Coast and Castles 2022
A 4-day tour from Tynemouth to Edinburgh through a scenic, historic and all-around awesome UK landscape: Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.
16th Sep 2022 – 20th Sep 2022
Northeast England / Scotland
Newcastle Central Station
A rugged coastal adventure, cycling through majestic Northumberland Coast and the Scottish Borders.
Everyone wants to explore Northumberland. Even those of us who live here :) What better way to get familiar with one of the UK's most beautiful (and certainly most northern) region than on the carefully curated Brake the Cycle Coast and Castles tour?
Plus, September is just beautiful in the North East. Trust.
After an evening meet-and-greet on the beach (around a fire with plenty of grub from award-winning restaurant Riley’s Fish Shack), we set off bright and early on a 3-day epic adventure, passing 11 jaw-dropping, historical, coastal castles, the ancient capital of Northumbria, the beautiful causeway of Lindisfarne (with an optional tide-dependent dash across it) and much much more... before cutting inland along the River Tweed towards Edinburgh.
This is a lesser-known classic; the Coast and Castles. Perfect for those seeking the thrills and discovery of a ‘point to point’ tour (where we start in one location and make our way, over a few days, to another), but not as challenging as the hillier Coast to Coast, this is one of the most popular routes we ride.
Starting in Tynemouth (literally the mouth of the River Tyne) we pedal north, hugging the Northumberland coastline with the wind on our backs, reaching the Scottish Capital four days later.
- Celebratory welcome dinner at award-winning Riley’s Fish Shack on arrival. Meet your crew and new friends for the ride with some delicious dinner and a fire on the beach.
- We’ll freewheel past no fewer than eleven ancient coastal castles; Warwick, Dunstanburgh, Berwick, Bamburgh, Norham - to name just a few!
- Optional sea swims in sandy bays along the way
- Pilgrims coffee and cakes on Lindisfarne - Holy Island
- Celebratory Farewell dinner and drinks on arrival into Edinburgh.
It's all about the journey...
With multiple pit-stops in cosy cafes, sleepy fishing villages and local pubs, and with countless opportunities for outdoor swims and dips, we hug the coastline for 199 miles all the way to the Scottish capital. Expect long but easy days (if that makes sense!) made all the easier with good-night’s-sleeps in comfy guest houses and B&Bs along the route. Cycle at your own pace.
Download our Coast and Castles tour pack and find out more about the amazing routes we take, what to pack, how to get there, plus compare with our other trips and more!
Thank you for downloading the tour pack!
Meet your Guides!
Since joining her first Brake the Cycle trip, Shalyn has been hooked on adventuring by bike. Having now converted countless friends and family (and sometimes even strangers) to the joys of biking, Shalyn joins us to lead rides and share her infectious enthusiasm for exploring by bike, opportunistic yoga, sharing good food and camping under the stars. It's also quite possible that Shalyn holds the record for the most puncture-repairs in a calendar year - so we're glad to be in experienced hands.
James's first Brake the Cycle trip was back in 2015 when he cycled LEJOG. Since then he's crewed on many trips, across 5 different countries. James loves languages and can speak French, Spanish and Italian as well as his native English. When not cycling James works as a civil servant on UK government climate change policy.
These guys are the absolute best. Not just for the expertly planned routes, helpful bike advice, delicious food and incredible places we stayed in, but also for the amazing new group of friends I got to ride with. Memories to treasure.
I had so many doubts to my cycling abilities before embarking on an adventure with Brake the Cycle. I'm so, so glad I went for it - The crew and my fellow cyclists couldn't have been more supportive and I ended up having one of the most memorable 3 weeks of my life. I loved every aspect of the tour - the route, the food, the accommodation, the team, the ethos, and all the wonderful new friends I've made.
Brake the Cycle was an incredible experience, a real adventure that provided too many highlights to recount. Visiting the different projects along the way meant that every day there were things to talk about and consider, the trip couldn't have gone smoother from arrival to departure.
Where do we stay?
The first night we stay in single or double rooms (depending on your booking) in a local bed and breakfast. For the second and third nights, we’re in guest houses, and on our final night in Edinburgh, we’re staying in a cosy hostel in the city centre.
What kind of food will I be eating?
We know how important it is to keep fuelled with nourishing food. We will provide healthy, nutritious and delicious meals.
All meals prepared by the team will be vegetarian and we make extra sure that the places we take you to cater to all dietary choices and requirements. There are even vegetarian and vegan options at Riley's Fish Shack!
You'll need a little extra cash for any stops in cafes (or pubs) throughout the ride.
Do I need to train? Will I be fit enough?
We can’t emphasise enough the importance of training. Just to make the trip more enjoyable! Do a favour to your body and get it used to being on a bike. Build it up with regular, easy rides: it’s all about creating a rhythm and getting into the swing of things.
Having said that, this tour is certainly manage-able. The first day is the longest at just over 60miles, the second and third days are shorter. We’ll be in the saddle for five or six hours each day but the terrain is only slightly undulating and we’ll have lots of food and drinks stops along the way.
Will I hold up the group?
Here’s the thing. Do not worry about ‘holding’ anyone ‘up’. We cycle at our own pace. Speedies speed off, freewheelies freewheel. Each day we break up into groups of 5-7 to make us more manageable on the road. We encourage switching up groups throughout the trip so you connect with your pedalling peers. You’ll have a Garmin, the route and knowledgeable guides at your side every pedal of the way.
One lucky crew member freewheels at the back as ‘Sweeper’ (usually Joe) making sure no one is ever left behind. Seriously, no one is slower than Joe.
Do I need travel insurance?
How about getting there and back again?
You'll need to arrive in Newcastle by 18:00 latest on September 16th. We'll be at the train station to meet you with the van. We'll be finished up in Edinburgh on Tuesday so book your train sometime on Tuesday after lunch or the following day. We'd recommend booking your bike on the train as early as possible. LNER allows you to book bikes online.
What will the terrain be like?
The route is well ridden and it’s likely we’ll meet lots of other cyclists on the road and at our pitstops. We’ll be riding predominately on quiet roads and Sustrans routes and the surfaces are generally excellent.
The first day is very flat with a few lumps towards the end. The second day is slightly more undulating as we weave inland following the River Tweed. The final day includes our gradual climb up the Moorfoot Hills with stunning views and a fabulous freewheel into Edinburgh.
A road bike or hybrid is fine.
What’s the weather up to?
September is usually a beautiful month in the North East. The days are long, the wind is behind us and the sun is (usually) out. We’re optimists. That said, the weather is getting increasingly difficult to predict. Bring something warm for the evening and a waterproof for the ride. It’d be silly not to.
What cycling grade is this ride?
We’ve graded this ride 3 out of 5. Our grading system takes into consideration both daily distance, gradient and climbing.
Can I hire a bike from you?
Unfortunately, you need to bring your own bike. However, we can certainly point you in the right direction!
Can I hire a tent from you?
Unfortunately not during Covid times. We recommend you borrow one from a family member or friend, rent one or buy second hand?
If you fancy riding the Coast and Castles Brake the Cycle style but would rather bubble with your friends, or if you’re struggling to find a date that suits then get in touch with us. We also run private tours throughout the year and, depending on the dates you have in mind, we’d be glad to work with you on your own custom trip.