Cycle through 8,000 years of history within beautiful Glendale....
"The immense rolling land seems to go on for ever and ever," wrote a Northumberland natural historian half a century ago, and a hugely appealing feature of the cycle routes described here is the vast and ageless nature of the countryside they explore.
Here you will find the very roots of the earth, the ground-down remnants of volcanic convulsions which shaped the land 400 million years ago. You will witness 5000 years of human existence, from enigmatic stone-age rock art, through castles and bastles, to reminders of the destructive conflicts of the twentieth century.
The seven routes take you from heather moorland punctuated by soaring rocky tors to fertile agricultural plains and sweeping coastal views, through pretty villages and past isolated farmsteads whose sturdy walls seem to hunker down against the keen breezes from the Cheviot Hills. Travelling on two wheels is the ideal way to 'feel' this countryside rather than just see it, and the routes are designed to ensure a truly exhilarating and inspiring break.
The routes radiate out from the attractive market town of Wooler, heading eastwards through the Northumberland National Park to the twin villages of Yetholm straddling the England-Scotland border (Route 1) and along the remote College Valley (Route 2); northwards to the working watermill, Castle and miniature railway of Ford & Etal (Route 3); to the coast for the dramatic, atmospheric Holy Island (Route 4); southwards to Ingram, in the heart of the Cheviot Hills (Route 6) and to the romantic Chillingham Castle and park with its wild white cattle (Route 5); and - for a challenging mountain bike ride - steeply up and over the hills southwest of Wooler to reach the picturesque Harthope Valley (Route 7).
You may arrive by cycle or bring your own, or if cycling is just one of the activities you plan while on your break you could hire a bike from a local outlet. Either way, your adventure starts here. To download route maps please click on the following link Wooler Cycle Hub route map. This will open a low resolution pdf file. High quality, A2 sized, folded, printed versions of the map are on sale at Wooler Tourist Information Centre at £2.95 each.
Cycle hire is available at Haugh Head Garage (1 mile south of town). Please contact Michael Strangeways, telephone: 01668 281316. Ron's Taxi Service can transport cycles around the Glendale area. Please contact Ron Hood, telephone: 01668 281281 or 07778 543907.