Guide to cycling in the NE


With its converted railways, expansive moorlands and jagged coastlines, the North East is the perfect place to go cycling. Whether you're a novice or an expert, you're sure to find a number of exciting and picturesque routes to suit you.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best places to go cycling in the NE.
Three Rivers Route
This 80-mile route will allow you to see most of the NE in just one journey, as you'll travel through Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Durham, Consett, Newcastle and South Shields. Most of this route is traffic-free, so you'll be able to enjoy the contrasting landscapes with little worry. In fact, it's known for having some of the longest continuous stretches of traffic-free riding in the country.
To find this route, simply look for the blue National Route 14 signposts. During your ride, be sure to look out for some iconic sights, including the Millennium Bridge and Sage Music and Arts Centre in Gateshead, Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site, Hartlepool's Historic Quay and, of course, the three rivers: Tyne, Tees and Wear.
Hadrian's Cycleway
With beautiful coastal views, fascinating Roman forts and stunning countryside, this route has it all. It's not for the faint hearted though, as the whole route spans 174 miles. Naturally, no one expects you to do it all in one day - it will probably take you around three days to complete. Some people take as long as five days to cycle the entire route, as they stop to look at all the attractions along the way - so prepare to take several days off at work for this one!
The route starts at Glannaventa Roman Bath House in Ravenglass and ultimately you'll end up at Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum in South Shields - if you decide to do the whole route. You can cycle the route in either direction, but most choose to travel from West to East. Route 72 is made up of mostly quiet country roads and is suitable for most types of bike; just don't use bikes with racing or slick tyres.
We recommend you at least stop and take a good look at The Black Keep in Newcastle, Carlisle Castle and the Roman Museum in Senhouse.
Kielder Water and Forest Park
This expansive area of forest offers a huge network of diverse off-road tracks, making it an ideal place to take the whole family for a bike ride at the weekends. Although there are several routes for you to try, we suggest the Lakeside Way trail, which features 22 pieces of outdoor public art along the way. The multi-user trail follows some of the 27 miles of Kielder Water shoreline and gives you the chance to experience the copious amounts of wildlife living in the park.
Kids in particular will love this route, as the path is wide and even, making it a fairly easy ride for them. However, there are some tricky hills that less experienced or younger riders may find difficult, so prepare to lend a helping hand during these sections. It should take you between three and four hours to complete the whole 26-mile route, but if you don't have to do the whole trail if you think it will be too much for the little ones.
There really is so much to see in the North East, so go on, get on your bike and find your very own favourite cycling routes.