- Route: Newcastle to Edinburgh via Berwick and Melrose
- Distance: 200 miles
- National Cycle Network: Route 1
The Coast and Castles South is arguably one of the National Cycle Network's easiest, but no less epic, long distance routes. The route hugs the coastline from Newcastle to Berwick-upon-Tweed, then heads inland via Melrose and Dalkeith to Edinburgh. To remain on the coast follow National Route 76 via Dunbar after Berwick.
The Coast and Castles South passes a plethora of natural and historic sites, such as AONBs and nature reserves, the world famous Lindisfarne, and Bamburgh Castle located in the ancient capital of Northumbria. North of the Scotland-England border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, National Route 1 moves into the Tweed Valley where quiet lanes take you through beautiful border country before a gentle climb onto the Moorfoot Hills into Midlothian. From here witness a spectacular view of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth as you cruise into Scotland's capital city.
The route also forms part of the North Sea Cycle Route, the world's longest signed international cycle route, passing through 7 countries around the North Sea.
Planning your trip
The best way to tackle the route is south to north - from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Travelling in this direction usually means the wind is more favourable but the ride is great either way round. If you can't face the trip home by bike, there are fast and regular trains at both end points.
There are lots of companies who provide supported cycle rides if you don't want to carry all your equipment, we recommend Saddle Skedaddle.
The route can be ridden on most types of bike as long as they are in good condition - it is worth having a service before setting off. Please be aware that some sections of the route are remote and fairly exposed so make sure you check the weather forecast and take the right wet weather gear.
Things to see and do ThThings
With so much to see and do its impossible to list them all, here are just a few highlights:
- The dramatic Tynemouth Priory and Bamburgh Castle.
- Druridge Bay's miles of pristine dunes and sandy beaches.
- The rugged beauty of the Scottish Borders along with your first glimpse of Edinburgh from the Moorfoot Hills
Between Bylth, Ashington & Lynemouth you'll find the Wansbeck Estuary art trail, with artworks by Richard Harris and Simon Watkinson, a promenade of interlocking Rowan and Birch trees by Bod Budd and a Simplicity Bench by designer Yumiko Aoyagi. More info...
The Coast and Castles South cycle route links the Forth and Tyne estuaries, joining Newcastle and Edinburgh via miles of unspoiled coastline and some of Britain's best built- and natural- heritage.