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First touring trip

tarpaullynntarpaullynn Posts: 146
edited September 2007 in Tour & expedition
My wife and I are planning on doing our first touring trip next year, probably 7 - 10 days.

We live near Newcastle in Northeast England and obviously have Scottish Borders, Yorkshire and Cumbria not to far away.

Off the top of my head an option would be to cycle Hadrians Wall then drop down into the Lakes, obviously this needs more research and planning but can you suggest any other options for a first time tour?

Travel to or from a start or finishing point aren't a problem but ideally we would like to travel to/from home.
Tarpaullynn

Posts

  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    The Lakes may well be more spectacular scenery wise than the Scottish Borders, but IMO the Borders and Northumberland has some of the best touring in the UK. What makes it so great compared to e.g. the Lakes is the lovely quiet country lanes. Heading up past Kielder water is one of my favourite routes into the Borders (I live in Gateshead). Once over the border you could head up through Hawick on your way to Ettrick and Yarrow valleys almost entirely on country lanes with little or very often no traffic at all. Ettrick and Yarrow vallleys are grand with nice passes to get from one valley to the other. As I said, not spectacular, but great cycling all the same. Dumfires and Galloway also has some great cycling and like the Borders doesn't suffer from tourist overload like the Lakes.

    I've cycled much of Hadrians Wall cycleway and don't rate it at all. Quite boring and being stuck on cycle paths you don't really get to see much. Much more fun being out on proper roads when there's virtually no traffic on them.
    More problems but still living....
  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463
    You are in the perfect place to do the Hadrian's Wall to the Lakes and then come back via the C2C.
    Would be a good first tour and taking the 7 or 10 days allows some rest days in the Lakes

    All signposted and plenty of places on the web for researching B&B's etc.

    Tailwinds

    george
  • I'd look at the sustrans routes available and then modify them to fit your interests and abilities. Not everyone likes following a route but it does simplify things and is a start in picking out interesting back roads. Reivers, Hadrians Wall, C2C, Coasts and Castles and Pennine cycle routes would all be accessible from Newcastle and could patched together. All of these are good although care is needed matching bike type to route and when negotiating towns. I liked the central section of Hadrians wall and spent a lot of time off route in the various forts.

    I've just had an excellent 3 days in Galloway and Glentrool (if you go I really recommned the Break Pad B and B in Castle Douglas -excellent quality and run by cyclists!).
  • KeithGKeithG Posts: 1,010
    3 tips I would give:
    1. is to not do much mileage initially on your 1st tour. I can't really suggest an amount it depends on what is a "good ride" for you. If you can do 40 or 50 miles in a day and not feel exhausted then do that or less or more depending on your experience and fitness. It's easy to read someone else's experience and try and match their mileage.
    2. pack up your bike for a trial run with all the kit you're going to take before you start your trip
    3. make a note of bike shops nearby your route for any repairs if you're a newbie tourist.
    oh and 4. make it fun and adjust your route according to your experience, the weather and fatigue. Don't bust a gut to make a planned route work. Do stop plenty of times in cafes or towns or viewpoints and don't fall into the gritted teeth school of cycling, I invariably do to my cost and always regret it afterwards.

    You have some great scenery near you, why not use it? Good tips from the previous posters but I'd contest the view that the Lakes are "better" than the best in Scotland, no way!
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    KeithG wrote:
    .....but I'd contest the view that the Lakes are "better" than the best in Scotland, no way!

