78 Miles Cycled
4765ft of Climbing
Today was the day i’d been waiting for and the main reason on chosen this specific route. Northumberland is my home county and the thought of cycling the whole coast was a challenge I had been looking forward to since leaving Lands End.
My Airbnb in Newbiggin by the Sea was comfortable and my host Michelle made me a bowl of porridge before I set off. I then packed up my bike and headed off to meet NCN Rote 1 again to start my journey North. I headed inland for a couple of miles and picked up my route near Woodhorn. I headed to Lynemouth, Cresswell then to Druridge Bay Country Park. Druridge Bay is one of the famous beaches that line the Northumberland Coast and the Northumberland stretch of NCN Route 1, also known as the Coast and Castles Route cycles right alongside the beach. There were a number of campervans and dog walkers enjoying the cloudy June morning. Once thing that saddens me is the fact that people feel the right to fly tip in such a wonderful place.
Cycling Coast and Castles Past Druridge Bay on NCN Route 1
From Druridge Bay the Coast and Castles route hugs the coastline up to the village of Amble another well know place. Warkworth and its famous castle was the next destination. The route follows the river Coquet for a couple of miles and as you approach the village Warkworth Castle is on the left, from there I cycled along the river to the bridge crossing the river Coquet. This was when I was met with the first hill of the day, a short steep incline out of Warkworth
NCN Route 1 follows the road at this point but cyclists remain on a segregated path which offers excellent views of the North Sea. As I approached Alnmouth the route heads off the road and down towards the banks of the river Aln and I came across the saltmarsh at Alnmouth Estuary.
I carried on cycling Route 1 and eventually the route heads inland so I missed the picturesque places such as Newton by the Sea and Beadnell. I eventually arrived in the busy village of Seahouses, famous for its fish and chips I dodged the many tourists and headed up along the coast road which was a slight deviation on my planned route. As you leave Seahouses and travel along the coast road you are met with the view of the spectacular Bamburgh Castle. Sat high up on the hillside this imposing castle is the backdrop of many photos.
After a short stop to admire the castle, I set off again heading for Belford, I crossed the East Coast Mainline and got the chance of seeing a train powering South which I have to say was a highlight. The climb in to Belford is steep and it took me by surprise after 45 miles of relative flat cycling. However, the brief climb was worth it as the views as I cycled North were spectacular. Holy Island could be seen in the distance and part of me wanted to taka cycle over the causeway but I had to push on.
Cycling the Awful NCN Route 1 in to Berwick
From here the NCN Route 1 takes a turn for the worst, after enjoying over 50 miles of good cycling the route then travels along trails that have had no investment. I was basically cycling across a grass field at points and it made it extremely hard going. Some earlier points have had millions of pounds worth or investment yet a lot of the stretch from Holy Island to Berwick upon Tweed are barely walk able never mind a cycle network.
As I approached Berwick the route took me along the clifftop which again was awful and I eventually arrived at the Tweed Bridge and I was almost in Scotland. However, this was when my day took a turn for the worst. My strategy of booking accommodation on the day had worked well and earlier in the day I had looked at the map and decided against staying in Berwick. The accommodation in Berwick was expensive and after a bit of research I decided on booking a guest house in Eyemouth.
Crossing the Scottish Border on My Lands End to John O’Groats Ride
My poor and quick research when booking my place to stay for the night and this ended up being the biggest mistake of the journey.
Eyemouth was not on my planned route but decided on staying here as I got a good deal. I had stupidly and quickly looked at Google Maps when deciding to book Eyemouth and the route from Berwick looked easy. What looked like a relatively short detour ended up being a disaster which cost me time, energy and my will to live.
Mistakenly Staying in Eyemouth on LEJOG Day 13
On closer inspection Google Maps was routing me up the busy A1, there was no way I was going to cycle this so I needed another route. From Berwick I cycled uphill for around 6 miles and it was not easy after a long hard day. The 6 miles uphill gave way to 5 miles downhill do all of the height I had gained had now been lost in the blink of an eye. To make things worse I then had to cross the A1.
Again, I stupidly looked at Google Maps and the route took me up a trunked road which ended up in woodland. I ended up carrying the bike a short distance through thick undergrowth and over a fence. I appeared through the thick vegetation on to the A1 at the Eyemouth junction. Appearing from a heddge with cuts and scratches on my legs and at this point I was extremely annoyed with myself. I then cycled downhill in to Eyemouth and found my place to stay, The Home Arms Guest House. The Guest House was fantastic but my decision to visit Eyemouth wasn’t. Eyemouth was quiet, I was unable to get food as I got out to late and had to rely on a meal deal from COOP.
This was my longest and hardest day yet and I went to bed that night with the thought of what goes down must come up. Tomorrow morning was going to be fun, I had to travel back up the hill out of Eyemouth!
On a positive note! I had made it to Scotland!