The North Sea coast cycle path winds its way from the south to the north of England, past spectacular cliffs and over extensive sandy beaches. Inland, the cycle path rolls through gentle hills, across lush green meadows, and past beautiful fields and marshes.
The 1,025-kilometre (660-mile) long North Sea Coast Cycle Route through England is a truly fascinating bike route, famed not only for its beautiful countryside, but also for the small coastal towns that lie in romantic bays. And the further you go, the more beautiful it gets as you encounter historic castles and manor houses—and cruise past an epic lighthouse or two.
In this Collection, we present to you the full North Sea Coastal Cycle Route through England which starts in Harwich and ends in Berwick-upon-Tweed. In 12 stages, you'll cycle an average of 85 kilometers (50 miles) each day. If you'd rather shorten the amount of time you spend in the saddle, you can pretty much chop the route up as you please thanks to the abundance of small towns en route that contains ample accommodation options. And as far as food goes, you'll also pass plenty of pubs—the perfect places to top up on energy in the form of a hearty English dinner—as well as innumerable supermarkets and grocery stores where you can replenish your supplies for the coming stages.
To get to the starting point of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route, you can either take the ferry from Hoek van Holland to Harwich twice a day or fly directly to London. From there, you can take the train to Harwich. If you cycle the entire North Sea Coast Cycle Route and come from De Panne, the last stage destination in Belgium, you can take the ferry to Dover from Dunkirk, a mere 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. From there the train goes via London to Harwich. At the end of the ride, you can choose to leave by train in Berwick-upon-Tweed—on which you're more than welcome to take your bike. More information can be found here: nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/cyclists.aspx. Alternatively, you can catch a flight from nearby Edinburgh or—if you're so inclined—continue on the North Sea Coast Cycle Route and conquer Scotland.
In order to plan an even bigger adventure on the North Sea Coast Cycle Route with maps and GPX, we have put together all parts of the cycle path for you here:
To get to the start of the North Sea Cycle Route in England, there are several options. For example, you can catch a ferry directly from Hoek van Holland to Harwich twice a day. Alternatively you can take the ferry from Dunkirk to Dover. This is especially useful if you are coming from the Belgian part of the North Sea Coast Cycle Path. De Panne, the final destination in Belgium, is only 20 kilometers from Dunkirk in France, where the ferry departs for Dover. From there, it is best to take the train via London to Harwich. As a third option you can fly directly to London by plane and then take the train to the starting point.In the coastal town of Harwich, it starts. 84 kilometers will take you on this first leg in a wide arc around the two tributaries of the River Stour and the River Orwell to Ipswich. Mostly the trail takes you past wide fields and meadows, through small villages and enchanted forests. Along rivers and into one or the other larger town, such as Colchester on the River Colne, where you can relax and stop. Some smaller climbs on the way provide variety and nice short descents for relaxation, where you can roll the bike comfortably.The stage destination is Ipswich. Well worth a visit to the waterfront, where you can eat well and find different hotels and other accommodations.
Even today, a moderate up and down awaits you, bringing you from Ipswich to Beccles 86 kilometers away. At the beginning of the stage, you'll cycle through Ipswich and its eastern foothills, which merge almost seamlessly with Woodbridge, on the River Deben. Once you've left the town behind, it's going to be rural.As on the first day, you will be accompanied by vast fields and meadows that stretch along the route. From time to time you will also cycle past pretty groves or through small villages where you can admire the beautiful houses with their wonderful English gardens. In most of the places you come by, there is also a pub that invites you to relax.The highlight of today's stage is Framlingham Castle. A fortress where once "Bloody Mary" took refuge. A short detour is definitely worth it.
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On 94 kilometers today it goes from Beccles to Fakenham to the northwest. For the first few miles, cycle through the lush green marshes of the River Waveney until you leave the vicinity of the river and head north past beautiful fields. There you dive back into beautiful march and follow the River Yare towards Norwich at some distance. Just before the big city, you will pass through an idyllic forest that brings you to the shores of Whitlingham Great Broad, a large lake in the middle of nature just outside Norwich.Norwichs is located about halfway and is therefore ideal for a rest. In the beautiful city you can not only strengthen yourself, but also visit the castle and enjoy the panoramic view of the roof. Strengthened and rested, the tour then continues through the northeastern foothills of Norwich, until you finally reach a sparsely populated area and cycle through England's idyllic countryside to Fakenham, today's stage destination.
On the 78-kilometer stage from Fakenham to King's Lynn, you will meet the North Sea for the first time since the beginning of the tour in Harwich. From Fakenham, it's pretty straight north to the coast. At Wells-next-the-Sea, you have the opportunity to make a short detour to the beach and enjoy the North Sea. Before the route brings you more inland, it leads you along the coast, but the view of the sea is covered by a beautiful forest. Pure nature on the North Sea coast, which you can really enjoy on a beach visit.After the flying visit to the coast, we will return to England's hinterland, where you will cycle through the beautiful Holkham Park and past impressive mansions, country houses and castles. It goes on the varied way to the intermediate goal to King's Lynn always slightly uphill and downhill.
The 92 kilometers of today's stage from King's Lynn to Boston snake on completely flat terrain through the country idyll of England.After King's Lynn you first cross the Great Ouse Relief Channel and then the Great Ouse. From there the route leads you through tiny villages with pretty houses and flowery gardens and across wide fields and meadows, which are also the main protagonists on today's stage. If you're lucky, you'll get the strawberry time and enjoy biking the sweet scent of strawberries in the air. At small stalls along the way you can stock up on the fresh fruit.Otherwise, you will have many opportunities to strengthen you on the way as you come to Boston, today's stage destination, through many villages and small towns that invite you to relax with their cozy pubs.
