The best cycling tracks and biking trails in and around Sunderland to get you back on two wheels in 2023
The evenings will soon be getting longer and the new year is the time to find some new bike trails to get out and about.
Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, want to get back into old habits after an indulgent Christmas and New Year period, or you are just on the hunt for a new form of exercise, there is plenty for cyclists to enjoy across Sunderland and the surrounding area.
Sunderland sees three National Cycling Routes weave through the city. Developed during the 2000s, the nationwide network encourages bicycle touring throughout the country and anyone looking for a trip can follow some of the best routes in the country through Sunderland.
Coast to Coast
National Route Seven is better known by locals as the C2C Cycle Route which runs from Roker Beach, along the north bank of the Wear before following the Consett and Sunderland Railway Path deep into County Durham.
The ‘C2C’ route, which ends at the Star Map sculpture on Sunderland’s seafront, is one of the most popular cycling challenge routes in the UK, but anyone not wanting to travel that far can take in the wonderful sights and smells of the Wear as far as they want.
Coastal paths – Cycling Route 1
The second route which sees the national routes flow through Sunderland is an even longer stretch than the C2C path. Route 1 follows the East Coast of the UK from Dover in Kent to Northern Scotland.
Coming into the region from Durham, the route goes through Ryhope before following Durham Road into the city, over the Wearmouth Bridge before shadowing the C2C route to Roker before going to Whitburn and up Coast Road towards South Shields’ Bents Park. Clinging onto the coastline from Roker to South Shields, this is a hugely popular route for local riders.
Walney to Wear – Cycling Route 70
The last of the national routes sees their designated ‘Route 70’ end in the city. Known as the Walney to Wear route, it is another long distance coast to coast path which starts at Barrow-In-Furness. Luckily for anyone looking to tackle the route, it can be cut down to smaller segments and anyone starting in Sunderland can follow the route as far as they would like. Starting in the city centre, the route intersects Farringdon before moving down to Hetton and Low Moorsley.
The route also offers some stunning views of the North Pennines as it heads down to Barnard Castle.
Heading away from the official routes, Souter Lighthouse offers a good landmark point to reach before heading back down the coast into the city and the nearby Whitburn Coastal Path gives cyclists a fairly flat path, while showing off the best of what our coastline has to offer.
Anyone looking for options away from the coast should look no further than our stunning River Wear, where cyclists can start at Seaburn Metro and work their way towards the Northern Spire Bridge and out towards Washington Wetlands Centre and the vast array of lakes and open spaces to the west of the city centre.