Hadrians wall cycle...off road?

chrisb92

New Member
Hi All,
Just wondering fi anyone has done Hadrians wall before and if it can be done with the majority off road? Looking at the bit in the countryside between Carlisle and Newcastle. https://my.viewranger.com/route/details/OTgzNjI= this route shows it uses footpaths but I cant tell if they are bike friendly in terms of terrain and stiles? I have seen the C2C route 72 (?) but this is mostly on road so would miss part of the wall route.
Any advice would be great, cheers.
 
Hi Chris, this route has been discussed before. If you search for "Hadrian" in "this forum" it will throw up a lot of links.
Good luck!
 
If you are determined to plan your own route, OS maps show clearly which bits are legally cycleable - ie bridleways, byways and the like. You should also check on the definitive maps (available online at county council websites) for the most recent changes and issues (diversions, modification orders, extinguishments etc). Here's the site for Northumberland's definitive maps to get you started: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/About/Maps/Public-rights-of-way.aspx

The definitive maps and their attachments/comments may (or may not!) also give some indication of the condition of the surface especially if there are many reports from users complaining about impassibility, but current local knowledge is the only reasonably-certain way to find out about that, as anything can affect it, from permitted agricultural operations to weather conditions, the season of the year and landowners being bloody-minded or worse.

It is worth mentioning that even if cycling on a public footpath (footpath as opposed to footway) is, in the strictest interpretation of the law, still considered to be illegal, there is good evidence, although no direct case law, to support the view that pushing a cycle on a footpath is not illegal, whatever members of the RA might say to you if you meet them out and about ...
 

Lookrider

Well-Known Member
Hello chris
I play out on these areas regular
You will find a lot on the hadrians search page
It is slightly misleading as most people associate hadrian with the wall and this route does not go alongside the well known area of the wall from birdoswald to houseteads
It does go alongside from banks to birdoswald...there was no wall as such west of these areas
Regarding the main rd known locally as the Roman or military rd it is a long straight rd so cars can see you from a distance and the rds up in Northumberland are very very deserted in comparison to perhaps places down south
The official hadrians route takes you off the Military rd at the wall town museum and has you heading into halt whistle on even more deserted rds toward the fort at vindalonda
You dont really come off rd until prudhoe then it's around 20 miles all off rd to the end at tynemouth
If your on a mtb bike there us a few legal trax from walltown Lawton blakelaw military rd dour crags Hollins crags vindalonda
This is not in view if the wall but just gets the off rd riding miles up
If you want to do the wall I would suggest staying overnight in haltwhiste or hexham area then getting the wall bus AD122 this bus just goes round and round the wall at its drop off points...you can then walk the full length of the wall in all its glory...it really is a remarkable place unfortunately quickly bypassed on a bike

The official route ends up on north side of the tyne at tynemouth
I can never understand this as theres is a very well excavated roman fort called Arbea at south shields which was the base for the soldiers and workers for the wall

Good luck..its a great route and is very qiet
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Hello chris
I play out on these areas regular
You will find a lot on the hadrians search page
It is slightly misleading as most people associate hadrian with the wall and this route does not go alongside the well known area of the wall from birdoswald to houseteads
It does go alongside from banks to birdoswald...there was no wall as such west of these areas
Regarding the main rd known locally as the Roman or military rd it is a long straight rd so cars can see you from a distance and the rds up in Northumberland are very very deserted in comparison to perhaps places down south
The official hadrians route takes you off the Military rd at the wall town museum and has you heading into halt whistle on even more deserted rds toward the fort at vindalonda
You dont really come off rd until prudhoe then it's around 20 miles all off rd to the end at tynemouth
If your on a mtb bike there us a few legal trax from walltown Lawton blakelaw military rd dour crags Hollins crags vindalonda
This is not in view if the wall but just gets the off rd riding miles up
If you want to do the wall I would suggest staying overnight in haltwhiste or hexham area then getting the wall bus AD122 this bus just goes round and round the wall at its drop off points...you can then walk the full length of the wall in all its glory...it really is a remarkable place unfortunately quickly bypassed on a bike

The official route ends up on north side of the tyne at tynemouth
I can never understand this as theres is a very well excavated roman fort called Arbea at south shields which was the base for the soldiers and workers for the wall

Good luck..its a great route and is very qiet
I think the OP may be confused because his linked route is the walking/hiking one.

I've never done it, but presumably you cannot cycle on it which is why the Sustrans cycle route uses minor roads.

I've done the Sustrans route as far as Hexham/Corbridge, and it's very agreeable cycling, but you don't get to see a lot of the wall.

My suggestion would be to make a detour to one of the forts and explore a little on foot.

For what it's worth, some 'official' routes do finish at Arbea.

As you say, it's worth a look and you get to have a go on the Shields passenger/cycle ferry.
 

