The Ancient Ram Inn: Nevertheless, there are countless stories of ghostly sightings at The Ancient Ram Inn; and worse still are the tales of forceful interference, physical assault and even demonic rape at this little old Gloucestershire pub. Even amongst supernatural investigators, the place has an unprecedented reputation. It lies on the crossing point of two ley lines, one of which runs direct from Stonehenge; other researchers have claimed the inn sits upon an ancient pagan burial ground.
David Simpson Cycling and especially mountain biking is one of the best ways to see our region. Head along rural riverside routes into industrial heartlands, take in lovely country roads or try out the course of a former railway route at your own leisurely pace.
That feeling of being part of the scenery is something that you never quite get from inside the car, even when the window is wound right down.
Scenery from a recent Durham to Sunderland cycle ride. Best of all though, cycling keeps you fit, in both mind and body.
It works well with my lifestyle and interests: The C2C Cycle route. The more miles you do though the easier the distances become. Many of these routes are the legacy of Dr Beeching, the man who closed so many railways back in the sixties, but that was due to the burgeoning growth of the motorists.
It all makes sense: All good news for leisurely cyclists like me.
Former railway station at Lanchester in County Durham. The other week I cycled from Durham into Sunderland through lovely countryside with views of the sea along the way. Surprisingly, much of the track through Sunderland itself encompasses fields, trees, parks and even a lake.
Cycling by the River Wear at Sunderland. Broompark, just west of Durham City is one such hub. One heads along the pretty wooded valley of the little River Deerness to Esh Winning and on towards a place called Stanley Crook and another heads north along the Browney valley to Lanchester and then on towards Consett.
Perhaps the major hub for cyclists in the North East is Lydgetts Junction at Consett, arguably the central hub for all North East cycle paths. Here routes head out to Newcastle and Tynemouth, south into Durham, east to Sunderland and west all the way to Cumbria via the splendid Hownsgill viaduct.
Souter Lighthouse is one of the many beautiful features on the coastal route between the Tyne and Wear. An alternative cross-Pennine route is the W2W Walney to Wear route linking Walney in southern Cumbria to Sunderland, part of which we followed on our recent ride from Durham to Sunderland.
Bicycles are welcome on the Shields Ferry. In North Yorkshire the Vale of York and Vale of Mowbray around Thirsk and Northallerton offer relatively gentle cycling with gradual climbs into the Yorkshire Dales to the west or challenging cycling in the North York Moors to the east.
Hamsterley and Kielder for example have superb mountain biking trails to explore.
Out and about on the bike. Check out our sunny day of cycling photos of the Derwent Valley here and of Newcastle-Gateshead here. Select by nation and county for an extensive list of routes with map details.The 40 best restaurants in Britain that was just lovely.
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