Just a quick post on the trip me and Siân took to Rowlands Gill this bank holiday weekend! With no up and coming plans for the weekend and a forecast of almost 20 degrees heat for the Saturday and Sunday – we decided to make the most of it and head off for a day or two of camping. As Siân is only just getting into cycling, we decided not to venture too far and as I’d already been to Rowlands Gill a few years ago, we decided it was a good spot to head for.
Just after we had stopped here, Siân was taking photos of the bridges when a man on a bike stopped to speak, he advised her that we could possibly see harbour seals if we went to Dunston (and proceeded to give a long list of directions – which proved to be way too long to follow!).
We carried on up the cycle route along the quayside (route 72 I think?) and then crossed the Scotswood Bridge and joined the cycle Route 14 (I think) and headed to Dunston in the hope of seeing harbour seals! We made it to Dunston, but unfortunately did not find any seals, instead we stopped and ate lunch on the grass with a view of the river Tyne from the other side.
Once refreshed, we went back the way we’d come and carried along the cycle route to head towards Rowlands Gill. We cycled alongside the river Derwent:
We stopped off a couple of times and even dipped our feet in one of the streams on the way to cool off. We reached Derwent Caravan Park around 5 and paid up for our camping spot for the night and then set up camp for the night! After a few hours we went in search of food, to find that the fish and chip shop up the road had closed at 8, so we carried on to the tesco further on, which turned out to also be closed (it’s easy to get used to long opening hours in the city). Just on from the Tesco we found 2 restaurants – neither of which really had any online reviews, so we decided to go for the chinese restaurant.
The next morning we woke up to great weather again (the forecast wasn’t lying for once!) and decided that we’d stay for another night (mainly so we didn’t have to worry about packing up and taking the tent with us on our walk! We popped to Tesco to grab lunch and then walked to the Gibside National Heritage park and Gardens, where we spent all day walking through the grounds and forests.
We ended up getting back at around 6 and so decided to lay out in the sun until it went away at around 7. We ended up eating at the Chinese restaurant again, as the Italian was shut and there was nowhere else to eat (unless we wanted a dinner of breakfast bars..).
The next day we found I had a flat tyre and I’d packed the wrong pump for my bike (which has presta valves), and after asking about 7 different people around the campsite for a pump we ended up just setting off walking back (aiming to call by the metro centre 5 miles away to borrow a pump for a cycle store). We only got 5 minutes down the cycle path before a flagged down a couple of cyclists who turned out to be ideal at helping us (the man was one of the leaders of a cycle group and had my inner tube changed within a few mins without the aid of any tools), we couldn’t have been luckier really. On the way back we decided to give “geo-caching” a go, we stopped at a couple of spots (one was successful, but the other we couldn’t find anything!)
For some reason it won’t let me share the route, but click the link below and it’ll let you view the map.