Over the recent years the cycling charity Sustrans has put in enormous efforts to provide safe leisure cycle routes and this is one of their more recent offerings in the North of England. It provides an interesting and quieter alternative to the much heralded C2C route and passes through some glorious countryside taking in a series of Roman sites on the way. Basically it follows the path of Hadrian's Wall, hence the name. On the whole, signage is good but, as with all Sustrans routes, if one strays off course it can be difficult to re-establish the route so it is advisable to buy the map.
It is possible to get to the start at Ravenglass in Cumbria by train but do not attempt this if you are a large party or travelling at a busy time as places for bikes are limited and non-bookable - it's first come, first served. We booked a specialist bike transporter from Newcastle - £40 each for a 2 and 3/4 hour journey. In many ways the route is easier than the Coast to Coast with fewer climbs. Nevertheless it is not for the faint hearted. What climbs there are on the route are arduous and a degree of fitness is required as the route is considerably longer than the C2C.
Unlike the C2C there are virtually no rough off road sections so mountain bikes are unnecessary. Our party would recommend Hybrids although one of our number used a road bike and managed with little problem. The two on mountain bikes struggled somewhat. We would recommend a minimum of three days for the trip and you can see our recommendations for places to stay on other Tripadvisor postings.
All in all, an excellent three days cycling.
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