Sandstone Way Review

Bellingham to Simonburn on The Sandstone Way


Over the last 9 months, I have ridden most of the 120 miles of this fabulous new MTB route, and each section has it's own unique feel as you ride south west from Berwick on Tweed.

I kind of knew where the route goes from Bellingham, but not exactly the detail. As The Bike Place is based in Bellingham, I had to get my wheels on the ground and see for myself, and this ride did throw up some pleasant surprises.

Once up onto Ealingham Common, a pleasant trundle along the Rigg with great views of what is to come. The grassy descent down to Shillafield, I've done before, but still great fun. Now into unknown territory, I missed the left hand turn before Esp Hill, but soon made the correction (essential to carry the official map!) and down to the Houxty Burn (choose ford or footbridge). A long steep climb up the edge of the field (which I just managed to clean) and on to cross the minor road and head for Heatherington and then some more pleasant lane riding till the turn off past The Ash. Across fields following a rutted cart track and then a stony descent to the Warksburn. An even steeper stony climb (just nailed it!) out from there and then a pleasant rest along the lane past Gofton to meet the Ward Lane. On this very briefly before a left turn onto an interesting bridleway to Goatstones. Back on the broken tarmac, the road takes a sharp left which I followed missing the right turn for the off road section to Simonburn. Map out again, waymarker posts on the ground, but we are back on track. And what a track!! Marked on the map as "Muddy in/after wet weather" was very true. Good fun though trying to pick the best line, but then after the hard work, the last bit down into Simonburn was an absolute joy!

6.30pm by now, so the Tearoom was closed, otherwise I would have been in there.

Another fantastic section of the Sandstone Way sampled - where next?


New brands coming to Bellingham

We now stock Kona, Orange, Saracen and Ridgeback

New Arrivals - 2015 Kona Lava Dome - a very competent 29er for only £499. If you fancy having a go at single speed we have a 2015 Kona Unit in stock. Or the do it all Orange RX9 - cyclocross, forest roads or work bike, and in bright orange too!!

2015 Saracen Tufftrax Comp Disc in 16" or 18" now in stock - 27.5" wheels and improved fork for 2015, now at £439. Also Saracen Tufftrax junior - the 24" wheel solution for those "inbetween size" kids! A little beauty with 21 speeds for £239.

Prefer a Hybrid? 2015 Gents and Ladies Ridgebacks on the floor and ready to go.

Last few Cuda kids bikes (1x14" wheel, 1x16" wheel and 1x 20" wheel) all with 20% OFF to clear!

Forme road bikes now available. Got a big reduction on a Longcliffe 1.0 (56cms) - great bike for under a grand!!

Latest to arrive, the most fabulously comfortable Wigwam socks made in the USA. Try a pair of these and you will be back for more!

Also new in are Showers Pass Cloud Cover weatherproof pouches for iPhone and Smartphone. Phone still useable inside these well sealed items and just £15 a pop.