Curlew Cycle Route

Get on your bike and explore Bellingham, Birtley and Wark on this North Tyne Circular Route. You’ll largely follow the existing National Cycle Network – Pennine Cycleway Route 68, Reivers Route 10 to Greenhaugh. There are hills to negotiate on all the routes, nothing too steep, but some long climbs.

Local Facilities: Bellingham – toilets, cafes, pubs, shops, accommodation and Heritage Centre with Tourist Information.

Start & Finish: Bellingham Square
Route – Moderate with some hill climbs
Distance – 18 miles
Type of Bike – Mountain / Hybrid
Time – 2 hours

Cycle Route

Discover our Curlew cycle route on Ride with GPS.

Places of Interest


Said to be sited on a Roman station. St Cuthbert’s Church was consecrated in 1180 and is unique in having an arched stone roof built in response to the repeated burnings of its former wooden roof by border raiders. ‘Cuddy’s Well’ is thought to have been used by St Cuthbert for baptisms, and to retain miraculous healing powers. HARESHAW LINN – a waterfall hidden in ancient woodland, is a short walk from Bellingham.


Standing on a ridge over the North Tyne Valley, the place name means ‘bright clearing’ derived from the old-English word ‘beorht’. The remains of several British camps encircle the village indicating the area has been settled since the Iron Age. Birtley Hall occupies the site of the old castle. On the opposite side of the road stands the 12th-century church of St Giles.


Wark is a delightful village on the banks of the North Tyne. The village green is dominated by a chestnut planted in 1887 to celebrate QueenVictoria’s golden jubilee. The town hall was built in 1875, and the bridge over the North Tyne constructed in 1878. In the Middle Ages, Wark was the seat of the ‘Lordships of Tynedale’ and a motte and bailey castle dominated the village. From 1150 to 1295 the Scottish kings held court in Wark as the village was then part of Scotland. The Lordship remained in royal hands until 1604. Wark has a general shop and pubs for refreshments.

Getting there

By car

From the A1, take the A69 and then the A68 to reach Bellingham.