Pedal power! Get on your bike in Northumberland with new book

The hidden valley descent to Earle - part of the Wooler and Lilburn Tower loop.
The hidden valley descent to Earle - part of the Wooler and Lilburn Tower loop.

Northumberland’s own award-winning cycle-route expert, Ted Liddle, has written a new guidebook – 33 Cycle Rides in Northumberland and Tyneside.

Published by Northern Heritage of Blagdon in conjunction with Tyne Valley Mountain Bike Club, the book comprises 33 easy to moderate cycle routes, carefully compiled to help local and visiting cycling enthusiasts explore popular and hidden corners of Northumberland and Tyneside’s rural fringe.

Ted Liddle in the Dolomites.

Ted Liddle in the Dolomites.

Cyclists will benefit from Ted’s encyclopaedic knowledge of traffic-free routes, quiet country lanes and suitable tracks, amassed over a lifetime of recreational and regional cycling.

Recently, he was the man behind the creation of the 120-mile mountain-bike route, the Sandstone Way.

Graded easy to moderate and ranging from 12 to 30 miles, these routes cater for both on-road and off-road cyclists.

Many routes are mostly flat and ideal for those who like to meander gently through stunning countryside on bike-friendly tracks and roads with light traffic.

Heading south out of Spittal towards Holy Island.

Heading south out of Spittal towards Holy Island.

Sections marked family-friendly are aimed at those cycling with children or bike novices.

As well as clear and concise Ordnance Survey mapping, each chapter gives a route summary, recommended direction of travel, total distance, heights encountered and optional shortcuts.

Essential tips on safety, parking, loos and brews en route are also given. There is also a Did you know box, with additional information to lend more interest to each ride.

Chris Hartnell, of publishers Northern Heritage Services, said: “While there are many books on the market to help walkers explore Northumberland, we’ve really lacked a top-quality book of cycle rides.

The around Kielder Water.

The around Kielder Water.

“We’re delighted Ted has come up trumps in mapping and describing these fantastic routes.

“We know many keen cyclists are eager to explore this wonderful landscape, but just need the extra confidence of knowing the most interesting and safest routes.

“We hope this book will be the first of many from Ted.

33 Cycle Rides in Northumberland and Tyneside is out now, priced at £12.99, and available from all good bookshops, tourist information centres and heritage sites or direct from www.northern-heritage.co.uk
Our verdict: Cycling continues to grow in popularity, both nationally and here in Northumberland, but it is sometimes difficult to know where to go and the best routes to take.

Cycling past Mitford Castle on the Morpeth and Hartburn loop.

Cycling past Mitford Castle on the Morpeth and Hartburn loop.

Ted’s new book contains a wealth of information, set out in a clear and concise manner, but while it is comprehensive, it is still compact enough to fit into a backpack or pannier if required.

As an owner of a road bike, I now have no excuses not to saddle up and get out and about as the spring approaches!

Your chance to win a copy

We have teamed up with Northern Heritage Services Ltd to offer our readers the opportunity to win one of five copies of Ted’s new cycling guide. For your chance to win, buy a copy of this week’s Gazette and turn to Page 27 for all the details.