Image: one of the many bike rides from Stanegate Cottage, Greenhead, Northumberland.
Image: things to see on a self-catering cycle holiday near Greenhead in Northumberland.

On the road …

Greenhead is well away from any main centres of population giving easy access to the network of Northumbrian rural roads. You can explore Hadrian’s Wall and its associated Roman remains or simply cycle through the beautiful countryside around Stanegate Cottage. But be warned … Northumberland is not a flat county! If you choose the less undulating roads in the coastal areas, however, you need to deal with larger and busier roads.

You can explore plenty of quiet roads straight from the door of Stanegate Cottage. Wind your way between and over the Northumbrian hills, enjoying the stunning views. Sustrans route 72 passes through Greenhead, a few hundred yards down the lane. Route 10 can be accessed from nearby Kircambeck (about 15 mins drive). Heading east to Haltwhistle (about 10 mins drive) allows you to access Sustrans route 68. Here you can cycle north towards Keilder Water or south towards Alston on the South Tyne Trail.

Mountain biking …

Northumberland has plenty of off-road cycling too. About an hour’s drive will get you to the Kielder Water visitor centre. Kielder forest is a well developed area for serious mountain biking as well as for family off-road outings. There are plenty of trails and tracks. Some of these take you into the dramatic, wild and remote parts of the National Park – often without seeing anyone else during your ride. Remember your waterproofs, bike repair kit plus sandwiches and drinks if you head out into the sticks. If you prefer hot food, the pub in Kielder village at the north end of the reservoir serves decent pub grub.

The 7-Stanes mountain bike centre at Newcastleton is about three-quarters of an hour’s drive to the north. Here you find traffic-free trails to suit all abilities – from easy family rides to hardcore mountain bike circuits.

It isn’t just Northumberland that is easily accessible from Stanegate Cottage. To the west you can cycle in Cumbria and the coast of the Solway Firth. To the south you have Alston and the Pennines. A day out in the Lakes or southern Scotland are also possible as an alternative to a local ride.

Image: mountain biker at Kielder Water, Northumberland.