C2C - Route 72
Route Section: Consett > Tynemouth
From Start: 205km (128m) | **From Finish: 14km (9m)
Tynemouth 14km (9m)
Out of Newcastle
Follow the quayside and the Route 72 signs past Walker and Wallsend following Mariners' Wharf.
You are following Hadrian's Cycleway signs. Remember to look out for therm because the route dodges about in its effort to stay traffic free.
Shortly after the HUB cycle cafe and two-wheel Mecca, the river is (tantalisingly) only glimpsed until you get to Tynemouth.
After Segedunum Roman Museum at Wallsend the route now follows the A187 before descending to park and the Willington Viaduct continuing to Willington Quay before crossing the busy A19.
Next: Royal Quays Marina, South Shields and North Shields before dipping down to the splendid Union Quay, with its brightly coloured and bustling shops and restaurants.
Well sign-posted to the last, the route take you up to North Pier, which along with South Pier, form the entrance from the North Sea into the Tyne.
The sign at the finish atop the Spanish Battery promontory, where Henry VIII built a fort in preparation for an onslaught on Scotland, marks possible starts points for other routes such as Reivers, Hadrians and Coast & Castles.
About the toon
There are plenty of hotels and guest houses. The Jesmond area, just north of the centre, is full of places to stay and lively night spots. If you’re overnighting in the city, there are hotels near the waterfront, down on the fashionable Quayside.
For a full list of hotels, call the Tourist Information Centre on T:+44 (0)191 277 8000 or get hold of the Newcastle Gateshead Accommodation Guide email@example.com by calling the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative on T:+44 (0)191 243 8800.
When in Tyneside, many like to stay around the Quayside. It is close to Central Station where the ride officially starts (or ends), so I have concentrated my entries in this area. The atmosphere is vibrant and the pubs and restaurants are among the best in town. However the hotels, as in most city centres, can be expensive. An alternative starting point is Tynemouth , at the end of the estuary.
But then you would miss the wonders of cycling along (a short section of) the historic Tyne.
Newcastle is one of the most ‘happening‘ places in northern Europe. A magnet for shoppers and clubbers, diners and drinkers, it boasts some of Britain’s finest architecture and has gone through a cultural revitalisation. Recent restoration projects have included Norman fortifications, 16th century merchant houses and the great neo-classical designs of Grainger Town. There are also art galleries, museums and concert venues aplenty.
Newcastle and Gateshead, its neighbour on the south bank of the Tyne, have been voted England’s best short break destination. The two towns also teamed up to contend for the European Capital of Culture ten years ago, a link symbolised by the arcing strand of the new Gateshead Millennium Bridge across the Tyne. But the gong went to another Phoenix of a city: Liverpool.
Ever since the Romans arrived 2,000 years ago Newcastle has been a hub of trading activity. The town grew up around Pons Aelius, a Roman fortification about 10 miles inland from the North Sea. For the last 800 years a booming trade in wool, leather and coal have brought the city prosperity.
There are now art galleries, museums and concert venues, among them the magnificent Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on the banks of the Tyne. Of 1930s Art Deco design, the redesignation of this former grain warehouse is typical of the vision and flare that has gone into the area’s regeneration.
Places of Interest
Castle Keep , Castle Garth, St Nicholas St T:+44 (0)191 232 7938 Built by Henry II between 1168-78 on the site of the so-called New Castle, built in 1080 by William the Conqueror’s son, Robert Curthose. It was after this edifice that the town was named. The New Castle itself was constructed on the site of the Roman Pons Aelius (Bridge of Hadrian). Admission: Â£1.50, 50p concessions.
BALTIC The Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays T:+44 (0)191 478 1810 Opened in July 2002, BALTIC is the major new centre for contemporary visual art and stands grandly above the water on the south bank. Five galleries and more than 3,000 square metres. It is housed in an old grain store, part of the old Baltic Flour Mills.
The Sage Gateshead, opened 2005. Sir Norman Foster’s contribution to the Geordie quayside, a music complex catering for classical, folk, jazz, brass and choral. This is the home of the Northern Sinfonia. Ticket Office – 0191 443 4661. Switchboard – 0191 443 4666. Music Education Centre Reception – 0191 443 4627. Brasserie Bookings – 0191 443 4654. Coats Desk – 0191 443 4634. Fax – 0191 443 4551. www.thesagegateshead.org
Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Takes walkers and cyclists from Newcastle’s Quayside across to Gateshead Quays and Baltic Square and the Baltic contemporary art gallery. The bridge opens and closes like a giant eyelid, allowing shipping to pass. Spectacularly lit at night, like many who inhabit these once louche purlieus. Great viewed at night.
Grainger Town – a rejuvenated architectural treasure trove with some of Britain’s greatest examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture, plus many of the city’s top shops.
Chinatown – around Stowell St. Restaurant standard is good and prices reasonable. Exotic supermarkets and craft shops. There are plenty of hotels and guest houses. The Jesmond area, just north of the centre, is full of places to stay and lively night spots.
Where To Sleep
The Cumberland Arms
Run by: Duty Manager
A traditional pub with four beautiful en-suite rooms, all with super kingsize beds. Ideally placed to explore the city and the quayside or you could choose to settle in and enjoy the open fires, real ale and cider, gigs, traditional sessions and great nights of spoken word and comedy. The pub offers food boards to accompany your beer: cheese, pate and pork pies plus homemade scotch eggs, and other treats. Featured by Oz Clarke and James May on TV, it is described in Lonely Planet magazine by the former as one of the 'best pubs I've ever been in.'
B&B: D/T £80, S £70, Family £100 (inc continental or cooked b’fast).
Opening hours: 3pm-11pm Mon, Tues, Thurs & Sun; and 3pm-12am Wed, Fri & Sat.
Food served: non-stop.
Packed lunch: £5.
Secure cycle storage. Drying facilities.
Clifton House Hotel
Run by: Caterina Love
Elegant country house style hotel in private grounds ideal for end of C2C or beginning of Hadrians, Coast & Castles or Reivers routes. Full English breakfast. Private car park, garden and secure lock-up. Conveniently situated for Newcastle Central Station, Gallowgate Coach Station and Newcastle Airport. The hotel provides an excellent base for touring: Hadrian's Wall, Beamish Museum, the market towns of Hexham and Morpeth as well as the castles of Alnwick, Warkworth and Bamburgh.
Rooms: 3F, 2T, 2D, 3S
. B&B: from £29 standard single; £39.50 en-suite.
Eve meal: Please give notice. £16 3 courses including glass of wine and coffee.
Pk lunch: £5.
address : 44 Osborne Rd, Jesmond
telephone : 0191 281 8111
The George Hotel
address : 88 Osborne Rd, Jesmond
telephone : 0191 281 4442
address : 4 Forster St, Quayside
telephone : 0191 261 5432
The Cycle Hub
Run by: Skedaddle
The Cycle Hub is situated beside the River Tyne a few hundred metres from the Blinking Eye / Millennium Bridge (if heading eastwards) and is the perfect place to stop for lunch or a final re-fuelling before the last miles of the C2C if heading to Tynemouth. It provides bike hire for the route and has a workshop too should your bike be in need of some TLC, or just the tyres pumping up! It is also home to Saddle Skedaddle Cycling Holidays who provide lots of trip packages and support options along the route. This is a great pit stop and a real hub for the local cycling scene.