Stats: 75 miles and 5885 feet of ascent
Cafes at Haltwhistle, Lanercost, Newcastleton, Bridge Inn, Hethersgill, Brampton.
A loop across the western part of England’s border with Scotland. Exceptional single track roads that gently undulate (with one or two medium difficulty climbs) through forests, moorland, river valleys and Hadrian’s Wall.
1. Leave Haltwhistle on the cycle route 72, turn left when it meets the Military Road and down the hill into Greenhead.
2. Turn right in the village for Gilsland. Turn right in the village, then left after the bridge.
3. Turn right for Bewcastle, then follow the road left at the ruin. Turn right at the end of the road, then left (to avoid ‘The Flatt’).
4. Go through Blackpool Gate then turn right signed Newcastleton.
5. At the bottom of a classic thrilling Alpine style hairpin descent, cross the border into Scotland.
6. Climb Scotland’s first hill out of Kershope forest and continue into Newcastleton.
7. Turn left then right to enter the town, then a left at the green signed Langholm. Climbing up to skirt the edge of the domed Tinnis Hill, then drop down to cross a bridge over Tarras Water, then another climb toward the obelisk monument on Whita Hill.
8. Downhill into Langholm, turn left to join the main road which leads into the town. After the town, take a left turn at the bridge over the river Esk and carry on through Claygate.
9. Turn left onto the B6357 through Rowanburn, then a right just before Harelaw. Crossing the border back into England at the river Liddel, then take the third right and right again at Haggbeck.
10. Turn left for Shankhill and Hethersgill. Turn left onto the A6071 and go through Newtown and on into Brampton. Go through Town Centre then a left turn signed for Lanercost.
11. Pass the priory and go up the hill through Banks and onto the old Roman Road which is edged with original parts of Hadrian’s Wall.
12. Turn right after Birdoswald fort, and right again to re enter Gilsland.
13. Turn left in the village and on to Greenhead.
14. Turn left and climb Greenhead bank (there is a segregated cycle path on the left hand side), then turn right for Haltwhistle.