44. Druridge Bay
Druridge Bay is probably the longest beach in Northumberland and is included in this route. If you don't like beaches there's a track/road that you can use as an alternative. The trip has much in common with the Togston route but is different enough to include it as a separate entry.
Ideal conditions would include a northerly breeze for the beach section. Start anywhere near Cresswell and head towards the industrial landscape that is Lynemouth - aluminium smelter, old mine workings and so on. The coast road crosses the Lyne and swings round to the R heading slightly uphill towards Ellington. Just before it crosses the Lyne again at (289 913) look out for a path off to the L.
The contrast now is quite remarkable as we leave Lynemouth behind and enter a more tranquil world of woods, streams and wildlife. The path leads down to a bridge crossing the river. Follow this trail for the best part of a mile to another footbridge from which we head upwards to emerge out of the trees along the side of a field and onto a road. Turn L to reach a main road after a few yards.
Go straight across the main road and take the track towards Linton. This joins an old rail track and the surface is fine cinders. Evidence of the area's mining history can be seen around the horizons. The track emerges onto a minor road - turn L to reach a junction at (262 905).
Turn R heading for Longhirst and follow the road to a junction at a sharp left-hand bend at (240 897). Take the R turn and cross the main east coast rail line as we aim for Ulgham, a pretty village in the shadow of the open casting to the NW.
The B1337 takes you towards Widdrington Station - look out for a 'water ladder' on your L at (235 927). Turn L off this road at Stobswood (238 941) for East Stobswood. Take the R turn a few hundred yards past the Chevington Moor crossroads and follow this towards Acklington. Turn R for Broomhill and, past Togston, take the R turn for Togston East farm. R onto the A1068 then L brings you to the N end of Druridge Bay.
Take the track if you're averse to cycling beaches. The sand at the N end of the beach is like concrete. It does, however, seem to soften up slightly after a couple of miles or so and as you approach the southern end of the beach I reckon that the more gravitationally challenged are going to be struggling. You can bail out at any point, though, and use the track. Maybe the nature of beaches changes over time - it is, in any event, an impressive stretch of sand....oh, and just to round it off, treat yourself to an ice-cream at Cresswell!
Download GPS data in GPX format.