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Cycling the Bloody Borderland – Reivers and the Roman Wall

February 22, 2018

Northumberland is rich in cycle routes. As you cycle, you will see the landmarks of the history of this fiercely defensive border county – pele towers, Hadrian’s Wall, and the rugged fields where the Border Reivers fought their bloody battles. This is a superb region for cyclists, whether for a stop along one of these routes, or for days out, cycling England’s Last Wilderness.

 

Reivers Route

 

The Reivers Route in Northumberland takes you through the wild landscape and small stone villages that housed the Border Reiver battles for so many years. Marauding clans dominated English and Scottish sides of the Border for 350 years, up until the 17th century - cattle rustling, kidnapping, extorting, torching and slaughtering.

 

The Reivers Route opened in 1998, is 173 miles long, and crosses the beautiful, often isolated, Northumberland National Park. Views of the Cheviots surround you. Fortified buildings, sometimes intact, sometimes a rubble of stones, stud the area.

 

Bloodied Bellingham

 

Bellingham is a fascinating village, an ideal centre for exploring the historically rich countryside around. Many stories feature the characters who lived there.  Sir John Fenwick, Warden of the English Middle March, had to try to keep peace in Northumberland.  In an attempt to control the unruly, he occupied Bellingham Castle with his 80 men. To the Charltons, notorious Reivers who lived in the next valley, Fenwick represented the law and was a game target.  They gathered a posse, attacked the castle, and drove out Fenwick and his men.

 

Hareshaw Linn – Reivers and Rivers Ran by It

 Bellingham Castle is now reduced to a mound, but the village itself is a pretty one, boasting a hotel with pool, pubs and cafes. Hareshaw Linn Cottage is in the middle of the village, named for a waterfall a walk away. This is the perfect village to rest your saddle sore body and curl up in front of the woodburner with a beer or a glass of wine.

 

Hadrian’s Historic Cycleway

 

 

Hadrian’s Cycleway is a 174 mile National Cycle Network route running through the World Heritage Site and Solway Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  You will ride through some of England’s most dramatic, remote and wild countryside, taking in fells, fields and Roman forts. The route stretches the length of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site. Breathtaking countryside, fascinating roman forts and museums, quaint villages and attractive market towns, this cycle route has it all! Castles include Prudhoe, Aydon, Tynemouth and the Black Keep, Newcastle.

 

Carpenter's Loft and Country Pub

Imagine jumping (or limping!) off your bike, and walking straight up to converted Carpenter’s Loft – next door to a stone country pub! Soak in the gorgeous bath, then pop next door to savour excellent food and real ales in front of a roaring fire. Chesters Fort is on the doorstep if you want to explore.

 

Happy Cycling and just get in touch if you need more info about cycle routes.

 

 

 

 

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