Northumberland Pennines Scottish border - A guided motorcycle tour
4 star country house hotel
This 7 day, 6 night tour involves 5 days riding and explores the coast and castles of Northumberland and rides through the Pennines and Scottish English Border areas.
Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in the Scottish/England border area
Day of arrival
There will always be things to see and do in the towns and cities we chose to start and end our tours and often the hotels will have leisure and spa facilities. This gives time to relax and recover from any travel or jetlag because guests arrive at various times with some arriving earlier than others, so, nothing can be formally planned.
If you are hiring a bike through us we shall arrange to either have it delivered to the hotel or take you to the collection point. There you can check over your machine and ensure all is to your satisfaction. You can take a brief ride to familiarise yourself with the machine.
Carberry to Beamish (135 miles) 3.5 hours riding
Departing our hotel at Carberry Tower we head south joining the A68 crossing the Lammermuir Hills towards Lauder where we take a break at Thirlestane Castle parts of which date to the 12th century though most of what you see today was created between 1590 and the 1840’s. You will be given a guided tour the castle followed by a light refreshment in the tea shop.
The route continues south to the Scottish/English border where we stop briefly for pictures before turning back slightly and making our way into the Northumberland National Park and the Kielder Reservoir where we shall stop for lunch.
We follow the River North Tyne as it flows south and as it nears the River Tyne we deviate east to Prudhoe Castle. Although now viewed as a medieval ruin it was occupied continuously for 900 years. We take a break here before continuing to our hotel at Beamish.
Northumberland to Lake District (190 miles) 6 hours riding
Departing Beamish we head west into the North Pennines Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which also holds UNESCO Global Geopark status for outstanding geology. We continue to the Lake District National park before heading back again.
This circuit visits the Derwent Reservoir and continues to the Weardale Railway an 18 mile stretch of heritage railway where some might wish to see the vintage trains. Our route continues to Allenheads where the North Pennines Observatory is located. Interest permitting, we could deviate course slightly to visit the Killhope Lead Mining Museum. We plan to take a morning refreshment break at Alston where there is yet another heritage railway. This one is the South Tynedale Railway a narrow gauge track.
We pass through Penrith on our way to Ullswater where some might want to climb up to see the Aira Force Waterfall though note it is steep and can be challenging in riding boots! We break for lunch at Bowness-on-Windermere where Beatrix Potter fans may like to visit The World Of Beatrix Potter Attraction though its really intended for children.
Leaving Lake Windermere we begin our return journey heading East past Kendaland Sedbergh passing through parts of the Yorkshire Dales before reaching Kirkby Stephen. We then re-enter the North Pennines making our way to Eggleston where we take another refreshment break at Eggleston Hall’s Coach House Café.
The route continues along the quiet back lanes of the Pennines as we make our way back to Beamish to end the day at Beamish Hall Hotel.
Beamish Durham Circuit (35-130 miles) circa 1.5 - 4 hours riding
We might have relatively little riding today and a lot of sightseeing because we begin by spending the morning at the open-air museum of Beamish that portrays life in the area through a range of dates. There is an 1820’s area with farm, cottage, church and coal mining waggons. A 1900’s town and pit village, a 1940’s farm and a 1950’s town together with lots of old trains and vehicles including vintage motorcycles. The location is within walking distance of the hotel for those who prefer not to ride.
We return to the hotel for lunch and then take about an hour to ride to Durham by heading east to Chester-le-Street then continue towards Sunderland passing Lambton Castle turning south to Houghton-le-Spring. In you want a longer ride then, time permitting we may extend the route to Seaham and take in part of the coast heading down to Seaton Carew before turning west to Witton Castle or perhaps to the Bowes Museum at Barnards Castle before heading north to visit Durham Cathedral and other Durham sights.
Depending on how long the group have spent in Durham we shall either take the back roads to Beamish or head west to the North Pennines and take a more circuitous route back to the hotel.
Northumbrian Coast, Northumberland National Park, Hadrians Wall (195 miles) about 6 hours riding
This route begins by heading north from Beamish to join the Northumbrian Coast at Lynemouth. It continues along the coastal route to Warkworth where the ruined castle and medieval bridge crossing the river Coquet make good photo opportunities. After a short break we continue north along the Northumberland Coast AONB passing Dunstanburgh Castle to reach Bamburgh Castle, the former home of industrialist William Armstrong who restored and remodelled the castle to house his art collection in the late 1890’s. Some may wish to visit the castle whilst others (tide permitting) may prefer to visit The Holy Island.
From here a short ride inland brings us to the villages of Ford and Etal where Etal castle is another interesting historic monument and Ford Caste offers adventure activities within the mediaeval castle grounds. Ford and Etal villages are well preserved models of past architecture.
From Etal we turn south heading to Cragside, another former home of William Armstrong. In the 1860’s Armstrong acquired the land at Cragside and instructed Richard Norman Shaw as architect to the house with many notable innovations of the time including a Hydro Electric Power plant. The grounds have the largest collection of trees with something around 7 million of them within its grounds.
Leaving Rothbury we had west into the Northumberland National Park. At Alwinton we check whether further progress is possible because part of the wilderness ahead is an army training facility where occasionally live rounds are fired. All going well we progress largely following the course of the River Coquet towards its source near the Scottish Border. We join the A68 just south of the border between Scotland and England.
Continuing along the A68 we reach Corbridge where we stop to see part of the remnants of Hadrian's Wall, once the northern outpost of the Roman Empire.
The final leg of this route continues south to return to Beamish hall Hotel.