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.
Suitable for all bikes - entirely on metalled roads - mostly on quiet minor roads. One steep hill to start with, then mainly level with a spectacular downhill ride just before the end.
This ride brings you into one of Cheviot's most delightful valleys. There are some optional extras and the distance quoted is just into the valley and back. Whilst there is a rough track section on this route it can be negotiated carefully on a road bike.
This is only really suitable for mountain bikes as it takes in rough tracks and four fords. The route can be started in Wooler if you prefer.
An excellent excursion over a variety of terrain and while the route could never be described as strenuous there are some tricky sections. A mountain bike is recommended.
Enjoy either a circular walk around Whitton Hill Farm or link up with the public footpath from Flodden Bridge with Milfield village. The link will provide an alternative from using county lanes, where you will be able to appreciate the excellent views into the Milfield Basin.
The walk takes you through both woodland and arable habitats where you will be able to appreciate the flora and fauna they support and some of the environmental enhancement work being carried out through Countryside Stewardship.
Linhope Spout is a 60ft waterfall which is a great spot for a family picnic. Red squirrels can be seen on the way up to the Spout, however if you are not lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these shy creatures look out on the forest floor for the Scots Pine cones which they have been feeding on.
The route follows part of the old Alnwick to Cornhill railway, climbs a wooded hillside, then goes steeply upwards to the top of Kilhan Hill for one of the most breathtaking views in Northumberland National Park.
A walk through time taking you from the Market Town of Wooler to the top of Humbleton Hill, through 2000 years of our past. Exhilarating panaramic views of The Milfield Plain and beyond.
Explore the site of the famous Anglo-Scottish battle which took place in 1513, 14,000 men perished in just a few hours. Interpretation panels around the trail describe how it all happend.
Four routes take you around the countryside near the village. Using old railway tracks, riverside trails, footpaths and bridleways.
This walk takes you through moorland sheep country surrounded by the sounds of the curlew, oyster catcher, skylark and meadow pipit.
You may see buzzard or kestrel or the recently-arrived red kite in the skies, and the heron in the river valley.
The Chillingham Estate is home to the unique herd of 60 Chillingham cattle which have roamed freely within the 134ha wooded park for hundreds of years. The path leads around the parkland giving walkers the opportunity to see the cattle from safe viewpoints. Also on the route is an area of Open Access land at Ros Castle, and Iron Age hillfort standing in a commanding position on the highest hill in the area. This path is, in places, steep, uneven and remote.