30+ of the Best Cycle Routes for Kids around North East England

Over the years,  I have been asked a lot for ideas where families can ride their bikes with kids. I am not an expert in this - we just ride our bikes along the cycle path near our house or at the coast.

It is something I have been asked more and more during the past few weeks though so I decided to ask my readers for suggestions for their favourite routes so I could put them all together in one list for others to use. I hope you find this resource helpful. 

30+ of the Best Cycle Routes for Kids around North East England

The routes in this post have not been tried and tested by myself but have all been recommended by others as suitable for kids (huge thanks to everyone who recommended a route).

Not all of the routes are traffic-free and some are pretty long so ideal to split into sections and enjoy over a few weeks / months. I have tried to provide info re: suitability, distance and traffic but if you are unsure, please research further using the links provided. 

There are route ideas here for toddlers just starting out up to proficient mountain bikers. 

Before you set off, please take the time to read these Bike Safety Tips for Kids and check out these tips from Michael Halliday, BikeAbility instructor for taking the kids out: 

A few tips from a BikeAbility instructor when using any road sections
1. be confident
2. make good and frequent observations - especially behind

3. plan ahead and communicate with other road users don't make sudden last minute turns
4. Never hug the kerb - ride about 1 meter out
5. If you think it is unsafe for a car to overtake you then check behind and drift to the centre of your lane - do this when approaching and negotiating junctions and pinch points such as traffic islands. Never give cars just enough space to squeeze through - most drivers have the sense to stay behind but there will always be one or two who don't.
6. when riding with kids it's always a good idea for an adult to ride at the back and just slightly further out than the group

Backworth Cycle Route (8.7 miles)
  • This mostly traffic-free route forms part of the North Tyneside Waggonways Route.
  • Find out more here (scroll to the bottom and click on the route brochure).

Burradon & Killingworth Cycle Route (6 miles)
  • You can cycle most of this route on paths, some does cross onto the road but you could easily double back on yourself and miss this part out (see map for details). The route forms part of the North Tyneside Waggonways route. 
  • Find out more here (scroll to the bottom and click on the route brochure)

Rising Sun Cycle Route (7 miles)

Rising Sun Country park cycle path

  • Most of this route is traffic-free, there is a tiny bit of the route along a road but this is near Rising Sun Farm and it is almost always quiet (I think I have only seen a car there once). This route forms part of the North Tyneside Waggonways Route. 
  • Find out more here (scroll to the bottom and click on the route brochure)
  • Read about our trip to Rising Sun Country Park here

Seaton Burn Cycle Route (5 miles)

  • This route takes you around Weetslade Country Park and is part of the North Tyneside Waggonways Route. 
  • Find out more here (scroll to the bottom and click on the route brochure)

Silverlink Albert Dock Cycle Route (7.72 miles)

  • This route is completely traffic-free and forms part of the North Tyneside Waggonways Route. 
  • Find out more here (scroll to the bottom and click on the route brochure)

Wallsend Dene Cycle Route (6 miles)
  • A small section of this route is on road, but you could adapt it to stick with the paths if needed. This route forms part of North Tyneside Waggonways. 
  • Find out more here (scroll to the bottom and click on the route brochure)

Kielder (26 miles)

The Cycle Hub to Tynemouth ( 23 miles)
  • This route is 80% on cycle paths, pretty flat and you can stop for fish and chips! 
  • Find out more here

Watergate Forest Park (14 miles)
  • This is a cycle route around a lake which is perfect for younger children. 
  • Find out more here

Rising Sun to Spanish City (12 miles) 

Spanish City

  • This route has a small section off road and is perfect for more confident cyclists. 
  • Find out more here

The Cycle Hub to Gibside (20 miles) 
  • This route is pretty flat but does have one hill, it is a popular one so may be busy. 
  • Find out more here

Newburn Industrial Estate to Prudhoe (10 miles) 

Newburn Riverside (5 miles) 
  • This is a brilliant route if you are walking and your little one is riding or for beginners. It is nice and flat and fully on a cycle path. 
  • Find out more here

Newcastle Town Moor Loop (5.5 miles) 
  • There are some roads on this route so more suited to older / more confident kids. The route passes through two parks so it is easy to break up. 
  • Find out more here

Derwent Valley Short Route (4.5 miles) 
  • A beautiful route with wide (shared) paths. Watch out for a few hills though. 
  • Find out more here

