Guided Leisure Ride - Ford & Etal
A gentler start to the cycling season through North Northumberland's picturesque and historic landscape to the picture postcard villages of Ford and Etal.
This guided "stop & look" leisure ride leaves Wooler and heads out to the Grade I listed Weetwood Bridge. We cross the River Till over the bridge and pause to look back over the Milfield Plain at the best vista of the mighty Cheviot Hills. Our route continues parallel to the winding River Till for a few miles to reach Horton and then it heads north, straight as a die, along the Devil's Causeway Roman Road with wonderful views of the ridge of the Kyloe Hills to the east. Before reaching Lowick we strike west and follow the road to our first stop at Routin Linn.
At Routin Linn we will dismount and explore the finest example of neolithic rock art in Europe, and, the adjoining Iron Age hillfort, and then we'll make our way on foot through ancient woodland to find the atmospheric Routin Linn waterfall. Leaving Routin Linn we ride through undulating countryside to our next stop at the Ford Moss information point. The Moss is an SSSI and is home to rare sphagnum mosses and other plant species. The surprise here is the magnificent brick built tall chimney associated with the engine house of a 19th century colliery. From Ford Moss we follow the road to Ford and then to Etal where we stop for lunch.
At Etal there will be time to take a look at the imposing ruins of Etal Castle (English Heritage) and the weir across the fast flowing River Till. From Etal we back track to Ford where we will stop at Ford Castle to admire its impresssive Tudor style manorial architecture and meander along the main street of the village past the Lady Waterford Hall and the quaint blacksmith's shop.
From Ford we return to Wooler through Kimmerston and then to the Maelmin Heritage site to see the reconstructed Iron Age henge. Finally we go past the gliding club to Bendor and on to Wooler.
At Etal lunches are available at The Lavender Tearooms and The Black Bull pub, but if you prefer, feel free to bring your own packed lunch.
The ride is all on road. Distance: 29 Miles. Difficulty level is mostly easy with some moderate climbs.
The route, route profile, and gpx download (and direct downloads to compatible Garmin devices) are available on Garmin Connect
Toilets: There are public toilets at Wooler and at Etal Castle car park. Toilets at pubs and cafes are generally for customers only.
The ride is operated by the Wooler Cycle Hub on behalf of Northumberland National Park Authority.
To register for this ride please email WCH using the email link on the right giving the name of the ride, your name, your mobile number and your home postcode.