The Route

Coast & Castles is a 200 mile stretch of the North Sea Cycle Route which takes the whole east coast of Britain before veering off to the Shetlands and then Norway and through the Low Countries. If you fancy doing the lot have a look at www.northsea-cycle.com. Much of it is staggeringly beautiful, but the Coast & Castles section is surely one of the most majestic.

It is called Coast & Castles after the 100 or so miles of shoreline it follows, threaded through Northumbrian fishing villages, past vast sandy beaches. Now there is an alternative route continuing north along the coast instead of cutting inland via the Scottish Borders. The coastline is dotted with ancient castles such as Warkworth, Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Lindisfarne.

At Berwick either continue north along National Route 76 or head left along the Tweed, staying on Route 1. This takes you quite quickly into Sir Walter Scott country – through some of Scotland’s best kept secrets. The Borders is as beautiful in its way as the Highlands. But less of a tourist trap. This is a land where time seems to stand still. Old communities of Borderers, ruined abbeys, fine pubs and eateries. Well worth the detour…

Newcastle to Edinburgh via The Borders


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Distances

Total mileage: 200

Newcastle – Tynemouth: 12.5 miles (20km)
Tynemouth – Blyth: 10.5 miles (17km)
Blyth – Lynemouth: 11.5 (18.5km)
Lynemouth – Amble: 10.5 miles (17.5km)
Amble – Embleton: 19 miles (30km)
Embleton – Belford: 18 miles (28km)
Belford – Berwick: 19 miles (30km)
Berwick – Coldstream: 18.5 miles (29km)
Coldstream – Kelso: 12 miles (19km)
Kelso – Melrose: 15 miles (24km)
Melrose – Innerleithen: 17 miles (27km)
Innerleithern – Dalkeith: 26 miles
Dalkeith – Edinburgh: 11 miles (18km)

Coastal alternative (170 miles total)

Berwick – Eyemouth: 13 miles (21km)
Eyemouth – Cockburnspath: 13 miles (21km)
Cockburnspath – Dunbar: 9 miles (14.5km)
Dunbar – Haddington: 12 miles (19km)
Haddington – Edinburgh: 35 miles (56km)