I have found a cycle a route that I think is great, so I thought I’d share it.
I normally write about film but am also really interested in cycling, running and a general respect and appreciation of our local environment.
So, for now let’s look at a cycling route.
Going from the end of West Auckland Road and turning left onto the A688. Follow the A688 down and turn left at the second roundabout onto Darlington Lane.
Continue down that road for a short distance and turn right into Hummer Beck Lane (You can access it from West Auckland Road, but in my opinion the path uphill from that point is unfit for cycling).
There are numerous pot holes along the lane which is very poorly maintained, and the potholes are so frequent they are unavoidable, so unless you enjoy a bumpy ride I suggest taking this route.
Continue along Hummer Beck Lane for what is around 2 – 3 miles, give or take, until you reach Hilton Moor Lane.
Continue straight over into Hilton Moor Lane and then follow along until you reach Hilton.
Keeping going and you’ll reach a ‘B’ road, continue along the road briefly and then turn right into Mulberry Lane.
Take the first left.
Carry on straight through until you hit a fairly blind and quite busy B6279 (lots of speeding cars travel along this road as it’s not a built-up area).
Enter the lane straight in front of you, Hulam Lane.
Continue along Hulam Lane until you hit cross-roads. Turn left and continue along Hulam Lane into Ford Dike Lane.
Then just follow it down right into the village of Gainsford.
In Gainsford coming off the lane, turn right and onto the A67.
Continue along the A67 and just before you approach Whinfield Cattery there is a path which joins up with the path running along the River Tees.
Enter the path and it’s a safe short-cut until you hit Winston Gate Bridge.
Cut onto Winston Gate Bridge from the path and turn left onto the B6274 , cycle up and continue along avoiding the right turn onto Ovington Lane.
Continue along Berry Bank lane and it’s your second left onto Pudding Hill Road.
Then just keep cycling for some way and just stay to your right without accessing any other paths, and you’ll hit the village of Eppleby.
Ride straight through the village of Eppleby. It’s just one straight road and turn left.
Follow this road along and you’ll hit a cross roads.
Follow this road along and take your first right (Stanwick Church)
Then your first left and continue along until you reach the village of Aldbrough St John.
Due to my advancing years, I have yet to go further.
It’s a very good cycle route. Depending on what type of bike you have it might not be for everyone. I’m not exactly built to withstand a racing bike, but I use a mountain bike and prefer off-road cycling, lanes, woods, etc.
I’ve seen many cyclists using this route but I’m sure some of our newer residents to Shildon may not be familiar with it.
The path running alongside the River Tees is particularly nice and you get a really good view of the River. There are some natural tree roots coming up through the path, but they are fine. It adds to the character.
There certainly isn’t anything remotely dangerous or arduous on the route, but I stress that the Haggs Lane access road from West Auckland Road appears to have a ‘national cycling route’ label indicating it’s fit for cycling. It’s barely fit for walking or running, let alone cycling. Avoid at all costs.
But as I’ve mentioned you can bypass the rough part and access it off Darlington Road.
Point of note: You can just follow the A67 straight through and over Gainsford Bridge, but I prefer the path near the river as it’s safer and more interesting.
There were two access bridges from the village of Gainsford that allowed you to cross over the river, but they have both been closed by the local council and have been closed for some time.
Anyway, that it. There is enough information here to plan it out on Google Map or todays modern technology, if that helps.