The Coast and Castles South cycle route is a great introduction to long-distance cycling. It’s perfect for those looking for their first cycle touring adventure. The Coast and Castles South is arguably one of the National Cycle Network's easiest, but no less epic, long-distance routes.
Along the Coast and Castles South route, you’ll pass a plethora of natural and historic sites, including several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nature reserves, the world famous Lindisfarne, and Bamburgh Castle located in the ancient capital of Northumbria.
Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England, near Berwick-upon-Tweed. Although on 160 people live on the island permanently this peaceful spot receives over 650,000 visitors each year.
Lindisfarne is a tidal island, it’s reached by a paved causeway which is covered by the North Sea twice in every 24 hour period. This gives the island a wonderfully secluded and magical air.
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. The route hugs the coastline from Newcastle to Berwick-upon-Tweed, then heads inland via Melrose and Dalkeith to Edinburgh.
North of the Scotland-England border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, the route 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.
With its atmospheric medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town, enchanting Edinburgh is a special place to start or end 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 don’t fancy the trip home by bike, there are fast and regular trains at both endpoints.
The route also forms part of the North Sea Cycle Route, the world's longest signed international cycle route, passing through seven countries around the North Sea. The North Sea Cycle Route is also called EuroVelo 12.
EuroVelo is a network of fantastic long-distance cycle routes that connect the whole European continent. These cycling trails are a bicycle tourist’s dream: epic journeys which take in some of the best landscapes and places of cultural interest in Europe.
If you fancy extending your journey and tackling a longer route, Coast and Castles North continues on from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. This is another fantastic cycling adventure, it offers stunning views of the Scottish countryside.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.