    Not sure if its my comment you're referring to ro not, but I was specifically talking about southern Scotland and the Scottish Borders when I said the Lakes were more spectacular. Of course most of the north of Scotland is much more spectacualr than the Lakes :shock:
    More problems but still living....
  • I live on the edge of the Lakes and love the scenery, but in my view walking is a better way of exploring the central lakes than bike. The distances are short and the hills steep. There are some good routes particularly at the periphery (eg. Mosedale, Eden and Lune valleys). I have really enjoyed my Scottish trips (Galloway, west coat and Glasgow to inverness) where the big landscapes lend themselves to touring by bike.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    KeithG wrote:
    3 tips I would give:
    1. is to not do much mileage initially on your 1st tour. I can't really suggest an amount it depends on what is a "good ride" for you. If you can do 40 or 50 miles in a day and not feel exhausted then do that or less or more depending on your experience and fitness. It's easy to read someone else's experience and try and match their mileage.
    2. pack up your bike for a trial run with all the kit you're going to take before you start your trip
    3. make a note of bike shops nearby your route for any repairs if you're a newbie tourist.
    oh and 4. make it fun and adjust your route according to your experience, the weather and fatigue. Don't bust a gut to make a planned route work. Do stop plenty of times in cafes or towns or viewpoints and don't fall into the gritted teeth school of cycling, I invariably do to my cost and always regret it afterwards.
    !

    I agree with all of that. Plan in lots of flexibility, so you can stop or explore and you don't have to think - can't stop we've still got XX miles to go.

    Oh and don't forget to have decent lights just in case.
  • Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond some good sound advice.

    We've been lucky enough to camp around the Highlands, mainly the west coast and would love to cycle up that way but thats for the future, logistics isn't a problem, we can take the train or my parents who are both retired would be happy to drop us off/pick us up somewhere but for our first trip we would like to be self sufficient and ideally set off from home.
    Tarpaullynn
  • Why not do what we are doing, Going to Holland for our first tour.

    I live in North Shields and am cycling to the ferry from my house then on to Ijmuiden For a five day tour in Noord Holland.

    I know we have the Northumberland national park on our door step but the roads are not very cycle friendly.

    yes we have Rievers and Hadrians Cycleway but it is very hard going in places.

    And at least we are discovering a different culture for a very low price 10.00 pound return to take the bike on the ferry and a 100 pound return for ferry tickets.

    Might be worth a thought
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    I know we have the Northumberland national park on our door step but the roads are not very cycle friendly

    Please explain
    More problems but still living....
  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond some good sound advice.

    We've been lucky enough to camp around the Highlands, mainly the west coast and would love to cycle up that way but thats for the future, logistics isn't a problem, we can take the train or my parents who are both retired would be happy to drop us off/pick us up somewhere but for our first trip we would like to be self sufficient and ideally set off from home.

    You are in the perfect place to do the Hadrian's Wall to the Lakes and then come back via the C2C.
    Would be a good first tour and taking the 7 or 10 days allows some rest days in the Lakes

    All signposted and plenty of places on the web for researching B&B's etc.

    Tailwinds

    george
  • ash68ash68 Posts: 320
    Hi I live in your neck of the woods.had a good ride over to the lakes this summer.Follow the tyne valley to Hexham, then up to Alston over Hartside to Penrith.Then take scenic route throughPooley Bridge,along the side of Ullswater,through Patterdale , over Kirkstone Pass,then drop into Ambleside. hard ride but can be done in stages. As mentioned before other options are signed routes like c2c, reivers,walney 2 Wear or Hadrian cycleway. Which ever way you go there will be big hills to climb and lots of fun, sweat and tears doing so.all the signed routes have websites with lots of info on them.Agree with comments about keeping mileage realistic and flexible to ensure you enjoy the trip and don't just endure it. :):)
  • Yikes! Hartside.............Kirkstone Pass, this is meant to be something to look forward too :shock:

    Seriously, we know that going across country means we have some climbs to negotiate so we'll get some training in before we attempt out first trip.

    AcousticDave, the Holland trip sounds appealing but to be honest for our first time we want to stay fairly close to home so that my Pop can reach us in a couple of hours at the most if we have any serious bike problems or find we've just bitten off more than we can chew.
    Tarpaullynn
  • daviddddaviddd Posts: 637
    Dumfries and Galloway is lovely cycling territory. Quiet roads, nice cafes / campsites, lots to see and do, also good mountain bike routes e.g. Ae and Mabie Forests near Dundee where you can hire a decent mtn bike if you want a change.
    Oct 2007 to Sep 2008 - anticlockwise lap of Australia... http://www.davidddinoz.blogspot.com/
    French Alps Tour 2006: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=r ... =1914&v=5R
    3 month tour of NZ 2015... http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/nz2014
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