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Explore the Sandstone Way

A voyage of discovery through The Secret Kingdom


Nicknamed 'The Secret Kingdom' due its sparse population and abundance of hidden wonders, Northumberland is a wonderful county to explore, rich in history and iconic scenery, and this exciting mountain biking experience will be one that will live long in the memory. 

This ride will take you along a sandstone ridge featuring spectacular crags and outcrops, and over an eclectic mix of off-road terrain.

  • Distance: 192 km (119 miles)

  • Total climbing: 2,865m

  • Starting point: Berwick-upon-Tweed

  • Finish point: Hexham 

  • Difficulty Rating: ***  (click here for more details)

 

 

Map Key

Highlights

St Cuthbert’s Cave

This fascinating cave can be found in an overhanging rocky outcrop supported by an isolated stone pillar. It is reputed that the monks of Lindisfarne brought St. Cuthbert’s body to rest here following Viking raids on the Island.

Berwick’s Elizabethan town walls

These are the only example of bastioned town walls in Britain, and one of the best-preserved examples in Europe. Built to keep marauding Scots out, they stand strong to this day and offer a great chance to discover more about Berwick’s turbulent history.

Chillingham Castle

Known as Britain’s most haunted castle, it’s been attracting ghost hunters for centuries, but even if you’re not drawn in by the occult, you can still enjoy its fine rooms, gardens, lakes, fountains and tea rooms.

Simonside Hills

Overlooking the picturesque town of Rothbury, these hills are supposedly the home of The Duergar, ‘little people’ who live in rocks; noted for their strength, magical powers, and metallurgy skills - the ‘personification of the subterranean powers of nature’ apparently!

Winter’s Gibbet

This lonely and haunting gallow stands in stunning countryside yet offers a bleak reminder of William Winter’s fate in 1792 after he murdered Margaret Crozier. Winter’s body was left to hang here until his clothes rotted off.

Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site

Hadrians’ Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which once denoted the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. The wall winds its way across the entire breadth of the country and a long, well preserved section can be found shortly before you enter Hexham.

Hexham Abbey

This abbey is one of the earliest seats of Christianity in England, dating back to AD674. Step back in time by taking a look inside and learning about its history, ancient architectural treasures and beautiful stained-glass windows.

Suggested Itinerary

Designed to be ridden (and way-marked) in either direction, it begins or ends in the historical walled border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and heads southwards along the dramatic Northumberland Coast, taking in incredible views towards Lindisfarne, before turning inland. It won’t be long before you’re deep into the North East’s finest countryside and exploring England’s least populated county.  

Having ridden through some of the region’s remotest and most picturesque towns and villages, you’ll pass St Cuthbert’s Cave and Chillingham Castle before heading into the stunning Northumberland National Park. Here, you’ll pass through the serene Breamish Valley, ride over open moorland, and through expansive forests before crossing Hadrian's Wall and into Hexham where your finish line awaits.

 

Book This Holiday

If you're interested in booking this ride as a package holiday option, the following trusted tour operators each offer different variations of it which can be tailored to suit your own specific requirements:

Northumberland | The Sandstone Way

Northumberland
38-48km per day
4-5 days
Guided or self-guided
Luggage transfers
Meet & greet
Bike Hire & E-bike Options Available
From
£565 p.p
Northumberland
38-64km per day
3-5 days
Self-guided
Luggage transfers
From
£375 p.p
Northumberland
2-4 days
Guided or self-guided
Luggage transfers
Meet & greet
Bike Hire & E-bike Options Available
From
£TBC p.p

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