100 kilometres! I have just cycled 100 kilometres! Without complaining… not much anyway 😆. I expected to struggle with it, but I was fine… until the last half hour when it chucked it down with rain anyway!
We set off today on the Consett and Sunderland Railway path through lovely scenery. We were very lucky with the weather and had glorious sunshine all morning.
We then joined the River Wear Trail which was quiet and pleasant. The route was a nice surprise because we’d been expecting an urban landscape but instead had some lovely views.
There were some great sculptures along the route, as well as interesting things to see, as well as nods to the area’s industrial heritage.
After passing the Stadium of Light and the marina in Sunderland, we arrived at the finish of the C2C, with a sculpture aligned with the lighthouse on the end of Roker Pier.
In order to head back across England on Hadrian’s Cycleway, we now had to head up the coast to South Shields, where we had a bite to eat and took the opportunity to use the public toilets. It’s difficult going to the loo behind a tree when wearing bib shirts!
We followed signs to the start of Hadrian’s Cycleway at the Roman fort of Arbeia, which once housed 600 troops who guarded the sea route to Hadrian’s Wall.
We had then planned to get the ferry across the Tyne but we just missed it. This proved to be fortunate because instead, we cycled to Jarrow to use the cyclist and pedestrian tunnel under the river instead, which was fascinating and good fun! The elevators up and down to the tunnel just fitted our two bikes, and the tunnel was beautifully tiled.
Back up on the far side of the Tyne, we followed the river for a long time. We didn’t stop often because we were still only half way to Hexham. Following Hadrian’s Cycleway , which was well signposted, we soon reached Newcastle and the Tyne bridges.
Newcastle was very busy and pedestrians enjoying the sunshine slowed us down, so we were glad to leave it behind. Clouds were gathering by now, but it was still very warm so we stopped in Tyne Riverside Country Park for an ice cream.
The pleasant cycle path continued for a long time, roughly following the Tyne, until we crossed Hagg Bank Bridge. Shortly after this, we stopped for another wee and shared a cake at the visitor centre nearby.
We still had about 15 miles to go to Hexham and decided we’d better get the final stretch done so we’d have time to relax before going out for dinner. I was tired by now and was using my motor so we could go a bit faster, unlike the first half of the day when I hadn’t used it at all.
We left the cycle path and joined the roads, which were generally quiet, although we did meet a lot of traffic travelling to the Northumberland County Show. There are no photos of the end of the ride because the sun went in and the rain started. It got heavier and heavier so we stopped to put our waterproofs on. With 6 miles to go, we just got our heads down and peddled as fast as we could.
We arrived at our hotel to a warm welcome, and we’ve had a delicious curry for dinner. Everything is on charge and drying out, and now it’s time for bed. Hopefully we’ll recharge our batteries, ready for another long, hard day.