanburgh Castle, it’s back on the beach.

I was semi-planning to have dinner at the excellent pub at Low Newton, but the beach was busy, and the pub more so. Onwards and northwards… onto Beadnall Bay, and time to call it a day. I check into their campsite, put up the tent and make use of their fish and chip van (which is excellent). Early to bed, and being joined tomorrow by a few guys for the section north to Holy Island, after which I make the short ride to Berwick to try to get the bike on a train to Newcastle!



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