Posted by: brendaintheboro | May 1, 2022

Full Spring

Here we are on the May Day bank holiday. We had a couple of days away cycling but not camping.

We didn’t want to be away all weekend so on Thursday set off to cycle to my brother’s home in Jarrow. The weather has been dry for weeks so we were very happy to ride up the Castle Eden walkway following part of a nationcycle route- I am not sure if it’s NCN1 or 14. It might be a combination of both.

When we got up past Hurworth burn, we stopped to chat to a dogwalker who wanted to tell us about his mountain biking adventures. As he is now in his early 60’s he is seriously thinking about an e-bike.

Then we were caught up by a chap who was fully equipped with camping gear. He is on his way up to Inverness having got a free pass from his wife to take advantage of the current rail ticket pricing for his return journey. He asked if we knew the route well. Oh yes, we know the places to avoid so he asked if he could tag along. We took him up through Haswell and then took the road through Sunderland and along the coast round to the Shields ferry. Keith, I hope you have a super journey. He lives in the town over from us , so we hope we might see him around about.

There are so many wild flowers blooming so it’s a delight to be on the tracks.

Cherry blossom

We had a lovely stay with my brother who is currently looking after his son’s Bordeaux mastiff. This is due to his son having a serious accident coming off his bicycle and shattering his leg. Duke is a giant softie and despite his bark when we first arrived , he was so contented all the time. I did get to go out for a walk with my brother and the dog.

Our intention had been to visit a cousin on the other side of the river Tyne but unfortunately, he is down with Covid. As the weather forecast for Friday was sunny we decided to return home taking a different route.

Friday had us on different tracks from those we usually ride through the outskirts of Jarrow and on up towards Gateshead area.


Some sort of marsh plant
Bowes railway path sculpture
Part of the sculpture
DH on the road crossing

We were using part of the Keelman’s way and then onto the Bowes railway path. We tried it a few years ago and the surface was dire but it has really been upgraded in long stretches- just not long enough. But those whose read regularly know , we don’t give up.

After crossing through the car park of the Bowes railway museum, we came to another off road path that was quite gravelly and I had to walk down it. I don’t want to risk a fall in the middle of know where. At the bottom of this long hill, we came across this “diversion”.

Diversion for cyclists – NOT!

I had a walk down and talked to one of the workmen who told me we would have to use the pedestrian track. Another walk through bushes on rocky tracks and we had to negotiate a not good gate.

DH had to upend the cycles to get through

So even taking off the panniers that gate was just too small to get a bicycle through. Then we had to negotiate a bridge and come down steps on the other side.

Bridge over the A1
Steps on bridge

On the left side was a trough for a bicycle wheel but not with a loaded bike!,

The weather was lovely and we stopped and bought a meal deal in Chester lê Street before riding on to find a seat in Framwellgate on the outskirts of Durham. It was so lovely to sit in the sunshine

Durham cycle path

So we were soon into Durham and we rode through without stopping and found our way to the Brandon to Bishop Auckland railway path. It was a lovely ride through to Bishop and then along the path from Shildon to Newton Aycliffe where we had another refreshment stop. Then it was on a usual route through Stockton and home. 104 miles

Saturday was a day to have a short ride as although rain was forecast, it was sunny. We had some business to take care of, so we incorporated that too. One highlight was stopping for a Scone at Fiona’s Farm ‘shop’. We had our own jam and hot chocolate to enjoy sitting on their picnic bench.

On the way back we called at friends. Sarah has been taking a bee keeping course and one of the interesting thing she has learned is that bees stick to one type of flower. Dandelions or lavender. You live and learn. So if you buy those packets of mixed seeds to help the bees , they might not be as useful as you think.lês

This weeks mileage 121 miles and 971 miles YTD.


  1. Some cycle paths leave a lot to be desired! A good mileage for the week though and very good wildflower pictures.

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