The route of the Pennine Cycleway runs very close to Burnfoot – for good reason due to the roads being so quiet. There are plenty of relaxing circular cycling routes from Burnfoot, and the route to the Barrowburn Tea Room makes for a very pleasant day’s cycling with plenty of picturesque places to stop and rest beyond Alwinton.
Bicycles can be hired from ‘The Bike Shop’ in Alnwick (they deliver and collect – call 07599 350 000 or email Adam@thebikeshopalnwick.co.uk).
Electric bikes can be hired from Go Electric in Seahouses and Wooler (they deliver and collect) – see their website at www.goelectrichire.co.uk.
For the mountain biker, there are two local Forestry Commission woods with exciting off-road trails. The first is the Simonside Hills (Map ref: NZ 037 997. Take the B6342 from Rothbury towards Scots Gap; signposted on the right about ten minutes’ drive out of Rothbury). Great for views of The Cheviot Hills and beyond.
The second is Holystone (Map ref: NT 951 026. Turn right out of the cottages and continue along this road for about half an hour – don’t turn off into Alwinton – until you reach Holystone village. The wood is 500m west of the village.) Waterfalls, crags and no-one else around, but can get too boggy to cycle in parts.
For the serious mountain biker, further afield is the Kielder Water & Forest Park, which has some of the best single track mountain biking trails in England. In 2009, just under £1million was invested solely in mountain biking in the park. There is a Skills Training Loop, an MTB Trials Park, and a £250,000 Bike Centre just to help you choose the right bike to hire!
Then you can choose whether to tackle Green, Blue, Red or Black trails with fearsome names such as ‘Deadwater’; ‘Lonesome Pine’; ‘Bloody Bush’; and the fearsome ‘Up and Over’ which straddles the England / Scotland border and affords views of the East and West coasts.