Craster to Alnmouth
Matt Carroll, author of Escape Routes, picks his favourite rides…
ou may find it slow going along the coastal path from Craster to Alnmouth. Not because it’s particularly difficult cycling; it’s just that every few minutes or so you find yourself reaching for the camera, as yet another craggy cove reveals itself.
The ride begins in the fishing village of Craster, where lobster pots are stacked up on the quayside, and the aroma of smoked fish hangs in the air. Heading up the hill from this sleepy settlement, through the castellated entrance arch that spans the lane (no passport necessary), you make a left on to the coast road and set off towards Alnmouth.
It’s easy pedalling all the way, until you peel off on to the cliff-top path and that camera starts burning a hole in your pocket. Off to your left it seems like you’ve got the entire North Sea pooled out for your viewing pleasure, hundreds of whitecaps breaking in the distance, like flashing smiles.
Before long you’re sweeping downhill to arrive at Alnmouth, where you’ve got the whole afternoon to spend on the beach. Fingers crossed you’ve got some space left on that camera…
16 miles approx.
Stop and see
At Alnmouth Beach you’ve got three expanses of golden sand to choose from – my favourite being the stretch south of the river, which is wilder and a tad quieter.
Eat and drink
Pull up at The Sun Inn (01665 830983) and order the Craster salmon in white wine sauce. If it leaves you feeling full, then why not check in to one of the four upstairs rooms?
At Sea Breeze Cottage (07599 423718) in Craster you’ll have three bedrooms and an upstairs ‘viewing room’, with sweeping 180-degree views along the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle. Wait till you see the sunsets…
Pedal Power (01665 713448).
This route and over 50 others feature in a book entitled Matt Carroll’s Escape Routes , a hand-picked selection of stunning cycle rides around England. Published by Punk, priced £16.95.
Part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...Durham Dales