Newcastle area biking??

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  • Newcastle area biking??
  • finners
    Member

    Hey. It looking likely I will be moving down to the newcastle area come June. Probably Kingston park. What’s the local riding like? Any trails hereby? Even within an hour or so drive? I guess I could drive to glentress etc in under 2 hours, but would ideally like somewhere closer.
    Any clubs?
    Open to roadie stuff too…..
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    jonba
    Member

    There are trails that you can ride from your door, they are not the most exciting but good for an quick blast.

    Nearby places include Thrunton, Chopwell, Kielder, Hamsterley which are more like trail centres. There is a place called the Dales Bike centre that I hear good things about but not been along to.

    Local club that would be most convenient would be midaircrisis/newcastle mountain bike club. They meet on the other side of town but I ride it from Gosforth – it is about 5 or 6 miles.

    There is a strava page which will show you some local ride options they do

    http://www.strava.com/clubs/midaircrisis

    alternatively go along to http://www.midaircrisis.co.uk and ask on the forum. Well worth going out with them a few times to help you understand where places are.

    There are a large number of road clubs. I ride for Gosforth road club that meet at the Regent centre in Gosforth. There are the tyneside vagabonds that meet in Ponteland as well as the Early morning crew. There are others but I think these are the closest to Kingston Park.

    I put most of my rides on strava, been focussing more on the road over the last few months but there are some off road rides on there. Most of it you may need some help with though as it is not always that obvious even with a gps trace.

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/433228

    finners
    Member

    Great, thanks. Does anyone have anything else to add?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Cheviots are just up the road, Hexham Common too and then there’s miles of gentle costal miles or ride along the Tyne.

    Dales Bike Centre is about an hour away as mentioned it’s superb to make a change from the wonderful Cheviots.

    butcher
    Member

    Loads of road riding right on your doorstop. Two or three trail centres within an hour’s drive, as already mentioned. Some good natural trails too. Not massively familiar with Northumberland myself, so can’t comment much on the finer details, but there are far, far worse places to live in terms of cycling.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Blanchland,Edmundbyers and Chopwell, then there is Thrunton and Rothbury. Keilder is up the road. It’s less than a hour to the Lakes. Forty five minutes to Kildale and Guisborough. No need just yet to go to Glentress. Hexhamshire common has loads of routes around Allenheads to Whitley Chapel.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    The Border Reviers used to do fantastic all dayers..
    Dave Howcroft knew the area like the back of his hand, had some ace routes..
    Not sure if they’re still going? This was about 10 years ago when I lived there..

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    It’s less than a hour to the Lakes.

    😯

    nodrog2
    Member

    There loads of road clubs in the area and some great road riding almost straight from your door in Newcastle. A healthy CX scene in the NECCL (both winter and summer series). Mountain bike clubs, try Newcastle Mountain bike club (Midaircrisis), Beamish Oddsox, CHR for more gravity orientated riding. As for trails, there are loads at Hamsterley (both official and off piste), Hamsterley also has a great set of DH tracks. Chopwell is small but packed with trails. Thrunton has some of the finest trails around (check out Thrunton Trail Builders). Also loads of great natural stuff in the Cheviots, Rothbury and across the moors of County Durham (check out Bolts Law, Edmunbyres etc). North York moors is only an hour away, Lakes is easily reached in an hour or two. Spoilt for choice really.

    CaptJon
    Member

    it makes me laugh when people say Kielder is near Newcastle. It is the middle of nowhere and always seems to take an age to get there.

    All of those travel times above are grossly optimistic. You’d struggle to get to Darlington from Newcastle in 45 minutes, it’s much further from there to Guisborough. You can get to Carlisle in an hour, but that’s not the Lakes. Closest bit for decent riding would be Ullswater or Threlkeld, but they’re 90 minutes away on a good day. Kielder is an hour and 20 if there’s no traffic and you’re the right side of Newcastle.

    I’m going to go against the grain a bit and suggest that maybe it’s not all that great for mountain biking. Yes there are decent stuff within 60-90 minutes away, but there’s very little on the door step that’s really exceptional. I’d imagine most of us get a decent amount of riding in after work rather than just at weekends, where having to drive a distance first isn’t going to work.

    There’s definitely a perception issue though, if it’s all you know you’re bound to think it’s really good. For example I rode with some locals once who showed me one of their local loops and were surprised I was riding my SS as it was a hilly route. We averaged 20ft per mile climbing, compared with the 100ft per mile I do if I ride out of Marple.

