Following an aborted effort to run from Chollerford back to our home in Newcastle last weekend due to a rather silly choice of footwear on my part, I had initially planned to repeat the challenge. A productive week at university had left me feeling a bit tired, and an evening of drinking compounded the effect so that on Sunday morning getting out of bed was somewhat difficult, and all thoughts of repeating the Chollerford run were abandoned for the time being. As an aside, if you have the good fortune to live in the North East, Chollerford to Hedden on the Wall is not a bad outing, although not as exciting as the wall further West.
Being an active sort of chap however, a weekend is never complete without a good couple of hours of exercise, but running inspiration was lacking and I can’t get away with running without inspiration. Cycling on the other hand felt like a pleasant alternative, and I thought I’d make use of the cycle paths around Newcastle and get out and see a little more of the Toon.
I elected to head down to the river from the flat, straight down Chillingham Road and on through Byker and Walker before hitting the Tyneside Cycle way (Sustrans Route 72). The track takes you along by the river (no surprises there) all the way out to Tynemouth, and is in a good state of repair pretty much the whole way. Add to the joy of a nice smooth path, the interesting and varied scenery encountered along the way, and the friendly Geordies passed on the journey, and this tour from the doorstep suddenly becomes very enticing.
Once in Tynemouth, I paused for a moment to let Lucy know the rest of my plans; we were fortunate enough to be treated to Sunday dinner at her parents’ house, so rather than just turn around and head back, I turned north and cycled up to Blyth along the sea front. If you haven’t experienced the Northumberland coast, I can highly recommend it; with open watery vistas to the right and lovely clean sea air this section of the journey was just as much a pleasure as the quieter cycle path.
Heading through Whitley Bay brought me in close proximity with some of the less savoury drivers, out on the roads in their huge cars and lack of patience. Nothing ever feels as sweet as the ability to cycle past on the cycle path, casually breezing past those who had previously cut you up and honked at others for no reason.
After the final few miles of pushing up to Blyth, I turned inland towards Cramlington and an excellent Sunday Dinner. What a perfect end to a lazy day, rolling up for a quick shower followed by excellent grub.
All I have left to say is that it is always worth thinking about adventures, however small, and whilst I’d always advocate getting out into the countryside, sometimes it’s worth having a micro-tour of your own back yard. I for one will use the fantastic facility that is Newcastle upon Tyne for more adventuring, especially when I’m just not feeling up to a hard, damp run.
Post by Johan