Fuelling up on porridge we were ready for our final day of cycling. We left Jenny’s air b n b bright and early, just after 8 am. The cycle began by crossing the river on a picturesque bridge. We proceeded to follow a path along the waterway, ignoring the first 72 sign as it told us to go in the wrong direction.
Sitting on a bench overlooking the river our three friends we had met the other day cycled past. It was nice to see them and reassuring that our pace was similar to theirs and not too much slower.
Before long we were in Newcastle admiring the famous bridges.
We took a pew on the quay side, where a friendly security guard started speaking with us.
He informed us how the river had become significantly cleaner since the mining and metal industries had shut down. Today the quay is home to serviced offices. Believe it or not he also pointed out seals that were sun bathing on the opposite river bank.
Approaching the sea we saw the end mark and of course took an obligatory picture.
Arriving early we had time to relax on the beach before checking in. The weather was suburb. Friends relaxed on the sand, while adventurous children paddled in the cold sea.
Our accommodation was unique. We shared it with 6 friendly cats. Two of whom decided to share my bed with me in the morning! The house was gorgeous, decorated with cats everywhere.
The next day it was time to head back to London. First biking to Newcastle, then catching our train to London. In Newcastle we had just enough time to have a look around and grab some food before boarding at 12.
Travelling by train with bikes is pretty easy. Make sure you book a space for them beforehand. There are only 4 bike spaces available on Virgin trains and the only way to reserve a spot is by phone. I would recommend booking your train ticket and bike reservation on the phone at the same time. On the day get there 15 minutes before departure and ask staff which end of the train the bike carriage is. Then head straight there.
Cycling from Carlisle to Tynemouth is a wonderful, worthwhile adventure. It is a little hard but if you take plenty of water and regular breaks it is certainly manageable. The signs can be confusing at times. However, this may have just been our terrible sense of direction. My friend and I are both known to get lost a fair amount. Consequently, I am sure you will be fine.
Here is my summary:
- Train London to Carlisle – 4.5 hrs, £39 (The coach is cheaper but you can’t take your bike on the coach and hiring bikes will cost a bomb – up to £200 for the weekend. This is because you have to pay extra to collect the bikes and drop them off at different locations. The route is not circular, otherwise bike hire would be much easier and more affordable. For a circular three day cycling route check out The Isle of White.)
- Night 1 – Carlisle Ibis – £19.95 per person
- Day 1 – Carlisle to Bardon Mill – 56 km of cycling
- Night 2 – The Sill hostel – £25.99 for a dorm bed
- Day 2 – Bardon Mill to Ovingham – 44 km
- Night 3 – Air b n b in Ovingham – £20 per person
- Day 3 – Ovingham to Tynemouth – 40 km
- Night 4 – Tynemouth Air b n b £20 per person
- Day 4 – Tynemouth to Newcastle 29 km
- Train Newcastle to London – £32, 3.5 hours
Total cost = £84.94 (plus cost on food, we brought snacks and lunches pre-made, breakfast was included with our accommodation)
Total km = 169 km (according to my google tracking, plus 18 km getting from my house to Euston train station and back)
Has anyone else done this adventure or one similar?