Extension Cycle along River Tyne West to Hexham
This 44km (27 mile) there-and-back extension to our River Tyne West Circular cycle route takes you further out along the River Tyne cycle route 72, Hadrian’s Cycleway, all the way to the Roman Towns of Hexham and Corbridge. If you do this full extension on top of the River Tyne West Cycle route, the whole trip will be 78km (48 miles). So why not make a day of it, buy a picnic in a local shop, and enjoy this route along the Tyne.
From Wylam Bridge in our River Tyne West Circular Cycle, don’t cross over the Tyne at Wylam but instead continue to follow the signs for Hadrian’s Cycleway Route 72 through Wylam and further West. Just past Wylam the route crosses over the Tyne to follow the path on the south side of the river to Prudhoe where it then crosses back over to the north side. Follow it all the way to Corbridge first, and then Hexham on the other side of the river. Return via the same route to Wylam and cross over the bridge to follow Keelman’s Way Route 141 and then 14 all the way back to the Quayside in Newcastle as per our River Tyne West Circular Cycle.
As far back as 1827 Corbridge was rated as a shopper’s paradise, a reputation it retains today. A wander along Corbridge’s pretty high street with its plethora of small shops with their decorated fronts will tempt you to linger longer. Once a garrison town for Roman soldiers and a safe crossing place over the Tyne, houses here are built with stone hewn from the Roman town of Corstopitum, where today’s Corbridge grew from. View the remains of this ancient Roman Site on the outskirts of the village.
Once the haunt of marauding Vikings 1300 years ago, nowadays Hexham proudly holds the title of England’s favourite market town – as voted by Country Life magazine. The town centre here is filled with winding streets with Hexham Abbey, the keystone of Hexham’s assets, at its hub. This flourishing place of worship was founded by the Northumbrian saint and bishop Wilfrid in 674.
There’s plenty to see in Hexham. Pay a visit to Hexham’s Old Gaol – an imposing stone cube, built in 1333 as England’s first purpose-built prison. The building’s history – and that of its infamous inhabitants including the Border Reivers – is told in full, gruesome glory across its four floors.
Hexham enjoys a buzzing arts and cultural scene. Take a stroll around the town’s many galleries. Catch a performance at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, a magnificent Victorian building facing Hexham Abbey which attracts the best international and national artists from music, drama and dance.
Go shop in Hexham’s many eclectic independent shops while a browse through the town’s market stalls will yield many a bargain. You’ll find market stalls every day of the week in Hexham’s ancient Shambles while the Market Place – sandwiched between the Abbey and the town’s 15th century Moot Hall – hosts a full market every Tuesday and Saturday. Stock up on local produce too at Hexham’s twice-monthly acclaimed farmers market too.
Information from various sources including wikipedia.org
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