82 kilometers brings you today from Boston to Market Rasen. Right in Boston you cycle to the banks of the River Witham and follow the river out of the city. Through beautiful meadows you drive on a flat stretch along the shore and dive after a few kilometers in beautiful marshes, which extends from the river bank far into the country.Just before Lincoln, two drainage channels run parallel to the River Witham. The cycle path leads right between the river and one of the canals. A dreamy stretch between the two waters that you can enjoy free from any traffic until you come to Lincoln.The city is located about halfway the stage and thus offers itself for a break. Behind Lincoln is waiting for you in a short, crisp climb. Then you can let yourself roll on a long descent through beautiful rapeseed fields that line the roadside on the way to the stage goal Market Rasen.
On the 88 kilometers from Market Rasen to Beverley there are some hills waiting for you on the first half of the route, which provide for a nice change and some nice views.It starts behind Market Rasen with a magnificent section through an idyllic forest area, followed by the first ascent, which is the most significant of the entire stage with 130 meters of altitude difference. Up on the hill you can enjoy the fantastic view of the surrounding area, which spreads before you. A rapid descent brings you right back down and into the beautiful field and meadow landscape that accompanies you to the Humber.About the Humber, formed by the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Trent and flows into the North Sea, leads one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, the Humber Bridge. On the bike path, you can comfortably cross the impressive 2220-meter-long structure and enjoy the spectacular view. On the other side of the river your way then winds through the urban Hull to the stage destination Beverley.
Today, the route takes you back to the coast, so you can enjoy the beautiful North Sea with its large sandy beaches and stunning cliffs. On the first part of the 97-kilometer route from Beverley to Scarborough, it is relatively flat through rural area, which enchants with idyllic fields and vast meadows. So the bike path winds to the coastal town of Bridlington, where you can visit the sprawling beach and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle on the waterfront promenade. In the immediate vicinity you will also find various pubs, cafes and restaurants that invite you to stop by.Beyond Bridlington, it gets hilly, as you cycle just a short distance from the cliffs that are so typical of England, whose foothills in the interior of course provide steep slopes. Just before the final destination, you will be back on the coast and let your gaze wander from the cliffs to the sea and the Scarborough destination in front of you with its castle.
Today it gets hilly. To be precise, it is the stage with the most altitude difference. But it is on the 79-kilometer route from Scarborough to Redcar but also very beautiful and varied, because it takes you along England's spectacular cliff along, enchanting with fabulous coves and stunning views.Green meadows and lush pastures adorn the land, which finally drops abruptly to the sea and forms the cliffs. Through this beautiful green landscape you cycle northeast along the coast, passing small bays and large beaches.A particularly beautiful place is Staithes, which is surrounded by picturesque cliffs right on the sea. Definitely worth a break, before going over another hill to the next bay, which enchants with a beautiful beach. About Saltburn by the Sea it goes on the last kilometers flat along the beach in the stage destination Redcar.
The North Sea Coast Cycle Route today takes you 95 miles from Redcar to South Shields. On this stage you will cycle through many cities and their foothills as the area is more densely populated. Beautiful landscape and a lot of nature but still waiting for you.It starts relatively flat over Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees into nature. The rural area outside these cities enchants you with idyllic forests, green meadows and pastures, picturesque lakes and vast fields. As the bike path passes through this beautiful landscape, it continues to rise gently until it brings you down to the coastal town of Seaham in a rapid descent. From there it goes over Sunderland on the coast and beautiful beaches along the stage destination South Shields.
A flat, 58-kilometer stage awaits you today, taking you from South Shields to Amble. The route runs almost exclusively along the North Sea coast and offers you many opportunities to enjoy the beach on the way or to rest in beautiful coastal towns.Right at the beginning you cross the River Tyne, which you follow to its mouth in the North Sea. There you can visit Tynemouth Castle, which stands high on a cliff overlooking the estuary. From there you cycle directly along the coast to the north. On the way to the finish, you will pass many beautiful, long sandy beaches, drive through pretty coastal villages and towns, where you can rest superbly and stop off in cozy pubs or restaurants. Before you reach Amble, a short section leads you today through the green hinterland, where you can enjoy the beautiful meadow and pasture landscape, before you reach the shore of the North Sea and finally set course for the stage destination Amble.
Today, the last stage of the North Sea Coast Cycle Route in England is on. It is 86 kilometers long and will take you from Amble to Berwick-upon-Tweed, just a stone's throw from the border with Scotland.Shortly after leaving Amble, you will pass Warkworth Castle, which stands on a small hill. When visiting the castle, you have a wonderful view of the North Sea from up there. Continue on the coast to the north. You will always come across beautiful sandy beaches, small bays and charming coastal villages. On the off-shore sections, you can enjoy a few climbs that will take you through the luscious green meadows and pastures of northern England. On the final stretch to Berwick-upon-Tweed you will have a last great view of the North Sea, which you can enjoy from your bike.Berwick-upon-Tweed is the destination of the bike tour of England. In the pretty coastal town, you can end your journey comfortably and review the experiences of the tour again. From Berwick-upon-Tweed, you can either continue on the Scottish part of the North Sea Cycle Route or catch a train. If you want to take the plane, the airports Edinburgh or Newcastle offer. There are trains several times a day in both places.