Dunston Staiths (5.6 miles) 
  • An alternative route along the Tyne with lots to see. It can be narrow in places. 
  • Find out more here

Newcastle Quayside / Scotswood Road (8.7 miles) 
  • 95% on cycle paths so ideal for beginners, mostly flat with wide paths. 
  • Find out more here

Northumberland Coast & Castles Cycle Route NCN Route 1 (192 miles) 
  • This route runs along the Northumberland coastline between Newcastle and Edinburgh. The route is mainly traffic-free, offers fabulous views and is recommended for novice/intermediate family mountain biking. It is obviously a lot to do in one go but might be a good challenge to complete over the summer holidays.  
  • Find out more here
The Pennine Cycleway North  NCN Route 68 (104 miles) 
  • This route links the North Pennines with Berwick and is suited to an intermediate level. It is hilly and challenging so best suited to families with experienced older kids. 
  • Find out more here

The Dragon Cycle Trail at Wallington (3 miles) 
  • This route is perfect for families - an easy three miles in length. Bring your own bike or hire at Wallington (admission charges / National Trust Membership / booking applies) 
  • Find out more here

Whitley Bay to Tynemouth (2.8 miles) 

  • As part of a new trial, the road from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth (Southbound) is being transformed into a cycle lane. 

Deerness Valley Way Railway Path (8.5 miles) 
  • This route follows the River Deerness and passes through a mixture of arable and grazing land, woodland and meadows with lots of beautiful scenery. The route is also suitable for walkers and wheelchair users. 
  • Find out more here
  • Thanks to  Louise on FB for these tips:  

    “Just finished our 30km ride!! Could have turned round at many points to shorten it but the promise of pop and sweets in Crook kept the kids going! Broompark picnic area is a really lovely start. There are many play parks along the way (when they re-open). Gentle uphill all the way BP to Crook so all downhill coming back!! Big hill down into Crook so bit of a slog back up it but we managed it with 43 yr old mum and dad, 9yr old and 6yr old towed by trail gator!!

Newcastle to Whitley Bay via NCN Route 72 (14 miles)
  • This is a flat route along riverside proms, minor roads and purpose built cycle paths so perfect for beginners looking to build their confidence a little. The route ventures out from the mouth of the Tyne up towards Whitley Bay. 
  • Find out more here

Derwent Reservoir Walk (2/3.5 miles) 

Consett and Sunderland Railway Path (24 miles) 
  • This route follows a former railway line from Sunderland along the riverside and ends up at Roker beach. There is a lot to stop and see including specially commissioned art works, Beamish and WWT Washington Wetlands. The route is 97% traffic free but there are a few busy roads to cross. 
  • Find out more here

Roker Beach to Beamish (16 miles) 
  • Beginners and less confident cyclists are advised to start this route from Washington where the last 7 miles are traffic free. There is a steady climb towards Beamish. 
  • Find out more here

Keelmans Way Route 141  (7 miles) 
  • This route is 80% traffic free and links Wylam with Gateshead, Newcastle and the Bill Quay Area. The riverside route will eventually include 2km of traffic-free cycleway which is under construction between Blaydon Burn and Newburn Bridge. 
  • Find out more here

Morpeth to Newbiggin Route 155 (7.6 miles) 
  • This route is perfect for beginners. Primarily along shared cycle path/pedestrian way, it is mostly flat with one short, steep hill near the start.  
  • Find out more here

Waskerley Way Railway Path (9.7 miles) - thanks to Explore North East England on Insta for recommending this one. 
  • This route will take you along a varied landscape and is suitable for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users. It is part of the C2C route so a popular route. Park Head Picnic Area is the perfect place for a break. 
  • Find out more here

Castle Eden Walkway (9 miles)
  • This is a nice traffic-free route for beginners along a disused railway line. There is a cafe on route and lots of wildlife to spot too.  
  • Find out more here

Hamsterley Forest (various) 
  • Hamsterley Forest has recently mentioned that these routes are only for experienced cyclists with the correct mountain bikes and equipment. Please check your ability level with the routes before making a trip. These routes are ideal for advanced and elite riders.  
  • Find out more here

Aln Valley Railway (1 mile+) 
  • This is a cute little flat route with lots of space, perfect for children who are just starting out. 
  • Find out more here

    I hope you found this post useful - please let me know in the comments if there is anywhere else I should add to the list. Happy & Safe Cycling. 

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Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area. leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed since this post was published. 

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30+ of the Best Cycle Routes for Kids around North East England


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