Our last trip in the North of England was a cycling week consisting on two not really standard Coast to Coast roads. From Saltburn till Bowness and then along the Hadrian’s Wall up to Newcastle and back to Saltburn. The idea was to follow the Hadrian’s Wall – an important roman landmark, a used to be border with Scotland. It’s a popular walking and cycling trail, and considering Xavier’s obsession with Hadrian, we couldn’t miss it. :)
Total distance: 390 km
Total ascending elevation: 3 800 m
Max. altitude: 610 m
Days on the road: 5
A relatively easy and pleasant ride with peaceful (but oh so monotonous) sceneries except for the second day during which we were crossing the Pennines. But nothing really impossible, however, what really spoiled the experience was the fierce rain that wouldn’t stop even for a second. Later, we found out that North-West is notorious to have 30% more rain than any other part of Britain (which already means hell lot of rain!)
No wild camping worked for us, partially because of the rain, so we finally had to content ourselves with the most welcoming Warm Showers hosts, a hotel in Carlisle and a pleasant camping site near Hadrian’s Wall.
To be honest, the best day was actually the hardest and the rainiest. At least it was interesting. Riding was disappointing as the road was not following the wall at all times, and the scenery… Well, after almost two years of seeing the similar one day after day, we couldn’t really be too impressed. Yes, ready to affront any critics.
What to see?
Fortunately, the Hadrian’s Wall is not only a ruin, but it also includes several forts where the Roman army used to base. All the forts can be visited, that is why it is crucial to invest into English Heritage membership. We did it a year ago, and it was the wisest decision to make, as a split entrance to each of the landmarks could cost a fortune in no time.
The full list with all the information can be found as usual on the official website. As for us, being not much fascinated by the Roman Empire (not all of us at least) we visited only some of the former Roman landmarks and nature beauty spots.
Birdoswald Roman Fort
Steel Rigg and Sycamore Gap
Chesters Roman Fort & Museum
Corbridge Roman Town