Sandstone way

Questions and answers about routes.

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ootini
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Sandstone way

Post by ootini » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:56 pm

Anyone done this route ? Thinking of doing it end of August, beginning of September. Just wondering if anyone had any hints or tips. Thanks

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whitestone
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Re: Sandstone way

Post by whitestone » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:23 pm

We did it S-N four years ago. Write up here http://bobwightman.blogspot.com/2015/09 ... e-way.html

Get the map. When we did it it wasn't signed for S-N so there were a few minor detours. You can park up at Berwick train station for the duration. You have to book bikes on the east coast line (Virgin) but it's first come first served on the Newcastle-Hexham line, two bikes per train. Late August is good as the heather is in full bloom. Bike: hardtail or rigid, might be a bit much on a gravel bike.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

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JohnClimber
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Re: Sandstone way

Post by JohnClimber » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:14 pm

I did it a few years back, is was very wet and windy.

The main thing I remember about it is all the wet sheep pooh and cow pooh through all of the (what felt like) hundreds of gates that I had to deal with on my own.

I'll not be doing that route again.

thenorthwind
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Re: Sandstone way

Post by thenorthwind » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:23 pm

I haven't ridden it as a route on its own, but I ride a lot in Northumberland so I'm familiar with most of it.

First thing most people say is how many gates there are - for that reason I wonder if it's best done with other people to share the load a bit.

Trains: there are XC and LNER trains on the Ncl-Berwick line. LNER need to be booked in advance, XC there are (I think) 2 bookable spaces and 1 first come first served. Hexham line is Northern - two first come first served spaces as Bob says, but never usually a problem getting more on (we had three on this afternoon). Then again you may get a grumpy conductor or find it full of pushchairs :roll:

There used to be a great café and bunkhouse in Rothbury, Tomlinson's, which is sadly now shut. I can recommend the Rothbury bakery though, particularly the steak and black pudding pies :-bd Food at the pub in Alwinton, or at Clennell Hall. Can't remember the exact route but there ain't a whole heap around there.

I live in Newcastle - let me know if I can help with anything.

Edit - me and John's posts crossed but he's proved my point!

jamiep
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Re: Sandstone way

Post by jamiep » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:45 am

Before I'd even seen the above comments, I'd intended to write: "death by a thousand gates was my Strava title at the time". Not a favourite route - aside from the gates, it mostly seems to involve riding through a farmer's field to the next gate. Have a gpx to follow as the markers aren't always obvious

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whitestone
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Re: Sandstone way

Post by whitestone » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:00 am

Always interesting to see others' take on things.

I honestly can't remember that many gates, maybe it's what you get used to on rides. Apart from a few sections across moorland it's mostly low lying so gates sort of come with the territory.

The Newcastle-Hexham train was fine until it pulled in to the Metro Centre station when it seemed like the entire stock of Primark got on board :shock: :lol:

Yeah, not much in the way of food stops between Rothbury and Wooler (which is off-route), in fact I think we got to Beal near Holy Isle before finding anywhere.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

golfcurry
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Re: Sandstone way

Post by golfcurry » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:31 pm

If your looking for a stopoff point halfway then there's a bunkhouse in the middle of Harwood Forest just past rothbury

https://independenthostels.co.uk/members/chartnersfarm/

Hopefully it will stay dry for the next few weeks to let the ground dry out a bit for you, its best rode after a dry spell given there are a few field sections.

Wooler - food/drink

Clennell Hall - Food/drink available

Rothbury Food/Drink/accommodation

Bellingham provides some nice food stops - cafe, Co-op, chinese.

Garage at NewBrough with Toilet/food/drink.

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