In contrast to many other parts of Britain, Northumberland very often provides restful, leisurely driving. The Romans have left their mark with their long straight military roads, then there are the quiet winding country lanes and scenic spots to take a break. The main roads to and through Northumberland are the A1, A697 (the scenic route to Scotland) A68 and A69. The A1 provides direct access to the Northumberland Coast, with its magnificent beaches and castles, many taken in on the Northumberland Coastal route - the B1339 and B1340. The A697 takes you to Branton and Northumberland Cottage, and is the alternative route North and into Scotland, with views towards the Cheviots. The A69 follows Hadrian's Wall across to Carlisle, and the A68 takes you through the Cheviot Hills into the Scottish borders.
CyclingThe cottage is situated on the exceptionally scenic Route 68 (for details see the Pennine cycle way website) of the National Cycle Network. Northumberland is excellent for cycling because of the limited amount of traffic on minor roads, the numerous towns and villages, each with its own pubs and tea shops, and the lack of steep hills - especially on the coast. Even in the beautiful Cheviot Hills the slopes tend to be long and gentle rather than short and sharp. Cyclists may use all public roads, tracks, byways, paths and bridleways, but not public footpaths. Further information about cycling in the region is available from Northumberland County Council.
Most towns and villages in Northumberland are served by public transport. There are over 30 bus companies operating in Northumberland, many of which run only one or two services. By far the largest bus company is Arriva, whose buses operate from 5 bus stations at Alnwick, Ashington, Blyth, Hexham, Morpeth and Newcastle Haymarket. Regular bus services are complemented in the summer months by tourist services to destinations such as Hadrian's Wall and Kielder Water. Information about these two services is available from Hexham Tourist Information Centre and via the Traveline telephone service on 0870 608 2608.
TrainsNorthumberland is well served by railway connections from the rest of Britain. The main East Coast line runs the full length of Northumberland and provides a scenic trip to Berwick or Edinburgh. For national rail enquiries call 0845 7484950 or visit TheTrainLine. East Coast also has information on fares and times.
The National Express web site provides timetable information and booking facilities for long distance buses operated by National Express. For telephone enquiries ring 08705 808080.
Air services are provided through Newcastle International Airport, just to the south of the county, near Ponteland. It offers 13 flights a day to London (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) which all take less than an hour in the air. In addition, there are regular flights to Europe and other British Airports. To contact the airport call 0870 122 1488.
Northumberland's main port is at Blyth, which is used heavily by local manufacturing industry. Passenger ferries to Northumberland are operated from the International Ferry Terminal at North Shields, just east of Newcastle. These include services from Amsterdam, Bergen, Gothenburg etc.
26 July, 2010
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