    That said I’m sure I’ll be able to work out some muddy fun loops that are worth getting the mountain bike out for, even if they’re not quite the Peaks etc.

    The road riding is exceptional mind!

    jonba
    Member

    CaptJon – Member

    it makes me laugh when people say Kielder is near Newcastle. It is the middle of nowhere and always seems to take an age to get there.

    You can ride there, I’ve done the border raid loop to Newcastleton starting in Gosforth 😉

    I’m going to go against the grain a bit and suggest that maybe it’s not all that great for mountain biking. Yes there are decent stuff within 60-90 minutes away, but there’s very little on the door step that’s really exceptional

    I used to live in riding distance of Winter hill and the moors then moved to Bridgwater and could ride to the Quantocks. There is stuff to keep you entertained. If you know the trails there is plenty of height to gain and lose. Last ride was 30 miles with 800m climbing off road. Easy if you head to Heddon, Throckley or south of the river around Whickham.

    It takes me 45 minutes to get to Keswick from Brampton and another 50-60 mins to Newcastle.

    lemonysam
    Member

    I’d agree with it not being “that great” for mountain biking, what it is absolutely fantastic* for if long rambling all day rides which take in back roads, bridleways, fire roads, single track, coast and everything in between.

    I ride my CX and road bikes more than my mountain bike but there are some top notch trails a long ride/short drive away.

    *better than anywhere else I’ve lived certainly.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    Grew up in Newcastle biking, around Gosforth.

    Very local from Kingston park are urban routes out to Gosforth park and the bw’s north of newcastle, bit of jesmond dene can spice up the loop but these are evening routes when you have an hour or can use the mileage just to get out.

    Middle local routes would be out along the tyne, or through town and pick up consett railway line and jump off at chopwell. Theres lots of hidden stuff here that you can explore and play in for a day. some built trails to. Its a day when you factor in the ride there/back.

    Other middle local routes might head further up towards Consett and jump off towards the TV mast, use the OS map and mix and match can take over towards the waskerly way and head towards the middle of nowhere in the north pennines.

    Other options with a car, head out to allendale, theres 5 BW leaving in different directions including back to hexham, over towards blanchland and the waskerly way or alston.

    Northumberland: Thrunton is fab and about 40/50 mins drive forestry commission place with a few man made trails but also loads of natural stuff. simonside is bigger but not as much imho.

    Keilder is a good long day out by car with riding.

    Hamsterly Forest is almost the opposite direction and has tons of trails plus natural stuff. Another good days riding.

    The Lakes is a safe 1-2 hour drive to Ambleside. Do-able for long day out or weekend. closer is Eden Valley and rides into the North Pennines heading back to Garrigil and Alston. Can be bleak and empty… a fine reason to go if you ask me. 😉

    enjoy, I’m down south these days and miss it.

    There’s some moorland to the North of Hamsterley Forest; does anyone know if you can go off-road there to get into the Forest? If so it’s probably a decent ride from my house, just about do-able in an evening.

    I need to find all the little trails when I stop working in Manchester, it would be great to have an off-raod route home from work. Route would be roughly Consett/Stanley and down to Lanchester, with as little road as possible, but hopefully with more singletrack than disused railway lines.

    jate
    Member

    There are bridleways that can be used to get from Weardale into the forest. In addition there are a number of shooting tracks but the local landowners can be very unwelcoming and there have been problems in the past.
    Whilst there are tracks in the Lanchester/Consett area, the disused railway lines are by far the most logical way to get around.

    butcher
    Member

    There’s some moorland to the North of Hamsterley Forest; does anyone know if you can go off-road there to get into the Forest? If so it’s probably a decent ride from my house, just about do-able in an evening.

    I need to find all the little trails when I stop working in Manchester, it would be great to have an off-raod route home from work. Route would be roughly Consett/Stanley and down to Lanchester, with as little road as possible, but hopefully with more singletrack than disused railway lines.

    There’s some good riding outside of the forest. You’ll need some cheeky trails and short stints on the road to join them up to get home though. Search for the Doctor’s Gate route on the Hamsterley Trail Blazers website. The most obvious option would be to link this up with the C2C down Waskerley and make your way home from there.

    If you just want to avoid traffic, there’s an excellent network of lifeless roads behind Lanchester. You end up with the same problem though, and that’s the gap between there and Hamsterley. Sadly the access rights in the area leave a lot to be desired.

    Yeah, it’s easy enough avoiding traffic, but what I want to be able to do is get into Hamsterly with as short a ride as possible so that doing a lap doesn’t leave me doing too long a ride for an evening blast.

