If you’re looking to see more of the North East of England, there’s no better way to explore the region than by foot or cycle. These walking and cycling routes on the National Cycle Network take in buzzing urban hubs, historic landscapes and coastal views.
St Mary's Lighthouse at Whitley Bay on National Route 1.
This fantastic route takes you past castles, tourist attractions and quaint fishing villages. The route ends at Druridge Bay, a stunning seven-mile stretch of sand running from Amble to Cresswell, which forms part of the Druridge Bay Country Park.
This route links the two lighthouses of Souter and St Mary's and features a ferry crossing at the River Tyne Estuary on the Shields Ferry.
The Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, near the Baltic to Bill Quay route.
The Cleveland coast is stunning and this short, six-mile route travels between the seaside resorts of Redcar and Saltburn. With sweeping beaches, a miniature railway and the Pier and Cliff Lift, Saltburn is a great place to spend an afternoon.
This urban route takes you along the banks of the River Tyne. Linking the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead to Bill Quay Community Farm, which hosts a range of animals as well as exhibits, it’s a great route for a day out.
There’s plenty to see on this route from Sunderland out to the pretty village of Beamish. Following the River Wear, you pass the Stadium of Light and Washington Wetlands Centre. Towards the end of the journey, you'll also come across the Beamish Museum, which is dedicated to life in the North East in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Discover the Tees Transporter Bridge, the longest of its kind in the world, on the Tees Barrage route.
This route in Stockton-on-Tees takes you on a tour of the Tees River. It’s a circular route, beginning and ending at the Tees Barrage.
Along the way, you’ll find the Transporter Bridge, connecting Middlesbrough with Port Clarence, as well as RSPB’s Saltholme Nature Reserve. There’s even the life-size, steel sculptures of Teesaurus Park to take in while you’re travelling the route.
This 10.5 mile trip is best started from Newton Cap Viaduct, a magnificent 11-arch bridge crossing the River Wear. Looking back, you’ll spot Auckland Castle, with Brancepeth Castle also to be explored later on.
Follow the completely traffic-free stretch of National Route 715 before it branches off to Route 70 through Willington. The route takes you through woodland, crop fields and hay meadows. Your end point is the city of Durham, unquestionably one of the most beautiful cities in the UK.