In Autumn 2018 Ted was tasked by Forestry England at Kielder to devise a 200 km Gravel Bike Trails Network in Kielder Forest linking to Hadrian’s Wall Country, the North Tyne Valley, The ‘Forgotten Lands in North East Cumbria and Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders.
Gravel bikes (or Adventure bikes) are better suited to the demands of on and off-road cycling as they can be ridden on both types of terrain. The proposal is to create and waymark a 200 km network of trails suitable for Gravel bikes comprising a mix of suitable forest ‘roads’ and quiet narrow country lanes to meet the growing demand for safe but adventurous places to ride this type of bike. The network will offer several route options which traverse Kielder Forest and connect key locations on all sides of the forest. These include Kielder Castle, Kielder Water refreshment and visitor centres, The Sill Visitor Centre, Steel Rigg on Hadrian’s Wall and Bewcastle in the Forgotten Lands area as well as Newcastleton in the Borders, Bellingham in the north west, Hexham in the south east and Carlisle in the south west. Staying overnight will be encouraged at existing and hopefully new accommodation providers. Those wishing to camp can choose from several official sites whilst those who prefer bike-backing will be offered a number of approved locations to meet their needs.