I’d heard whispers of how amazing it is to ride the coastline in Northumberland, England’s most northern county.
But they were just whispers.
Sure, there are many people who will sing the praises of the North East and it’s castle strewn coastline, but the riders themselves appear to be less vocal; secretive almost.
So, under the guise of a “family holiday” to Seahouses, I decided that I should check out the area for myself.
With no real plan, other than to spend the day riding as far as I could on sand, I set out for a day in the saddle.
The air was crisp and cold, the skies big and imposing, the beaches long and desolate.
From the start, it was simply stunning.
As I headed North, I was soon rewarded with views of the impressive Bamburgh Castle, a Norman castle built on the site of an Celtic Brittonic fort, dating back to c.420 AD
As I meandered up the coast, past Bamburgh Lighthouse, the coastline presented challenges which anything other than a fatbike would have been unable to conquer.
And that’s what so special about the bikes we share a passion for riding; nothing (well almost nothing) can get in their way. Because of “The Dude” I was able to access beaches which were so inaccessible, it allowed me to feel that unbelievably rewarding feeling of remoteness and solitude. It would have been great to share this with other riders, but just for that moment I quietly celebrated my loneliness.
I felt like a King.
A King with his own private beach and the lyrics of Tom Petty playing gently in the back of my mind
“It’s good to be king of your own little townIt’s good to be king and have your own way
Get a feeling of peace at the end of the day”
Now, the one thing that can stop a fatbike is water, or the sea to be precise. With the Holy Island of Lindisfarne temptingly close, I reached impasse in the form of Budle Water; a one mile wide expanse of seawater where the coastline dramatically cuts inland. With no clear crossing, I abandoned my heading and decided to venture south.
The south side of Seahouses gave me probably the best of the beach riding I have ever done.
As far as the eye could see, I could see no-one. I could see sea and sand and sun.
Save the odd dog walker, giving me the to be expected stare, this continued until I hit the rocky outcrop at Dunstanburgh Castle.
And as the old and somewhat clichéd adage says; “time and tide wait for no man”.
So with a heavy heart, I headed home against the rising tide and falling light.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had some amazing days out riding a bike, but this one has to be right up near the top. Having spent the day on this most glorious of unspoiled coastlines, I can see why those who are lucky enough to ride it often would want to keep it secret. I know I certainly would.
I’m sure that bringing you this glowing endorsement will have my name spoken in less than favourable terms, but its a risk I’ll take in order to sing its praises.
If you get the chance, I urge you to experience it for yourself.
Just don’t say that I sent you.