Two Rivers Cycleway Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The Two Rivers Cycleway runs from the mouth of the river Wear at Sunderland to near the mouth of the river Tyne in South Shields. It is the route of NCN 1, too. The route is about 8 miles long.
There are metro stations near the endpoints of this ride for travel within Tyne and Wear (be aware that although bikes are allowed on the metro, they are not allowed on the underground section through Gateshead and Newcastle.)
Although there is no national rail station in South Shields, national and regional rail stations are in Sunderland and Newcastle. I’m a great fan of taking your bike on the train, but before doing so, do read my Bikes On Trains guide first.
Almost all the information, and all the photos in this guide were provided by Gary Dawes. Any errors are mine alone.
The route is tarred for almost all of its length.
The only section that isn’t tarred is the stretch of coastal path from Sea Lane to Ash grove in Whitburn. That path is mainly wide and grit finished, although the short section away from the coast to Ash grove is narrower and bumpier. All parts are rideable in all weathers, even on a road bike.
The route does use a very quiet 20mph stretch of road from Ash Grove along Larch Ave and Myrtle Ave to the A183. There is a short stretch of about 85 metres where the route joins the A183 in Whitburn, where technically the NCN1 joins the road. Practical advice is to use the footway considerately for that short distance, especially if travelling north.
Any kind of bike can use the route. However, the A-frame barrier in Whitburn may prevent trikes, and most cargo bikes from getting through.
There are toilets and refreshments available at the coast at either end of the route, and there is a café with toilets available at Souter lighthouse, which is roughly half way.
There are also various shops and pubs either on, or close to the route.
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐⭐
Points of Interest
Aside from the fabulous coastal views which on a clear day offer views as far apart as the Yorkshire moors, and the Cheviot hills, the most obvious highlight is Souter Lighthouse.
Whitburn Coastal Park is just to the south of the lighthouse, and the paths are mostly suitable for cycling, although the cliff top path down toward Sunderland is narrow and rough.
The Leas is to the north of Marsden Bay is a large expanse of clifftop grassland, owned and managed by the National Trust. The route follows the road, and there is a coastal path, but again it can be narrow and rough in places.
There are numerous pieces of public art along the coast in Sunderland, and also just off the route along South Shields seafront too. South Shields seafront parks can be cycled in, and there is a café, a boating lake and a miniature steam railway.
- Reivers Route – UK Coast To Coast Routes
- C2C – UK Coast to Coast Routes
- Lanchester Valley Railway Path
- Deerness Valley Railway Path cycle route
- The Waskerley Way traffic-free cycle route
- Thorpe Thewles to Ryhope traffic-free cycle route
- Derwent Walk Cycleway
- Two Rivers Cycleway
- Consett & Sunderland Railway Path
- Bowes Railway Path Traffic-free Cycle Route
The only barrier along this route is a single A frame in Whitburn at the end of the coastal path.
Forecast for the Two Rivers Cycleway
What it looks like
DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.