Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 20, 2020

North , South and West

We didn’t go directly East this week because that’s the coast , although we were near the coast at one point. I had the week off work but due to possible Covid restrictions, which did start at the end of the week, we decided to take it a day at a time.

So Monday was a sunny , if a cool day and we decided to ride up to Hurworth Burn. We were expecting to see the old guys, we refer to as ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ but they weren’t there.

We carried on and turned off NCN1 onto NCN14 down towards Hartlepool but decided to second breakfast near Heselden where there is a picnic bench.

Hesleden picnic bench

I had a mosey around and found this piece of artwork chocked by grass and weeds.

neglected art piece

Then it was down into Hartlepool and along for an ice cream at Seaton Carew. So technically , we had gone East because we were at the seaside and all three of the fish and chip shops were doing a roaring trade. I was the only person at the ice cream shop and even then the lass serving didn’t understand what I actually asked for.

Tuesday saw us setting off early as DS1 wanted us to go and ride up the south side of the river Tyne, cross the river at Wylam and then back down to cross the Shields ferry as we did a couple of weeks back.

tow bar cycle carrier

This is the carrier we purchased a few weeks ago. It will take 3 bicycles but it is easier to load and unload it with only 2.

So we set off up through along the Keelman Way and through Jarrow.

River Tyne looking upstream.
more upstream
Kittiwake tower

This is the furthest inland that kittiwakes nest and this tower has been provided for them.

Tyne Bridge and Sage Centre
the Gateshead Millenium Bridge

So now we were in Newcastle and on to unknown territory for us. We have always used the north side of the river to get up to Wylam.

Dunston Staithes
Looking across to Dunston Staithes from the north side

Then it was on to the Blaydon Races – if you are a northerner , you probably know the song.

Blaydon art work

A bit further up the track near a rowing club , we spotted a couple resting and I spotted a North Sea Cycle Route rear pannier on one of the bikes. Well, being me I had to stop and ask if they had ridden it. I knew the pannier because our Norwegian pal had been awarded one after completing the route 3 times. DH and I still have our well worn NSCR buffs. Anyway, it turns out that this chap had been one of the original route planners. He hadn’t ridden the whole route but had done bits in each country. He was well impressed when we told him that we had ridden it in 9 weeks back in 2006.

Wylam car park and picnic area

So the route on the south side is narrower and a bit more MTB like terrain in places but our bikes coped well. We stopped here for a bite to eat and then rode down 3 miles to Newburn and had delicious ice cream. I was surprised to see the van there as the schoolchildren are all back in school now. There were also apple trees growing wild but too high to get at the apples.

apples too high to pick

The route is a bit convoluted into Newcastle with numerous crossings but soon we could see all the bridges.

Newcastle Bridges.

Then it was down along the quayside and river to the ferry and across to South Shields

Merchant Seaman Memorial

So it was a drive home which in the event didn’t turn out as bad as I expected due to all the roadworks being easy to get through.

Wednesday, wasn,t a good day, grey and cold so DH suggested a sewing day.

I finished piecing my quilt top and made a tee-shirt for DS1.

covid quilt

Thursday was another beautiful day. The previous evening we watched a couple of episodes of the new ‘All creatures Great and small’ TV series and so that gave us the idea to cycle to Thirsk were the original vet worked. They still have a Skeldale Veterinary surgery there , not that we went looking for it.

The route for this took us across to Nrothallerton and then out on the A168 but very shortly after turning left on the NCN71 up into the hills. I didn’t take a photo of the landscape as it was quite hazy but did take this unusual entrance. Its been referred to as a Hobbit house.


Its a climb most of the way to Upsall but then there’s a lovely descent down through South Kilvington and into Thirsk.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find a fabric/quilt shop just behind the public WC just near the bridge. I did have a little nosey in but didnt buy anything. DH suggested I might want to drive over next time heehee!

We had a picnic stop just outside Thirsk near Norby Park .

river sluice gates

So we rode back into Northallerton on the A168 which wasn’t too busy and then home again. It was lovely to see a friend from church as we crossed Stockton Market.

Friday saw us having a ride across to Cozy Coffee and delicious muffins were consumed in the sunshine.

I had been asked to do an alteration on some trousers for an asylum seeker and so did those early on Saturday and then we had a ride to deliver them.

verge flowers

This has given me a total of 204miles for the week and YTD 4905 miles

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