The best cycling tracks and biking trails in and around Sunderland

The evenings will soon be getting longer and there’s no better time to find some new bike trails to get out and about.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 5:31 pm

Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, want to get back into old habits after an indulgent Christmas and New Year period or 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 across 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 to get in and out of Sunderland.

National Route Seven is better known in these parts 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 Durham.

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(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

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 wish.

The second route which sees the national routes flow through Sunderland is an even longr 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 to South Shields’ Bents Park. By clinging onto the coastline from Roker to South Shields, this is a hugely popular route for local riders.

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,it can be cut down to smaller segments though, 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, 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.

Looking to stay away from the coastline? Look no further than a route which starts at the University of Sunderland’s City Campus and follows paved surfaces to Wynyard Woodland Park and back.

On the way cyclists can look out for Hurworth Burn as a stop-off point after travelling through South Hetton and the Eastern edge of Castle Eden Dene nature reserve.

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