Lookrider

Well-Known Member
You can also cycle under the tyne now as the pedestrain/cycle tunnel is now open....depending on your depart date tbe ski gondola may be in operation to transport the bikes and riders up and down the "stairs"

Although the route diverts away from the wall it does pick out each roman fort/settlement at ravensglass walltown vindalonda Chester's corbridge segedumun ( arbea ifyou divert under the tyne )
 
OP
C

chrisb92

New Member
Thanks all for the replies. @Pale Rider Ah I must have misread that link as a cycle route. Thanks. @Lookrider That info is smashing. I was a bit put out by the sustrans route tbh, it rarely goes along the wall route. I'll check out your suggestions.
Slighyl unrelated @Lookrider, but we are maybe looking at extending part of it and going on somemore exciting (possibly?) trails. I've seen this route https://www.cyclinguk.org/route/great-north-trail-part-3-north-pennines-and-kielder-forest and thinking of joining it at Haltwhistle and taking it up to Kielder. Do you know if this is a good path to take?
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
I think it was Vindolanda I visited in the car a few years ago.

Very impressive, so there's no need to walk far to get some good wall action.

The Tyne Cycle/Pedestrian Tunnel is worth a mention, although if I recall when we did it the ferry was handier for Arbea.

If going both ways, I'd recommend the ferry one way and the tunnel the other to get the experience of both.

I've been looking forward for ages to giving the much delayed funicular lift at the tunnel a try.
 

Lookrider

Well-Known Member
Thanks all for the replies. @Pale Rider Ah I must have misread that link as a cycle route. Thanks. @Lookrider That info is smashing. I was a bit put out by the sustrans route tbh, it rarely goes along the wall route. I'll check out your suggestions.
Slighyl unrelated @Lookrider, but we are maybe looking at extending part of it and going on somemore exciting (possibly?) trails. I've seen this route https://www.cyclinguk.org/route/great-north-trail-part-3-north-pennines-and-kielder-forest and thinking of joining it at Haltwhistle and taking it up to Kielder. Do you know if this is a good path to take?
I have ridden several times and in different parts of WARK forest
Which is slightly north of halty
The path out of halty north along the river is nice and you pass the remains of an old water mill I think from the industrial times ...you need to stock up on supplies and water as once you leave halty you are in barren land with no supplies available until kielder village which has one pub and no shops as such ( there is life at stonehaugh but you turn north west before there)
Just after you cross the miltary rd theres a decent qwuary at cawfiekds and views of the roman wall both east and west ..you could walk ( no riding ) east along the wall to sycamore gap where the tree known as robin hood is .
You will know the tree as it will be mobbed with tourists
The rd north is very qiet with a few bumps here n thete fir maybe 1 mile then you hit wark forest and are on mtb gravel/cinder paths .for Miles .I only know the trax until you hit wygate bridge
You turn off north west thete towards kielder ...there is a mountain bothie shepherd hut just on the trax there whick will be hopefully open by july
After that until kielder I dont know the trax
I was aware of this route before the pandemic and had it on a to do list
Staying in a kielder shepherd hut then riding home
You have to be aware that there is no reliable transport into kielder
Haltwhistke will be the nearest train station kielder really is barren and other than tbe village castle and lake that is the only place you are likely to see anybody
Theres a shepherd hut north of falstone that was lost in the forest for many years ...it was only discovered whilst those trees were harvested
Theres a fair bit activity around the lake ..there the observatory ..osprey watch and details about the village that lays at the bottom of the resoirvour after they purposely flooded it ...all very Interesting
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
@Lookrider is wise to stress the remoteness of parts of Kielder forest.

It's not for the inexperienced, and going off-piste is probably best not tackled alone, at least for the first time.

There's a reason there's an observatory there - it has the best night sky in the country thanks to an almost complete absence of street lights and urban flare for miles around.

The number of stars visible to the naked eye on a clear night is astonishing to anyone used to developed Britain.

There are some marked MTB trails near the village of Kielder, and the 26 mile circuit of the reservoir is relatively easy cycling - Northumbrian Water has plenty of money to keep the path well maintained.

One of the best aspects of it is there are very few gates to impede your progress.

Watch out for some sharp, gravelly bends, and there are some short, but very sharp hills.

Several refreshment stops and many attractions on the way round, although the 'far' (eastern) side is all but dry, so make sure you have at least one full bidon for that bit.

Running water is available in Kielder village, assuming you go clockwise.

@Pale Rider Ah I must have misread that link as a cycle route.
It's a good idea to use the look up feature on a cycle route site to see how other, often very experienced, cyclists have tackled the journey you intend to undertake.

I like Ridewithgps, but there are others.

Plenty of routes on there for Hadrian's Cycleway starting in Carlisle.

The first result in this link looks spot on for your purpose.

https://ridewithgps.com/find#search/0/search[offset]=0&search[start_distance]=50&search[start_location]=&search[keywords]=hadrians+cycleway&search[length_min]=0&search[length_max]=500&search[elevation_min]=0&search[elevation_max]=10000&search[sort_by]=
 
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