Cycling the Reivers Route
Coast to coast through wild Northumberland's border country
Guidebook to the Reivers Route, a 173 mile (280km) coast-to-coast cycle route across northern England and into Scotland from Tynemouth to Whitehaven. Exploring the rich history of traditional border territory, it is suitable for cyclists of all abilities and most commonly tackled on hybrid or sturdy touring bikes. Road alternatives are available.
SeasonsBest cycled between April and October.
CentresWhitehaven, Carlisle, Bailey Mill, Kielder Water, Bellingham, Tynemouth. For the Borderers Ride: Gretna, Bailey Mill, Bellingham, Wooler, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
DifficultyUsing a four-day itinerary of 34-51 miles per day, the 173 mile Reivers Route is an attainable goal for most cyclists. It is the least ridden of the northern coast-to-coast routes and features a remote section through Kielder Forest on forest tracks and cycle paths.
Must SeeWhitehaven habour; views of the northern Lake District; Carlisle Castle; 13th-century St Cuthbert's Church at Bewcastle and Bewcastle Cross; Kielder Forest and the Davidson Monument; sculptures along Kielder Water's Lakeside Way; Liddesdale; Hermitage Castle; Thockrington church; the Devil's Causeway; North Tyneside and Killingworth Waggonways; Tynemouth Castle; the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on the Borderers Ride
As the wildest of the northern coast-to-coast cycle routes, the Reivers Route explores the rich Border Reiving history of northern England and the Scottish Borders. Travelling 173 mile (280km) from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, this four-day cycle tour takes in the Cumbrian coast, northern Lake District, Northumberland National Park and North Tynedale, offering memorable off-road cycling through Kershope Forest and around Kielder Water. The route offers both on and off-road cycling, and is suitable for cyclists using touring or hybrid bikes. Places to stay overnight include Carlisle, Bailey Mill and Bellingham.
The guidebook also offers the Borderers Ride, an alternative coast-to-coast ride along the England-Scotland border from Gretna to Berwick-upon-Tweed. This route joins up the fantastic middle section of the Reivers Route with a route heading north via Wooler and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne to finish at Berwick-upon-Tweed. Whether on the Reivers Route or the Borderers Ride, these cycle tours offer exceptional cycling on gated roads and quiet cycle paths as they explore rolling hillsides, remote forests and plenty of historic sites.
This guidebook provides everything you need to enjoy a successful cycle tour on the Reivers Route or Borderers Ride. Each stage includes detailed 1:100,000 mapping, profiles and comprehensive route description containing insights into points of interest along the way. The introduction offers plenty of information about the area's history, as well as practical advice about suitable bikes, equipment, and transport to and from the route. The appendices feature useful contacts for bike shops and available accommodation.
Table of Contents
Rachel Crolla is an outdoors all-rounder who loves hiking, biking, scrambling and climbing. Rachel is an outdoors writer and photographer who is also trained as a journalist and teacher. She has hiked and climbed across the UK, Europe and the USA. In 2007 Rachel became the first woman to reach the summit of every country in Europe, and co-wrote the Cicerone guide book Europe’s High Points soon afterwards. She is passionate about enthusing the next generation of hikers and cyclists with a love of the outdoors.View author profile
Carl McKeating is from Yorkshire. He is the co-author with Rachel Crolla of the books, Europe’s High Points and Walking in the Auvergne published by Cicerone. A rock climbing and mountaineering enthusiast, in addition to ascending all of Europe’s national high points, in 2010 he completed a long-standing ambition to climb all the routes in Ken Wilson’s Classic Rock which he followed with a three-month climbing and mountaineering tour of America. A qualified English teacher, in 2014 Carl started work on a doctorate about Mont Blanc in British Culture.View author profile
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