Out of Newcastle

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Got itchy feet on a Friday afternoon so jumped on my bike and cycled to Edinburgh.

Started with a train from Newcastle to Alnmouth (I’ve cycled those 40 miles a couple of times before) then cycled north on the Coasts and Castles route for 70 miles until just north of Berwick (stopping off to buy a beer on the way!)

Passed into Scotland and slept in the first field (it’s legal to wild camp in Scotland) right next to the coast so got to watch the sun rise the morning after before setting off early (5am!) for Edinburgh.

Ditched the Coasts and Castles route on account if it quoting 100 miles to Edinburgh from Berwick (it’s possible to just take B-roads and go 50 miles) and took a beautiful route through East Lothians and then all the way down into Edinburgh.

Took the liberty of coming back from Edinburgh 1st Class after the 120 mile ride then headed straight out for the Ouseburn Festival in Newcastle! :)

Summer Solstice Microadventure Challenge 2013 (read more about the challenge here)

Finishing work on Friday night we grabbed a small bag and jumped on a train from Newcastle out to Haltwhistle. The weather forecast was grim but surprisingly we’d just got on the train when it brightened up - the weather Gods were with us!)

We alighted at Haltwhistle with the aim of making it to the Haughton Green Bothy, just north of Hadrian’s Wall.

We had gorgeous weather, a scary incident with an over-zealous cow (in case you didn’t know, cows can run FAST) a few hills to climb and a gorgeous place to stay in complete wilderness.

Instead of wild-camping we used our ingenuity and found a bothy to stay at which accommodated us perfectly with (primitive) beds. We made a fire, drank red wine and played cards into the early hours - overall an amazing experience and one that was so simple to achieve.

Here’s to my new #microadventure buddies: Alex & Neil and to many more  trips in the not-too-distant future!

Trip out to Housesteads Fort in Hadrian’s Wall Country, Northumberland. 45 minute drive from Newcastle or alternatively you can get the bus from door-to-door. Sycamore Gap is one of the most beautiful - completely hidden - gems of the area (IMHO).

Jun 9

Trip out to Craster and then a walk past the stunning Dunstanburgh Castle and along the gorgeous beach. Genuinely felt like a tropical island, just with the addition of cows and sheep. Well deserved of the title of Outstanding Natural Beauty!

Was only around 6-7 mile roundtrip walk so totally manageable of an afternoon. If you end in Craster, check out the smokehouse and be sure to pick up some Craster kippers.

Jun 8

WasGot an itch and wanted to get outside and enjoy the sunshine so packed up my lunch and headed out on the bike, loosely knowing where I was going. Quickly found the sign I was looking for and followed that. Rising Sun Country Park is 20 minute cycle (max) from Newcastle all on cycle paths or quiet roads.

The view you get from the Rising Sun Hill is stunning - I wasn’t sure but I think you could see the North Sea in one direction and Newcastle in the other.

This’d be a great spot for BBQs in the evening on a long summer’s night or perfect for wild camping

Jun 2

Northumberland has a beautiful coastline where you can cycle all the way from Newcastle to Edinburgh (on cycle paths/quiet roads) - this is a stretch just south of Alnwick. All good until I nearly crash my bike into a dog…

Hadrian’s Wall country is gorgeous whatever the weather - it was a quiet Sunday so I grabbed my bike, headed to the station and got the train to Hexham (bike friendly, so no need to book your on). From Hexham, I went West, North, East and the eventually South to end up in Hexham again - it was remarkably simple, really. Plenty of excellent places to pitch up if you came after work and the scenery is just breathtaking, even when misty!

St Mary’s Lighthouse is an amazingly picturesque spot just north of Whitley Bay. Apparently it has lock-ins on the island and also a resident seal. Both of these are unconfirmed reports.