The Hadrian's Cycleway was only created recently, but has quickly established itself as one of the best long distance cycle routes in the UK. Starting at the Roman Fort of Arbeia in South Shields in the east, the route runs the whole length of the Wall before ending over 174 miles away in Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast. Hadrian's Cycleway takes riders past Roman sites, breathtaking countryside, magnificent coastline, quaint villages and inspiring modern art. In short, it has everything! Get away from it all and enjoy the freedom of cycling through some of England's most dramatic and wild countryside.
Hadrian's Cycleway is signposted as National Route 72 (NCN 72), and can be cycled in either direction, although it is most commonly cycled from west to east.
It runs mainly on country lanes and quiet roads, interspersed with sections of traffic-free path, promenade and riverside path.
The coastal sections at either end of the route are relatively flat, but there are a few steep, short hills in the central section.
Should you plan to visit all of the Roman sites along the way, please allow 4-6 days for the journey.
Make sure that you are physically prepared by doing some training rides prior to attempting to ride Hadrian's Cycleway. You don't have to be Superman to complete it, but some hill climb training is advisable.
Carry enough fluids, especially if it is a hot day.
It is essential that you carry spares. For a full list of the recommended spares, please see below.
Give your bike a service and try it out before the ride. Below is a very basic list of checks you should carry out on your bike before you start and don't do them the night before you set off. If you are in any doubt as to your competence regarding cycle maintenance then take your bike into the local bike shop to get it serviced.
Make sure that the blocks are not rubbing on the tyre when you apply your brakes, also check that the blocks hit the rim squarely and do not slide under the rim. Check that the blocks are not overly worn and that they connect with the rim cleanly.
Check that neither the gear or brake cables are frayed. If they are replace them.
The tyres should be inflated correctly to manufacturers recommendations and check the amount of tread left, if in doubt replace them.
Apply lubrication to front and rear mechs, brake holder pivots, all entry and exit points on cable outers, chain, brake lever pivot points and reapply lubrication at the end of each days riding.Clean and lubricate your chain before the ride - you will be amazed at the difference in pedalling efficiency this makes.
Check out the spares list on the right hand side of this page for a basic list of kit to take with you.