Newcastle to Whitley Bay National Cycle Route No 72
A 14 mile flat cycle route which takes you along riverside promenades, minor roads and purpose built traffic free cycle paths. You pass under some splendid bridges along the route out of Newcastle. The route mainly follows the coast out to the mouth of the River Tyne and then the quiet coastal roads the short distance up to Whitley Bay..
Newcastle was originally the site of a Roman town and its castle was built in 1080. Newcastle is a thriving city with many attractions and offers plenty of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.
Staring on the riverside on the Quayside (north bank) by The Gateshead Millennium Bridge start cycling eastwards along the riverside on the paved pathway away from The Tyne Bridge. At this point you should be cycling along the riverside with the river on your right hand side as you pass The Baltic Centre on the opposite side of the river. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne between Gateshead’s Quays arts quarter on the south bank, and the Quayside of Newcastle on the north bank. The bridge is sometimes referred to as the ‘Blinking Eye Bridge’ or the ‘Winking Eye Bridge’ due to its shape and its tilting method.
As you cycle along this section of the cycle ride you will be following the signs for National Cycle Route No72 and local cycle route of ‘Hadrian’s Cycle way’. Continue along Quayside following the riverside paths and after about half a mile you reach the end of Quayside where you follow the signs for Route 72 along a short stretch of local roads, still following the path of the river. After cycling along the road section for just a few hundred yards you join up with the old disused riverside railway line which takes you from St Peter’s basin where you joined it to Wallsend, about 2 miles along the cycle path.
When you reach Wallsend, just as you cycle round a right hand bend in the trail if you look over to your left you can see a tower which is The Segedunum Roman Fort Centre. Segedunum was a Roman fort situated where Wallsend is today. The fort lay at the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall near the banks of the River Tyne, forming the eastern-most portion of the wall. It was in use as a Roman garrison for approximately 300 years, almost up to 400AD.
As you pass Segedunum on your right you will pass the site of the old Swan Hunter shipyard where some very famous ships where built in days gone by most famously, the RMS Mauretania which held the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic, and the RMS Carpathia which rescued the survivors from the RMS Titanic.
Continue along the cycle path following the signs for Route 72 all the way. The route takes
you along cycle lanes and purpose built cycle paths through the outer suburbs of Newcastle and about 3 miles past Segedunum Route 72 brings you back by the riverside near to North Shields Ferry. At this point Route 72 joins National Cycle Route No1 and from here the route is sign posted for both Route No72 & 1 all the way to Whitley Bay. From North Shields you continue along Route 72 which takes you along the riverside to Tynemouth and at Tynemouth you pass Tynemouth Priory and Castle situated on the mouth of the River Tyne just as the route takes you left and northwards along the coast towards Whitley Bay.
Tynemouth Castle and Prior is situated on a rocky headland. The moated castle-towers, gatehouse and keep are combined with the ruins of the Benedictine priory where early kings of Northumbria were buried. The coat of arms of the town of Tynemouth still includes three crowns commemorating the tradition that the Priory had been the burial place for three kings. The Priory was built in the 7th century.
From Tynemouth follow continue to follow the signs for Route 72 which basically now takes you along the coastal roads for approximately 2 miles to Whitley Bay. When you reach Whitley Bay you arrive at The Promenade which you can cycle along all the way along the sea front at Whitley Bay. The end of your cycle ride.
At Whitley Bay you will find plenty of cafes, pubs and shops for you to enjoy. Whitley Bay was once a thriving seaside town but today it is considered to be a suburb of Newcastle.