Hadrian's Cycleway

Route Details

  • From - to: Glannaventa Roman Bath House, Ravenglass to Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum at South Shields.
  • Distance: 174 miles
  • Terrain: A mixture of on road and traffic free
  • National Cycle Network: National Route 72
  • Current closures/diversions on this route

Route Description

The route stretches the length of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site in the North of England. Magnificent coastal views, breathtaking countryside, roman forts and museums, inspiring modern attractions, quaint villages and attractive market towns, all set in a World Heritage Site: this cycle route has it all!

You will ride through some of England's most dramatic and wild countryside where you can get away from it all and enjoy the freedom of cycling in this unspoilt area.

Useful information

  • Direction: Hadrian's Cycleway, signed as National Route 72, can be cycled in either direction, though it is normally cycled west to east.
  • Road Type: The route runs mainly on country lanes and quiet roads, interspersed with sections of traffic-free path, promenade and riverside path. As most of the route is either on minor roads or well surfaced off-road tracks most bikes are suitable. We would recommend all tyres apart from from full slick or racing bike tyres.
  • Inclines: The coastal sections at either end of the route are relatively flat, but there are a few steep, short hills in the central section. 
  • Time needed: Most people are able to complete the route in 3 days, but for those wanting to stop at the numerous attractions along the way it is likely to take 4-5 days. 

More route information and other hints and tips are also available online via the Hadrian's Cycleway website including Route Diversions.

Things to see and do

Heritage Sites:

  • Bath House, Glannaventa
  • Lanacost Priory
  • Arbeia Gatehouse, South Shields
  • Alauna (Maryport)
  • Roman Museum, Senhouse


  • Carlisle Castle
  • Thirlwell Castle - near Greenhead
  • Aydon Castle - near Corbridge
  • Prudhoe Castle near Ovingham
  • The Black Keep - Newcastle
  • Tynemouth Castle

Route diversions/closures

On Monday 30 May 2016 the Northumberland County Show will be held in a field next to the route at Bywell, Stocksfield NE43 7AB.

Organisers predict there will be heavy traffic along sections of the cycle route and surrounding roads as they are expecting 25,000 visitors. It will be particularly busy between Corbridge and Stocksfield. 

Cyclists are advised that roads to the east of Corbridge will be very busy with livestock exhibitors.

There will be a section of route next to the show where cyclists will be required to briefly dismount. 

This route contains a Sustrans Greener Greenway

A greenway is a corridor of undeveloped land, reserved for recreational use and environmental conservation.

Read more about our Greener Greenways
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A ride through some of England’s most dramatic and wild countryside, taking in magnificent coastal views, breathtaking countryside and Roman forts.

174 miles