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near Ravenglass, England (United Kingdom)
This is the coast to coast, Roman style. It begins at the western extreme of the Roman northern fortifications, at the Roman Bath House, Ravenglass, and travels northward past the Roman coastal forts to the start of Hadrian's Wall proper, at Bowness on Solway. The route then roughly follows Hadrian's Wall eastward before crossing the Tyne and ending at the Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields, a total of 174 miles.
The route is extremely well signposted, and much of it is on dedicated traffic free routes or quiet country lanes. I was helped by the excellent Coast to Coast travel book and by having the route pre-programmed into my Garmin.
I travelled by train to Ravenglass, and before I set off had a trip on the Eskdale Railway and visited Muncaster castle.
The ride starts at Ravenglass Roman Bath House, all that remains of the Roman Fort built to defend the port of Ravenglass, used to supply the forts on Hadrian's Wall. From here ride into the village and the path starts on a narrow bridge attached to the railway bridge.
From here you visit Seascale, Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport, and there is much to see on this stretch.
Beyond Maryport there is little of interest until you reach Silloth, which was once an important port, but now alas in decline. Next stop was Bowness on Solway and the end of Hadrian's Wall proper.
Just on from Bowness is Burgh by Sands, where there is a memorial to King Edward I, killed while defending England against the Scots in 1307.
Next up is Carlisle, with it's castle, Brampton, Haltwhistle, Hexham, and Corbridge, all lovely market towns, full of character.
Then it's along the river Tyne, through Newcastle on dedicated cycle paths, past Wallsend to North Shields, where you take the Pedestrian Ferry to South Shields, from where it's just a mile to the Arbeia Roman Fort and journey's end.
All in all a lovely well marked ride on which Sustrans are to be congratulated.