The Reivers’ Cycle Route is a 170-mile coast-to-coast route across the far north of England from Tynemouth to Whitehaven. It takes cyclists into the remote border regions that were once terrorised by the Reivers – unruly clans of robbers, murderers and cattle rustlers, who owed allegiance to neither the English nor the Scottish crowns.
Coinciding with Route 10 on the National Cycle Network for much of its journey, it first heads west into the Northumberland National Park and then uses rougher tracks and trails to cross Kielder Forest. Entering Cumbria, it follows the River Lyne downstream and calls in at the historic city of Carlisle before skirting the edge of the Lake District National Park. Beyond the Northern Fells and Cockermouth, it reaches the coast, where it joins up with the Hadrian’s Cycleway, or Route 72 on the National Cycle Network, for its final few miles.
Almost one-third of the Reivers’ Cycle Route is traffic-free and nearly 20 per cent of it is on unsealed surfaces. Many cyclists use it as an alternative to the shorter and much busier Sea to Sea (C2C) route which takes a more southerly line between Sunderland/Tynemouth and Whitehaven/Workington.