Country, Coast and Castle!
One of our favourite rides is a circular route with the most glorious views in Northumberland, stunning countryside and of course, the beautiful Northumberland Coastline with its castles. This route takes in Kielder, across to Newcastleton (on the Scottish Borders) and down into South Northumberland where you will find Hadrians Walls and then a gorgeous meander over Otterburn Ranges towards Rothbury.
Start off from Belford and take the Wooler road, then along the A697 and across to go via Clennell, Bryness and over to Kielder. Follow the route down to the A68, along this road for a few miles and take the sign towards Newcastleton, then down towards Roweltown and take the route to Gilsland and Once Brewed, along the lovely road adjacent to Hadrians Wall. Then make for the A68 again which will take you via Otterburn Range then across to Rothbury. Cragside House is a must visit on this route, if you get time - fascinating. It is the former home of Lord William Armstrong, famous Victorian inventor and Cragside being the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity.
Then on from Cragside, follow the road to Alnwick, over the moorland and the drop-down into the historic market town with its famous majestic castle and gardens, not forgetting the equally famous Barter Books, one of the largest second-hand book shops in England. Here you will find, in this former Victorian Grade II Listed railway station, books, books and more books, welcoming open fires and a fabulous cafe with a wide range of delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, quiches and cakes! If it is hot, there is an ice cream parlour `Paradise', next door. All highly recommended and one of our favourites places.
After Alnwick, take the road over the A1 and follow the brown signs which take in the Northumberland Coastal route. This goes via Embleton, Beadnell, through Seahouses (Farne Islands boat trips sail from here), stop off for some fish and chips at Pinnacles (the Hairy Biker's favourite!) and enjoy them sitting by the harbour or they do have a sit-in restaurant. Then along the coast road to Bamburgh and its stunning castle and beach. The best place to park your bike in Bamburgh is in front of the castle as there is a designated bike parking here, the centre of the village is not really advisable as it gets so busy with cars and motorhomes. Follow the road past Budle Bay, Waren Mill, take a left back along this road to Belford and back to HQ!
Another little place to detour to, is the gorgeous little fishing village of Craster, famous for the Craster kipper and where you can sample one for breakfast whilst staying with us. They can also be bought from here, vacuum packed, to take home with you!