COAL TO KEEL NORTH EAST CYCLING TOUR
NORTH EAST CYCLING TOUR:CARRYING COALS TO NEWCASTLE
Over the centuries, coal was king in Newcastle giving rise to the famous idiom “Carrying coals to Newcastle” (meaning, roughly, the modern equivalent of “selling snow to Eskimos”). The coal industry dominated and shaped life in the North East and although now almost completely gone, its heritage is ever-present and this full day cycling tour explores its various facets.
Like a giant spider’s web, coal was carried via bridleways and rail tracks to the River Tyne with Newcastle’s virtual monopoly on the shipping of coal bringing great wealth to the town. You can read our blog post on Carrying Coals to Newcastle for a much more in-depth historical overview.
This full day North East cycling tour begins in Ouseburn, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, exploring among other things the history of the Victoria Tunnel, a 19th century subterranean wagonway. We then follow the Tyne upriver via Newcastle’s Quayside and the impressive Dunston Staiths, a pier-like runway that was used to tip tons of coal into cargo holds.
The route then follows those old railway lines, the “Grand Lease Wagonway” which was the world’s first successful railway, dating back to the 1620s!
Highlights include Tanfield Railway, reputedly the world’s oldest railway, National Trust’s Gibside, the grand Georgian estate formerly owned by the coal baron George Bowes, as well as the recently opened Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre in Gateshead.
NORTH EAST CYCLING TOUR ITINERARY
A CRADLE OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
KEELMEN'S HOSPITAL & QUAYSIDE
COALS ONTO THE RIVER
AWAY FROM THE RIVER
TANFIELD & CAUSEY ARCH
A DAY IN HISTORY
THE NATIONAL TRUST AT GIBSIDE
BACK TOWARDS CITYLIFE
DETAILS ABOUT YOUR NORTH EAST CYCLING TOUR
GOOD TO KNOW
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