Newburn Activity Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
Newburn Activity Centre, Grange Rd, NE15 8ND
Explore this lovely flat green corridor route going along both banks of the river Tyne on cycle paths and just a few short stretches of quiet road. Taking the old coal Waggonway route of NCN 72, passing by the birthplace of engineer and inventor George Stephenson - a quaint cottage with beautiful garden, maintained by The National Trust. The route then crosses over the Tyne at the Wylam bridge giving great views downstream - look out for fish in the clear shallow waters, a favourite spot for wading fishermen. The second half of the route offers fun dirt track paths through trees and flowering wild garlic. Despite being 17 miles (27 km) from the sea, the Tyne is still tidal at Ryton Willows -a designated site of special scientific interest. As a consequence of this, the water is slightly salty and this influences the flowers growing on the bankside. Look out in summer for the purple-blue heads of sea aster. Common seals are frequently seen up the river, attracted by the wide range of fish, including salmon. Birds to see along the river include grey heron, kingfisher and goosander and birds such as linnet and yellow hammer breed in the bright yellow prickly gorse bushes.
The route has very few interruptions which allows for very relaxed riding. The scenery is a great contrast from city commuting and a perfect way to unwind at the weekend offering something different to see each time. The paths are suitable for hybrids, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes etc. Road bikes should manage if it's dry, but may find it a bit bumpy and muddy on the dirt tracks. Please note there are a couple of narrow gates, if bringing a trailer, trike or similar you will need to be able to lift it to a height of two feet. Some eye protection is recommended if possible, especially when the weather gets warmer - sunglasses or clear safety glasses. When sunny on this route there can be a few flying insects, they easily get stuck in unprotected eyes.