Day 1 
Berwick to Seahouses
36 miles
( or the "I know a short cut ride")



The morning finally arrived after many rescheduled dates and hotel bookings due to the dreaded Covid 19.
Everything went as planned. Bags and bikes dropped off at mine over the weekend
There were seven cyclists and with Ian driving the back up van and carrying the cycles in the back the best way to get the cyclists to the start point at Berwick was to use a mini bus. Ryan Binks Mini Bus Hire top notch service.
Ian arrived 7.55 
We went and collected the van.
When we got back Ryan had arrived with the mini bus and all the cyclists had turned up.
Bob was showing off his new cycling tool kit.
We all hoped it would not be needed. 
Nice sunny start too so things were looking promising. Loaded the cycles into the van and ourselves into the minibus and we set off bang on schedule at 8:25 ( Do I over organise?)
The ride up was uneventful with just muffled converstaion  chatting in the bus due to wearing face masks to comply with covid rules.
Even though we had all done a test the day before and thankfully all were negative. 
Driving up the A1 we were watching the storm clouds in the west building up over the pennies, fortunately the cycle route hugged the east coast and the sun was shining in the east.
Arriving at Berwick at 10.20 again bang on schedule, we went to the car park that I had selected, as there was plenty of parking for the minibus and the van both in a small car park and on the street. Fortunately we got parked in the street at the side of the road so it was very easy to stop park up and unload the cycles and ourselves. 
Thank you Ryan Bink's mini bus for a first class service, after Ryan had checked all was OK and we didn't need him for anything else he wished us happy cycling and set off for his return trip.

While researching the car park I had discovered that it was a disc zone parking area and so had the good foresight to bring a disk with us so Ian could displayed it in the windscreen of the van. Very fortunate as as there was a car park attendant doing his rounds at the time.

Van unloaded getting ready to set off in sunshine, Great feeling.

I had also researched where the nearest toilets were and there was some shown on the Berwick town map as right on the route.
What I didn't know was that they were the individual cubicle type where you have to put 20p in to access the toilet, unfortunately it went through a full cleaning cycle after every use. This meant that it took over half an hour for all of us to use the loo before we got set off on the bike ride.
Ian went for his usual sightseeing tour of the town while cyclists set off.
Lovely start to the ride down a steep bank over the Old bridge and then turned left and along the coast we soon left the town behind us gently climbing onto the rough tracks that were to be our route beside the coast for most of this ride.


Over the old bridge, great start to the ride

It was a one way, luckily we were heading the correct way.

All clear of the bridge, carry on along the coast

Lovely beaches in Northumberland

The track climbing away from Spittle

The track levels off beside the main east coast railway line

A climb up to go over the railway line

The route took us through a golf course, coincidentally Dave had played there recently although the course was looking pretty scorched with all the sun we had had recently it was a lovely links course
The track meandered a little then dropped us out just up from the causeway that went to Lindisfarne (Holy Island).

Lovely track leading to start of the causeway

Yes turn left that's Holy Island over there                     


Again the planning had been to fit in with the tides so we could cycle across to the island which is only possible at low tide. We were a little behind schedule with the late start but fortunately the tide times were favourable for most of the day.
At the start of causeway at the roadside were some concrete blocks shaped like Lego bricks we all thought they should be painted in bright colours to look even more like Lego.

Lego bricks?


Photo by the sign at the start of the causeway

Yes the tide is out the causeway is safe to cross.

Cycling across to Holy island we had the wind in face making it a slower journey but great fun.
The causeway and the Island was very busy, with lots of cars and cycles. Ian had done well to get parked, we had no trouble like that but all the cafes were full with long waiting times, so we elected to just have a snack from the village store. Even then there was a queue and a delay. 

As we stopped Trevor clipped the kerb with his front wheel and fell off after we lifted the bike off him and got him up to make sure he was OK we asked him to lie down again for a photo. He refused. 

It was most pleasant sat on the grass eating our snack. A vintage motorcycle went past, Glen comments it must be Isle of Lindisfarne TT week. 

enjoying the sun

Map check waiting for our sandwiches


While we are waiting Peter goes off to explore the Island and get close to the castle on the outcrop of rock


The Castle in the distance

The road to the castle

Made it up close

As we were heading back from Lindisfarne,  We came to the point where the original pilgrims walking route went across the sand banks to join  the road causeway close to the mainland. There is a chap walking his dog on the route and the sand looks firm.
Peter decides to take the pilgrims route over the sand, which is clearly marked by wooden posts.
Although tempted to join him the rest of us we decided to stay on the causeway road.
The pilgrims route is straight whereas the causeway curves so would appear to be a shortcut, Will Peter get to the mainland first we wonder. With the wind at our backs we soon make it to the far side, Ian passes us in the van on his way to the next rendezvous point. We stop and look around for Peter, with the use of a small telescope that I always carry we can pick him out still coming across the sand 
There is a large bird circling over him. We wonder if it may be a heron or possibly a vulture hoping he gets stuck.

