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Coast & Castles
100 mi / 2-4 days
🇬🇧 1
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The Coast & Castles cycle route has become one of Britain’s most popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Coast? Check. Castles? Check. Little fishing villages? Check. Hills? Nope. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

The full route continues north to Edinburgh and Aberdeen, but this, the section from Newcastle to Berwick-on-Tweed, is the most popular. The Tyneside start is colourful and bracing, but the true enjoyment comes as you head onto the unspoilt coast and the famous little ports of Alnmouth, Craster and Seahouses. Time your arrival carefully, and you can cross the tidal causeway to Lindisfarne, the ancient monastic settlement.

And then there’s the castles: the glorious ruin of Dunstanburgh, the startlingly well preserved Warkworth, and the bulk of Bamburgh.

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Getting there


What sort of bike?

To get the best out of the Coast & Castles, you’ll want a hybrid or cross bike, or even a mountain bike. The most dramatic coastal sections are little more than grassy tracks, where you’ll appreciate the comfort of a more rugged bike. Still, if your chosen mount is a road bike, diversions are readily available and the route will be plenty enjoyable nonetheless.

How long does it take?

A first-timer could easily complete Newcastle to Berwick in three days (33 miles a day); more experienced riders will do it in two. If you have days to spare, there’s much to see along the way: lively Newcastle, quaint Alnwick, and historic Lindisfarne with its boat trips to the Farne Islands. You could easily spend a week ambling from one place to the next.

Is it suitable for a first-timer?

Definitely. You’ll feel a real sense of achievement having completed it, but you’ll never be desperately out of puff. The terrain is never too wild, the countryside never too remote.


What's it like further north?

The coastal route from Berwick to Edinburgh has some glorious sections but is a little unfinished as yet: several sections follow A roads, albeit moderately quiet ones. Consider the inland route of NCN 1 as an alternative; it’s a gorgeous ride through the finest Border towns. The route then continues up the coast to Aberdeen as ‘Coast & Castles North’.

Getting there

How do I get there?

Newcastle is easily reached by train on the East Coast Main Line, which continues up the coast to Berwick. Most trains hereabouts are run by LNER and CrossCountry; both companies are sticklers for bike reservations, and offer good deals if you book in advance. Bear in mind that Berwick is as far north as England gets, and factor the long train trip into your travel plans!

Ride reports & comments

Coast & Castles July 2016

A little background first, my wife and I are in our early fifties living in South East Northumberland. We both stopped smoking in May 2014 and subsequently put on quite…


Day1 36.4m 400m up Edinburgh to Dunbar

From Travelodge Learmonth, Edinburgh, EH4 1PW

To Dunmuir Hotel, 11 Newhouse Terr, Queens Road, Dunbar, EH42 1LG

400m up, 400m down



Coast and Castles Newcastle to Edinburgh (via Melrose)

This is a fantastic route, which three of us cycled in three days in September 2019. As the beginning and end are both major stations on LNER, it’s an ideal


Hartcliffe, Bristol cycle paths

A friend of mine who lives in Hartcliffe has been exploring cycle paths in the area with her small son. They both very much enjoy cycling and the freedom this…


Berwick to Gateshead

The idea to ride from Berwick back down the coast has been on my bucket list for some time now, having visited Berwick and many of the coastal towns along…


Ridden this route? Write a ride report and share your experience…

Fri 3 Sep 2021, 11:32

This route is scenic and beautiful. I did this on a road bike loaded with tent and touring panniers. 38/40mm tyres. Some small sections did need to be walked with this type of setup, not a problem though and there are usually road alternatives. Continuing to Edinburgh on the coastal route has some great wide open views. There were a few campsites along the way, most had a principle never to turn away a cyclist regardless if they were full up.