North East England including Northumberland.
This part of England was once the ancient kingdom of Northumbria. Today it is made up of the counties of Durham and Northumberland together with the metropolitan areas of Tees Valley and Tyne and Wear. Here The National Byway® has researched, designed and developed a 205 mile (330km) route linking the border with Scotland to the border with Yorkshire, where it joins other National Byway route sections. Part of the route is shared with the National Cycle Network’s routes 68 and 72 and is jointly signed. In addition to the main route, a Loop for one-day or weekend usage based on Hexham (23 miles/37km) is available, and the Co. Durham route is a large (110 miles/177km) circular ride.
Ancient Northumbria was a wild place, inhabited by peoples hardened to the climate and geography, an independent society with its own qualities and traditions. The National Byway® north-east England route has similar characteristics: it is a real challenge, designed essentially for the fit and experienced cyclist. Yet it can also serve to develop enthusiastic newcomers’ powers if they are prepared to face the challenges that the Byway provides in Durham and Northumberland. Whoever comes to the north-east to ride The National Byway® route will leave satisfied, stronger and more determined.
And they will have enjoyed the wild beauty, fascinating history, geographic and social experiences which together make up the north-east route with its 96 heritage sites.
In both Durham and Northumberland there are considerable stretches of route between settlements and heritage sites. The rider must be well-prepared for the advent of hunger, thirst and changes in the weather. But properly prepared and ready for the challenge, a trip along The National Byway’s north-east England route will be extremely rewarding.