This ‘must-do’ cycling holiday is a wonderful way to see the varied and beautiful landscapes of northern England, taking you from the Irish Sea in the west to the North Sea in the east, cycling along quiet country lanes, cycleways and paths.
Distance: 219 km (136 miles)
Total climbing: 3,343m
Starting point: Whitehaven
Finish point: Tynemouth
Difficulty Rating: **** (click here for more details)
The route does include sections of tarmac and hardpacked gravel and cinder surfaces so a hybrid bike is recommended.
Explore England’s only true mountain forest where you can access a variety of mountain bike routes, try child-friendly WildPlay discovery trails, swing through the trees on the Go-Ape course, go on a Segway adventure, learn about the Osprey Project, or sample a variety of scenic walking trails.
This pretty market town is the centre for tourism in the northern Lake District and offers a wide range of attractions, from shops and restaurants through to museums and boating trips around Derwentwater.
Raised over 5,000 years ago, this is one of the oldest and most dramatically positioned stone circles in Britain with the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat providing a stunning backdrop.
This enchanting castle dates back almost 1,000 years and is set in a 3,000-acre estate. It was once owned by Lord Greystoke whom Tarzan was based upon. Although not open to the public, it offers a great photo opportunity.
This is the world's first and only tilting bridge. It’s a must-see landmark, nicknamed The Winking Eye, which links Newcastle to Gateshead over the River Tyne.
The elegant town of Whitehaven is where you’ll start your ride, and leaving the Cumbrian coastline behind, you’ll head into the magnificent Lake District and tackle a number of tricky yet rewarding climbs, including the infamous Hartside Pass where you can admire spectacular views across the Lakes, Solway Firth and right into Scotland. The long descent into the North Pennines AONB is a definite highlight before you climb again to the summit of Black Hill, the highest point on the route.
Once you’ve passed into Northumberland and through Allenheads – the highest village in England – you’ll join the Waskerley Way towards Consett, and pass through Gateshead and Newcastle before following the River Tyne to Tynemouth, where you’ll be able to dip your wheels in the sea and pose for those all-important celebratory photos.