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The North Circular

The North Circular

£995 per person

The route takes the entire length of Hadrian’s Cycle Way (from South Shields in the East to Ravenglass in the West) and then returning to Sunderland on the famous C2C route – so its a double tick-off on the ‘bucket-list’. This is a new trip starting and finishing in Sunderland.

Don’t forget the obligatory ‘dipping the tyre in the sea’ at the beginning and end of the ride!

On our trips, wherever possible, we utilise country lanes and national cycle network paths, and try to avoid main roads. We ride at a pace that is well within the reach of a fit and competent cyclist. We start each day at around 8.45am with a morning briefing where the tour leader will explain the day’s route and the traffic and weather conditions that you are likely to encounter. You will also be briefed on the place where we will be having our lunch stop, we usually provide a healthy picnic/sandwiches or if the weather is inclement we will make use of cafes or pubs that lie along the route.

The support van will be on hand assisting with the day to day running of the tour and towards the end of each day transporting your luggage to your accommodation. Wherever possible during the day we stop the van in a safe place and offer hot drinks and snacks.

Accommodation

Your accommodation, on a twin share bed and breakfast basis, will be in hotels. We prefer to use good standard local hotels with ensuite facilities where available.

Single accommodation is available for a supplement of £235.

Meals

Breakfasts and lunches are included. You will need to purchase your own evening meals, which are usually eaten communally, although you are free to opt out if you wish.

In the Tour Plan, (B, L, D) refers to meals included in the trip cost i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Bike Transfers

We offer a bike delivery and collection service. Please get in touch for details.

6 days of cycling
Approx 330 miles Age
  • Destination
  • Depart from
    Sunderland
  • Return from
    Sunderland
  • Road surfaces
    Tarmac
  • Bike Type
    Road / Hybrid / Touring Bike
  • Included
    The North Circular
    Accommodation
    Lunch
    Cycling guide
    GPX files
    Vehicle support
    Baggage transfer
  • Not Included
    Evening meals (unless specified)
    Bike hire
    Travel to start & from finish
    International flights
    Airport transfers
    Travel insurance
    Visas
1
Arrival Day
Arrive in Sunderland meet in our hotel for an evening briefing from your guides.
2
Sunderland to Hexham (42 miles)
Today’s ride is a relatively gentle introduction to the tour, as it is the shortest day in terms of distance and the gradients are quite easy. After our daily group briefing and an initial bike check to see that all gears, brakes and wheels etc. are working properly, we will set off up the North Sea coastal road towards South Shields, which marks one of the official starting points of Hadrian’s Cycleway. We then cross over to the North bank of the Tyne as we head for the centre of Newcastle and the famous Tyne Bridge. In the afternoon, our route continues to take us along the very pleasant Tyne valley, past the town of Prudhoe and on to Hexham, the historic principal county town of Northumbria, where we will stop for the night.(B,L)
3
Hexham to Carlisle (51 miles)
For those interested in Roman history, today offers some excellent opportunities to see the best preserved remnants of Hadrian’s Wall and also the remains of some of the forts and other structures relating to it. Throughout the day, our route (which is quite hilly at times!) weaves in and out of the course of the Wall but also takes us through the towns of Haltwhistle and Brampton, both of which provide some excellent refreshment options. In the afternoon, we pass by the ruins of Lanercost Priory, which offers yet more visiting opportunities for history lovers and eventually we wind our way down to our overnight stop in Carlisle, the largest town in Cumbria which is also famous for its well preserved castle. (B,L)
4
Carlisle to Whitehaven (66 miles)
Today is the longest day of the tour in terms of distance, but this is in part compensated for by the relatively flat nature of the terrain, as our route for the most part follows the coastal path along the Solway Firth all the way to Whitehaven, where we will stop for the evening. The marsh lands that form part of the route are officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and offer some good opportunities for any keen ornithologists out there!). Places of interest along the way include: Burgh-by-Sands, where, in St Michael’s Church, the body of King Edward 1st was laid in state after he died in the nearby marshes on one of his many campaigns against the Scots; the village of Bowness-on-Solway that stands on the remains of the Roman town of Maia (which marked the official Western end of Hadrian’s Wall); the town of Silloth with its old cobbled streets; Maryport (which also has several Roman connections of its own); and Workington, the largest town in Western Cumbria, which has some excellent shopping and other amenities. For those interested in sailing, Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven all have busy marina areas with plenty of small craft on display.(B,L)
5
Whitehaven to Keswick (65 miles)
We continue South down the Cumbrian Coast, past Sellafield nuclear power station, to Ravenglass, where the Roman bath house marks the official end of Hadrian’s Cycleway. It is also the picturesque terminus of a well-known local narrow-gauge railway line. We then pass beside Muncaster Castle before finally turning inland and back East along the pretty Esk Valley. Some stunning Lake District scenery then unfolds as we climb into the mountains and join the famous C2C route back to Sunderland. Towards the end of the day we face the steep climb up and over Whinlatter Pass before we descend for the evening into the historic market and tourist town of Keswick. (B,L)
6
Keswick to Alston (47 miles - but tough!)
The morning sees us head out of Keswick along the recently restored disused railway path that criss-crosses the Greta river and heads towards the village of Threlkeld. From there we continue to take in some more magnificent Lakeland scenery as we make our way back down into the Eden Valley and the old Westmoreland market town of Penrith. In the afternoon, we face the famous ‘5 mile climb’ up and over Hartside Pass as we make our way into the Northern Pennines. The well known café for bikers at the top sadly burned down some while ago, but is in the process of being restored. However, the reward for all that climbing is a lovely descent into the East Cumbrian market town of Alston, where we will spend the night. (B,L)
7
Alston to Sunderland (60 miles)
Our final day of riding starts with a couple of steep ascents as we make our way out of Alston and on to the little villages of Nenthead and Allenheads. This central area of the North Pennines is very sparsely populated and provides some spectacular ’wilderness’ views and experiences. Later, we descend into the very pleasant town of Stanhope which provides some good refreshment opportunities. After this, we face one last major climb back into the hills before the route gradually descends towards the old Durham mining town of Consett and then back to our original starting point in Sunderland, where we can unwind and prepare for a well deserved celebratory meal in the evening.(B,L)
8
Departure day
You are free to leave anytime after breakfast.

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BOOK 13 - 20 June 2021  
BOOK 19 - 26 June 2022