Coast and Castles South.

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Jodee1kenobi, 23 Aug 2012.

  1. Jodee1kenobi

    Jodee1kenobi Well-Known Member

    Hi all you lovely CCers :biggrin:

    I am hoping to do the Coast and Castles from Tynemouth to Edinburgh next month. I was just wondering if any of you have done this route before and if so, could you recommend B&B/guest houses along the way? (I don't do camping :rolleyes: )

    Any other tips/pointers would be gratefully received thanks ^_^
  2. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    It's a nice enough route. I used one of the older Sustrans maps which only had the Innerleithin (sp) route on it and not a full coastal route. There wasn't anything particularly challenging apart from navigating through Blythe because the route markers were absent in the housing estate that had the route going through it. I can not comment on B&B because I camped.

    Have you looked on the website? It has a short list of accommodation for the towns that the route passes through.
  3. Barbelier

    Barbelier Senior Member

    I just got back last Saturday from doing this with my 11 year old son.
    It's a great route and we had a fantastic time (the only bad bit was getting through Blyth). We stayed in B&Bs and most were very good.

    Give me a day or so and I'll post more details and send you recommendations on the B&Bs. However, would definitely recommend the following for sightseeing:
    - Holy Island (make sure you watch the tide times for getting on/of the island)
    - Bamburgh Castle
    - Berwick on Tweed (walk round the historic town walls)
    - Edinburgh (would strongly recommend spending at least an extra day because there is so much to do and see in the city)

    Here is a short blog of our trip which might help for now:
    Igor73 likes this.
  4. OP

    Jodee1kenobi Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies guys!:biggrin:
    Vernon: Thanks for letting me know there is a website for the route. I will certainly be having a look.
    Barbelier: Glad to hear you had a great time, I will also be doing it with my 12 year old daughter. The photos look fab by the way. I had thought it would be a good idea to spend extra time in Edinburgh as we have been there before and didn't have time to do half of what we wanted to!
    And thank you for any info you can sort, I really appreciate it.

    Just out of interest what bike has your son got in the pictures? My daughter is outgrowing her 24" peugeot 10speed racer and is eyeing up new road bikes (well christmas is coming :rolleyes:)

    Thanks again both
  5. carolonabike

    carolonabike Senior Member

    My sister and I did this last month, and even though it rained almost continually we had a great time. It's a lovely route and don't worry about the Moorfoot Hills on the last day. It's a failry gentle climb with a lovely descent down the other side into Edinburgh.
    We had no problem in Blyth, I was surprised at how straightforward it was.
    We pushed the boat out a bit (we like our home comforts) so I'm not sure our accomodation would be what you're after, it averaged about 60 - 80 per night. Let me know if you're interested.
  6. Barbelier

    Barbelier Senior Member

    My son has this Dawes Espoir 3000 26" :
    Its pretty good because its light and has sufficient gears. However, I fitted Marthon tyres to it for the trip. Some short parts of the route are quite rough and I was glad I did. The route from Holy Island to Berwick at one point was across a field and the last part through the Tweedale valley route to Innerleithen was along some very rough stoney tracks. This wasn't for very long though and to be safe we pushed the bikes on the worst bits which were very short. The vast majority of the route is on tarmac or very good cycle tracks. Mine is a Dawes Galaxy Ultra.

    We also paid £60-80 per night for a twin room including breakfast, except Edinburgh where we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express during the Festival when the prices jumped up to £150 per night. A lot of the B&Bs only take cash or cheque (no credit cards) and some you have to pay all or part in advance by cheque.
    B&Bs we stayed at were:

    York House Hotel - Whitely Bay - Large room, good breakfast - 0191 252 8313
    Togston Hall Farmhouse - nr Amble - Very friendly & helpful, quite location - 01665 712699/07894 035 738
    The FarmhouseGuest House - Belford - Very friendly, very comfortable - 01668 213083
    Alannah House - Berwick - Very friendly, great breakfast. Noisy seagulls! - 01289-307252
    The Old Priory - Kelso - Friendly, good breakfast, rooms at the front noisy due to cars on the cobbled street, bikes kept outsise at night - 01573-223030
    Glede Knowe Guest House - Innerleithen Very good, great breakfast - 01896 831295
    Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh - Busy typical Holiday Inn, room very hot, bikes stored in locked store room 0871 423 4876

    Blyth was okay to navigate (although some of the blue route 1 signs are confusing and in places wrong) because I planned the route and used a GPS app on the iPhone. However, its an urban area away from the coast and compared to virtually all the rest of the C&C is not very enjoyable.

    As carolonabike says the Moorfoot Hills on the last day are not too difficult. However, with a youngster it is a bit different and my son did get a bit fed up with the constant climb and I just had to make sure we stopped a bit more often. However, he loved the run down the other side!

    Take care in the cente of Edinburgh. Although there are cycles lanes on nearly all the streets, it was very busy and there were tourists walking along the cycle lanes. September should be quieter though.
    In Edinburgh I'd highly recommend taking your daughter to the Obscura (my son loved it):

    If you're going to be using a GPS and want me to send the gpx files for the route just let me know. I'll just need a couple of days to tidy them up for the parts where I made an error or took the wrong turn!
  7. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    The route through Blyth has changed in the past year - there should be less confusion now. When you reach the beach car-park - large fish & chip shop & cafe - don't head inland - that's the old route. Keep heading along the coast. I think it's pretty well signed from there. the new route takes you up the riverside which is quite pretty, but you do still need to negotiate some urban bits :sad:
  8. OP

    Jodee1kenobi Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for all that! I shall start looking and booking :biggrin: And yes please if you could send me the gpx files that would be fantastic. I will be using the GPS, with map as well. Thanks again.

    The Dawes Espoir sounds just the job for my daughter.
  9. top-tube

    top-tube Über Member

    Leith, Edinburgh
    I'm doing this with a pal next month (just Newcastle to Berwick, then direct route back to home in Edinburgh). I've booked in at Berwick YHA (|11/bed in dormitory for members, £14 for non-members). Tried to get in at Alnwick YHA but booked up on the night I wanted it, so my alternative is a B&B (The Cottage Inn) in Craster - £85 for twin room. You can't beat the YHA for inexpensive accommodation!
  10. carolonabike

    carolonabike Senior Member

    Ah, yes the field, or "the mixed use track" as it's called on the map. Being on road bikes and 23mm tyres we both fell off, into cow pats, of which there were a lot. Probably the least enjoyable and most annoying section, fortunately it's only about a mile long. Next time I'll find a detour on the roads.
  11. carolonabike

    carolonabike Senior Member

    We paid about the same amount as Barbelier apart from Burt's Hotel in Melrose which was more expensive, but the food was outstanding!
    The other places we stayed were The Beadnell Towers Hotel, nice warm rooms (it was very wet that weekend) and good food.
    West Longridge Manor - fabulous luxury B&B but probably not very child friendly (breakfast only)
  12. theloafer

    theloafer Guru

    newton aycliffe
    this bit :laugh: berwick044.jpg
  13. Barbelier

    Barbelier Senior Member

    Does this mean the new Sustran map is not up to date then? I used the map to plan the GPS route and it takes you inland.
  14. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    I haven't seen the latest map, but unless they've reprinted recently it'll be wrong.

    It's my local area so I'm happy to help you with your route if there's anything I can do. Just give me a shout...
  15. Barbelier

    Barbelier Senior Member

    Really sorry I haven't sent the GPX files for my route. Been very busy since we got back.
    If they are still of use to you and it's not too late send me a message with your email address and I'll send them straightaway.
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