Peters view of the pilgrims route

Our view of Peter on the Pilgrim route

Finally he comes back off the sand onto dry land, was it worth the effort, “Yes” says Peter “its something I have always wanted to do taking the pilgrims route”
We look at the sand covered shoes, bike and legs and we think it was a bad decision.


Sand covered bike and cyclist

Back onto the tracks at the side of the road we come out just short of the A1,

Lindisfarne in the distance, nice traffic free track leading away from the causeway


Trevor says he has a puncture. For some reason Trevor and Colin N decide to carry out the repair.
The two least mechanically adept people on the ride, the rest of us who are all trained engineers just stand and watch. Well all except Peter, who is rolling around on the ground still trying to get some sand off his clothes. He keeps waving at us, the passing cars are looking, probably wondering what is going on, the children in the cars wave back at him. 
We pretend he is not with us, 

Lovely spot for a puncture very scenic

The wheel is off

Its decided to just replace the tube for speed

Peter rolling on the ground


At this point we deviate from the official route. Instead of crossing the A1 and tackling some steep climbs, we ride down the wide A1 for a couple of miles. Tucked in at the side of the road on the inside of the white line we cause no problems and the traffic can just carry on past us with no need to slow or swerve out for an overtake. 
Soon we are back on a minor road and the sound of the traffic dies away as we meander towards Bamburgh. Very scenic beside the waters edge with Lindisfarne visible in the distance, there is a steep climb before the drop into Bamburgh and its magnificent castle and the Grace Darling Museum. Ian is there having done his usual Culture visit.

The start of the climb to Bamburgh

After the climb comes the downhill ride

We Stop at Bamburgh for break and drinks pop for most but a cup of tea for Trevor.
Peter takes to rolling on some grass still trying to remove the sand from his clothes. People looking on concerned as they walk past but we assure them he is fine, just a little crazy.

The church where Grace Darling is buried, across the road from her Museum

Heading down the main street towards the castle

Dave has to pose for a picture with the castle in the background

The official route to Seahouses takes back roads, I have decided to stay on the more scenic coast road into Seahouses.

As we came into the town we saw the vintage bikes from Holy Island, guess they are enjoying a tour of the area as well.

Checked into the Links Hotel, bikes all securely stored in locked garage, hotels are really getting switched on to cycling holiday tourism. I am sharing with Dave who is a loud Snorer, our rooms are a family room with thick walls and two doors between us, that should deaden the sound.
Usual showers and change of clothes to go out and have a meal ( it has to be fish and chips in Seahouses) as I am showering Dave comes in with a big bag of ear plugs for me that I had insisted he provide, although I think the 100 he supplied was a bit OTT.

While we were showering ourselves, Peter was outside showering his bike and shoes to remove the sand he had collected from his ride over the pilgrim way at Lindisfarne.

Looks like they had heard about Peter

After our meal, of  fabulous Seahouses fish and chips we try a pub, The ships beer garden is full so we cross the road to the Balmoral, Dave and I had taken warm tops, we know what its like sitting on the coast overlooking the North sea on an evening, the others all got cold and had to go back to the hotel to get warmer clothes. 


Beer garden its cooler outside but safer with Covid about

Warm tops on, still a bit cool.

The view from the beer garden is fancastic


After a full days cycling as our muscles cool Colin N gets cramp and has to jump up to stretch his leg. He looks like he is in the Monty Python Sketch about the Ministry of silly walks.

We finish our drinks and head across to the ship for a drink and to watch the football. 

After a good night out its time to Head back to the hotel Glen states he knows a short cut, I doubt it as the hotel is at the opposite end of the main street and therefore a straight line route but we humour him and follow.
Around the back streets of Seahouses we keep going until we eventually come back to the point we started from at the Ship.
Seems like Glen’s shortcut is like Peters. A longer way round. They are not map reading tomorrow, says Bob.
We pass a charity shop with walking sticks in the window we offer to come back for them in the morning for the people who are limping to use when walking.
Then we have our reward for the late night, with a magnificent sunset over the north sea.

Red sky at night over the Farne islands, Hope its a good sign for tomorrow.

Back to the hotel, Dave and I in are separate rooms, I had a great nights sleep, never heard a thing even without earplugs. The end of a great first day cycling.


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