    Looking at the OS Map I *think* I had about 8 or 9 miles, which was road to start off with, then a short bit on the Waskerly Way, over a moor and down to Wolsingham, then up a track that looks like another moor that leads into the forest. It’s not clear that the last bit is accessible and going by what you’ve said above it probably isn’t. Shame as that would add a fair bit extra on, or involve a lot more road, neither of which is ideal.

    I can always do a short drive first, but would be great to do it from home.

    It’s pretty much all been said. You could go out all day from your doorstep in Kingston Park on bridleways and the like, but none of them are going to be epic technical rides or have much elevation change. There are plenty routes you could stick together (mainly south and east) for 1-8 hours. They are better than some, but it’s the kind of riding that you’ll probably be happiest on a light hardtail.

    If you’re going to be in Newcastle for a while though I’d seriously consider a road bike. You could head out north from Kingston Park up towards Rothbury and pick up any number of amazing (and quiet) roads with proper rolling hills for hours. You could do any number of rides and once you’re just 3 miles or so north of Kingston park you could average a car every few minutes for mile after mile. Even if your just popping out for an hour or so you can be on very quiet, great roads pretty much from your doorstep.

    butcher
    Member

    Yeah, it’s easy enough avoiding traffic, but what I want to be able to do is get into Hamsterly with as short a ride as possible so that doing a lap doesn’t leave me doing too long a ride for an evening blast.

    Looking at the OS Map I *think* I had about 8 or 9 miles, which was road to start off with, then a short bit on the Waskerly Way, over a moor and down to Wolsingham, then up a track that looks like another moor that leads into the forest. It’s not clear that the last bit is accessible and going by what you’ve said above it probably isn’t. Shame as that would add a fair bit extra on, or involve a lot more road, neither of which is ideal.

    I can always do a short drive first, but would be great to do it from home.

    The moor down into Wolsingham from Parkhead is not a legal right of way. If you want it as short as possible, take the road all the way into Wolsingham. If you want to avoid virtually all traffic (there’s not much on the most direct route anyway tbh), there’s a slightly longer route, which will take you along a Bridleway from Salter’s Gate into Wolsingham. From Wolsingham you’re probably gonna have to do a stint on the road. Cross over Wolsingham and up the bank for the quietest route (the road along to Stanhope is a bit fast for my liking). Once your lungs are about bursting near the top, there’s a trail somewhere off to the right, and this will lead you most of the way into the forest via Doctor’s Gate and Rocky Road. I can’t remember if the first part is legal mind, I know the rest is. I reckon that’s the shortest.

    We’re not talking easy riding here though. The off-road bits are off-road. Swamps and shizzle. Trolls under bridges. Stick to the road if you’re commuting.

    If you’re going to be in Kingston Park you’re basically at the start of the Cyclone routes so check out the Virgin Cyclone website for their options for a bit of road riding.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I’m going to go against the grain a bit and suggest that maybe it’s not all that great for mountain biking. Yes there are decent stuff within 60-90 minutes away, but there’s very little on the door step that’s really exceptional. I’d imagine most of us get a decent amount of riding in after work rather than just at weekends, where having to drive a distance first isn’t going to work.

    There’s loads less than hour away too and certainly plenty hills from the doorstep too. I think you need better guides.

    lemonysam
    Member

    You could head out north from Kingston Park up towards Rothbury and pick up any number of amazing (and quiet) roads with proper rolling hills for hours.

    Or equally head west for the same effect, or even a short distance west and then south for big hills. You’re a bit limited going east though…

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    To the east be fat bike land.

    I did caveat that post with “really exceptional”. I do need some good guides though, but I haven’t really started riding much in the area as I’m in Manchester during the week and renovating a house at weekends.

    It’s fairly obvious from looking at the maps and searching the internet for routes that the riding straight from the door isn’t exceptional. It seems that a good proportion of what looks good on the map is private land with limited access rights too.

    Butcher – Thanks for that, very useful. If the offroad is proper off road, maybe I don’t need to get a fix in Hamsterley, but could loop back over the top to the Waskerley Way. Are there any good routes out of Wolsingham or Stanhope area that wold get me onto the Waskerley Way. I can get right to my back garden off-road on the railway lines once I’m on the Waskerley Way.

    I’d be commuting from Newcastle, rather than to Hamsterley. I can either drive to and from work, then bike to Hamsterley, or I can get a lift into work and ride home as off-road as possible, but not all the way to Hamsterley.

    lemonysam
    Member

    To the east be fat bike land.

