komoot
  • Discover
  • Route planner
  • Features
Discover

Mountain biking in the remote borderlands of Northumberland

Kristen Jakobsen

Mountain biking in the remote borderlands of Northumberland

Mountain Biking Collection by Barney

7

Tours

17:01 h

115 mi

11,750 ft

Northumberland has some amazing, isolated wilderness riding. The border county boasts expansive moorland views, deserted forests, unpopulated trails and tracks. Northumberland is very far from the chattering crowds you can get further west, in the Lake District, or in some of the tourist honeypots of Scotland. Riding here is huge; epic. Lord of the Rings epic. Ancient history, stone circles, old trading routes. Massive skies. Long, hideously wonderful climbs and equally long, gloriously wonderful descents. And yet, there's hardly anyone here.

Well, let's not beat about the bush, Northumberland is a long, long way from most places. From a geographical point of view, it's as far north as Carlisle, or Dumfries, or even (at the very northernmost end) Peebles and Galashiels. It's not well served by motorways (the A1(M) stops at Newcastle Upon Tyne), and it has the lowest population density of anywhere in England. All that solitude? All those hills? It's a little shaving of mountain biking heaven.

We've put together a selection of trails from up and down the county, each of them has a different feel; some of them are easy bimbles (hello, Rothbury) and some of them, such as the trail that starts out at Wooler are somewhat less so. But they all have common features: huge, huge skies, rolling, tussocky hills, acres of history and amazing views. Mountain biking in Northumberland is a vastly enriching experience.

If you're heading up for a few days, places to aim for vary. If you're keen on the routes in the North Pennines or the southern half of the Northumberland National Park, Hexham or Haydon Bridge would be good places to consider. Further north Wooler or Rothbury would allow relatively easy access to the northern Tours here. The best way to get there is to get in your car and head north. There are a few train stations (Haydon Bridge for example) but the area as a whole is unfortunately very poorly served by trains.

Northumberland’s relative inaccessibility is part of the reason it’s such a special place to ride; it might take a while to get there, but it’s absolutely worth the trip.

On The Map

loading
loading

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Blanchland and Edmundbyers — Northumberland MTB

    Intermediate
    02:19
    17.8 mi
    7.7 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This is a fine, remote ride, with some truly excellent moor-top singletrack along some very, very old paths. The majority of the ride is across open moor, so either pick a sunny day or your finest waterproofs. And there's often quite a lot of wind, which can occasionally work in your favour. It's a remote

    by Barney

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:49
    21.0 mi
    5.5 mph
    2,725 ft
    2,725 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    If you look at a map of Northumberland, you'll no doubt notice that the border with Scotland is but inches away. They're pretty hilly inches, though, and so are stuffed with fun places to ride a bike. It's mostly open moor, so it's worth packing appropriately.

    

    From Alwinton the route heads north up Clennell

    by Barney

    View
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Intermediate
    02:46
    17.2 mi
    6.2 mph
    2,100 ft
    2,100 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This is something of a classic loop from Wooler. Sure, there's a fair amount of road work involved at the beginning, but it's all worth it for the delicious trails you'll find once the road has been dispatched.

    

    From Wooler, the road trundles southward towards Ilderton Moor, and then the off-road fun begins

    by Barney

    View
  • Intermediate
    02:35
    16.7 mi
    6.5 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,125 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This is quite a long ride, but it’s not a particularly technically challenging one. Having said that, there are plenty of hills to get your teeth into, and a few tasty singletrack morsels, as well as some of Northumberland’s finest scenery.

    

    From Ingram, the route follows the road to Hartside, before heading

    by Barney

    View
  • Intermediate
    02:15
    18.4 mi
    8.2 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    A reasonably straightforward – if long – Tour, this one, but what it lacks in full-on technical riding it makes up for in scenery.

    

    Hayden Bridge itself is very picturesque, nestled as it is at the very northernmost tip of the North Pennines – even poet Philip Larkin was very fond of the place (mind you

    by Barney

    View
  • Intermediate
    01:14
    9.06 mi
    7.4 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This is a fine, easy spin around the trails and trails north of Rothbury, with some magnificent scenery. There is a little climbing, but not a great deal, but it's a great way to give you a taste of the county and it's many charms.

    

    From Rothbury, there's a short tread along the river to Thrum Mill, before

    by Barney

    View
  • Intermediate
    02:05
    15.1 mi
    7.3 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is one of those rides which wends its way around an enormous forest, with lots to see on the way. You’ll pass loads of Bastles, which are essentially farmhouses fortified against the many skirmishes and raids that used to occur from across the Scottish border in centuries hence.

    

    It’s a pretty good

    by Barney

    View

Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    115 mi
  • Duration
    17:01 h
  • Elevation
    11,750 ft

You Might Also Like

Rough Stuff Of The North — Second City Divide

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

Train to trail — Exploring the UK's bike parks by rail

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

Alpine crossing for pleasure hikers – 7 stages from Lake Tegernsee to Sterzing

Hiking Collection by komoot

From the Pennine Hills to the tip of Scotland — Great North Trail

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

Discover

Mountain biking in the remote borderlands of Northumberland

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyPrivacy SettingsCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint