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Crumbling turrets and beautiful landscapes – Hadrian's Cycleway

warrick1 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Crumbling turrets and beautiful landscapes – Hadrian's Cycleway

Bike Touring Collection by Amy

3-6

days

3-6 h

/ day

203 mi

7,550 ft

7,500 ft

A northern frontier that protected the world’s most infamous empire for three centuries, Hadrian’s Wall is a fascinating relic of Roman history across the north of England. This Collection guides you along Hadrian’s Cycleway in seven stages where you can ride in the footsteps of history.

Starting from the Glannaventa Roman Bath House on the outskirts of Ravenglass in Cumbria, Hadrian’s Cycleway leads 170 miles (274 km) through fascinating history to Tyneside, on the North Sea.

Along the way, you will not only cycle through Britain’s past, but also through spectacular nature: gushing rivers, undulating hills, luscious grazing pastures, and shimmering lakes await you as you ride.

With 6,857 feet (2,090 m) of elevation gain over seven stages, Hadrian’s Cycleway is a popular alternative to other hillier coast-to-coast bike routes. It may be flatter, but it is still equally beautiful, passing wonderful coastlines, the Lake District and Northumberland National Parks, and the Pennine Hills.

Thanks to its gentle climbs and quiet country lanes, traffic-free cycle lanes, and gravel paths, Hadrian’s Cycleway is suitable for all levels of riders – whether you are looking for a fun family cycle ride or some serious leg training. Most bikes are suitable for this route, but you may want to choose a chunkier alternative to your slick racing tyres.

Each stage starts and ends in a town or city with plenty of accommodation and eating choices to make your adventure even more pleasant. Many of the towns also have a train station so you can conveniently complete the stages one at a time.

To reach the start of the Hadrian’s Cycleway in Ravenglass, you can travel by train via Carlisle. With direct trains from Glasgow, Lancaster, London Euston, and Edinburgh, Carlisle is well connected with the rest of the UK.

All that is left is to set off on your adventure; the towering turrets, ancient bathhouses, and stone watchtowers that once served thousands of Roman soldiers have since crumbled along with the Roman empire, but their legacy remains.

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Hadrian's Cycleway

171 mi

5,475 ft

5,425 ft

Last updated: November 29, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Ravenglass to Whitehaven – Hadrian's Cycleway

    Intermediate
    02:56
    27.5 mi
    9.4 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you ride through centuries of history from Ravenglass to Whitehaven. Walk the crumbling walls of fortresses built in the 11th century and the same corridors as Kings seeking refuge from battles.

    

    Your journey begins at the Glannaventa Roman Bath House just outside of Ravenglass, a pretty town on

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    03:13
    32.6 mi
    10.1 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A fresh sea breeze, spectacular views over the moody Irish Sea, and picturesque coastal towns – with the sea never far away, stage two of Hadrian’s Cycleway leads you 30 beautiful miles (52 km) up the northwest coast of England.

    

    Setting off from Whitehaven, today you cycle mostly along flat quiet roads

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    03:36
    36.9 mi
    10.3 mph
    500 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage captivates with its ancient history and beautiful nature. You ride 34 miles (55 km) along the coast, passing wild nature parks and fascinating historical monuments along the way. Today, you join the wall after which this cycleway is named – the infamous Hadrian’s Wall.

    

    From Silloth, ride inland

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  • Difficult
    03:25
    32.9 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,450 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Hadrian’s Cycleway leads you from the former Roman stronghold city of Carlisle to Haltwhistle. You leave the flat coastal scenery behind and ride into the stunning North Pennines, deep into the historic heartland of Britain.

    

    Follow a flat cycle path along the River Eden, through emerald countryside and

    by Amy

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  • Difficult
    03:57
    37.8 mi
    9.6 mph
    2,550 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Imposing watchtowers, crumbling defensive walls, and ancient manuscripts – today you cycle in the footsteps in the Roman Empire. Stage 5 takes you 23 miles (37 km) through historic England from Haltwhistle to Hexham.

    

    Both fantastic history and stunning scenery await you here. You cycle along the edges

    by Amy

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  • Easy
    01:09
    12.3 mi
    10.7 mph
    325 ft
    450 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Covering 17 miles (28 km), stage 6 is the shortest section of your adventure along the Hadrian’s Cycleway, leaving plenty of time to explore the magnificent castles along the route. Today, you ride rom Hexham to Prudhoe, staying close to the River Tyne as it meanders towards the North Sea.

    

    Leaving Hexham

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    02:18
    23.5 mi
    10.3 mph
    550 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your final stage of adventure cycling Hadrian’s Cycleway takes you through Newcastle Upon Tyne to the waters of the North Sea. Enjoy 23 miles (37 km) of easy riding along flat cycle paths.

    

    From Prudhoe, your day begins with a downhill stretch to the River Tyne. Here, you can expect to see some of the

    by Amy

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    203 mi
  • Duration
    20:33 h
  • Elevation
    7,550 ft7,500 ft

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Crumbling turrets and beautiful landscapes – Hadrian's Cycleway

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