    Bigg Market’s south, surely?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Bigg Market’s south, surely?

    Haha!

    There’s Chopwell just over the water so easily rideable and areas outward Hexham all rideable. Midweek evening rides further afield or easy to get to as the NE’s roads are way quieter than most places.

    Premier Icon neil the wheel
    Subscriber

    Once your lungs are about bursting near the top, there’s a trail somewhere off to the right, and this will lead you most of the way into the forest via Doctor’s Gate and Rocky Road. I can’t remember if the first part is legal mind, I know the rest is. I reckon that’s the shortest.[list]

    On the road climb out of Wolsingham, at the top where the roasd swins sharp left, keep straight ahead on a track marked as no through road. The tarmac runs out at a gate; keep straight ahead onto the moor. This is the Doctor’s Gate track and leads to a mental descent into the forest. All legal.

    Neil, that sounds exactly like what I was looking at. Great news!

    gazc
    Member

    hi finners chopwell tumblers is another club that meet up every thursday at 7pm in the main car park at chopwell. plenty of local riding about just tends to be relatively flat until you either get out west to tyne/derwent valleys or north to rothbury and beyond… happy to show you around chopwell/some local stuff sometime when i manage to get out (just moved and 4month old baby…)

    paulrockcliffe – now i’m finally moved in fancy that bolts law ride out? also i’m keen to explore pontop pike above lanchaster heard some trails up there

    gazc
    Member

    also if your into dh’y stuff chr do more informal races over summer at wooler – worth exploring, and ndh do dh and enduro races inc chopwell/hamsterle/kidland etc. theres a race on at penshaw monument run by locals which looks a laugh too although only short trails there

    *opens map*

    Pontop Pike is surrounded by trails, , looks like a few Bridleways that don’t go anywhere, some unclassified tracks and a load of footpaths which may or may not be socially acceptable. Anyone know whats what?

    Hello Gaz,yeah, I’m sort of back on the bike now, can probably nip out for a few hours on Sunday morning if you’re free?

    *looks at GT Fury in garage*

    Yes, I like a bit of DH too.

    butcher
    Member

    Pontop Pike is surrounded by trails, , looks like a few Bridleways that don’t go anywhere, some unclassified tracks and a load of footpaths which may or may not be socially acceptable. Anyone know whats what?

    From the top of the woods, stay to the far right, and follow the trail all the way down to the park. Watch you don’t hit the rock on the descent into the park and go over the bars… Straight down past the bungalows, to the Church and follow the farm track down next to it. After crossing the cattle grid into the field, pull off to the right and follow the field down past the farm where you’ll meet a style. Follow the trail down the woods. Cross the road. Through Hamsterley Mill. Admire the houses. Turn right out onto the road (or the pavement, no need to start riding legally now). A few hundred yards down, just at the end of the layby, hook a left out onto a trail which takes you directly into Chopwell Woods. Enjoy 😉

    Probably not the best weather for it at the minute mind. The whole lot is prone to mud.

    Ace, thanks. I should start marking all these trails on Memory Map….

    Actually, I can’t follow those directions too good! I’ve got the last bit into Chopwell, but I don’t know where I’m starting from, where the bungalows are, where the church is etc etc!

    gazc
    Member

    thanks for the heads up butcher – i assume you mean the woods off the main road to dipton?

    i know the trail from hamsterley to chopwell and where it drops down from the derwent walk so have an idea of where it comes out – would be a canny drop as pontop is pretty much the highest point in the area 🙂 my mate lives in medomsley and he’s seen some decent looking trails walking just haven’t been on bike yet

    pual – should be ok for sunday morning i’ll email you to let you know. cheers!

    gazc
    Member

    ah posibly these bungalows

    [/url]

    and path going past church opposite?

    butcher
    Member

    thanks for the heads up butcher – i assume you mean the woods off the main road to dipton?

    Sorry, I could have been clearer on the start point! From The mast at the top. You can get there via the little country lane that runs across the back. You’ll find a steep climb coming off this road towards a farm house. So you’re descending right from the top, down into Dipton, and then just keep going, pretty much all the way to Chopwell. It’s good fun. Downhill for a fair few miles. As long as you’re not an idiot, you shouldn’t have any problems riding it.

    edit:

    ah posibly these bungalows

    That’s the one.

    butcher
    Member

    double post, sorry.

    OK, got the start sorted, am I going down Pikewell Burn or Ramshaw Burn after the farm?

    butcher
    Member

    Cool. Have you tried Ramshaw, or contouring along what looks like a fire track then dropping into Bradley Wood?

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