Glorious Gravel

Northumberland Gravel Epic

7th July 2024 | Rothbury

Long Route

98km | 2000m

Medium Route

74km | 1450m

Short Route

62km | 750m

Ride Overview

Cycle through the untapped beauty of Northumberland on wide gravel tracks, backroads and bridleways without seeing another soul for miles on end.

The Northumberland Gravel Epic showcases the quieter gravel of the region, linking up a number of forests with small villages to create a highlights showreel of this lesser visited part of Northumberland.


  • Setting off from the picturesque market town of Rothbury and soon getting into the swing of the ride by climbing up through the Simonside hills on red gravel roads.
  • Riding sections of the Sandstone Way, created by Ted Liddle, which may entice you to come back to the region. 
  • For the long route riders, experiencing the wilderness of Kidland Forest, reaching an elevation of nearly 500 metres by climbing up the gravel hairpins of the Devil’s Staircase.

Included in Entry

Fully Signed Route

Our team work tirelessly to create the best gravel routes in the UK. All courses are fully signed so you can just enjoy the ride.

Checkpoints with Proper Food

An epic ride deserves proper support. We have tea, coffee and cake at the first feed and sandwiches & crisps at the main feed. Checkpoints are approx every 30 - 35km

Accurate GPX Files

A few days before the ride, we will send GPX files for all of the route options so you can follow the course on your GPS as well as the signs.

Mechanics Available

At the rider village & at selected feed stops we have mechanics available to help with any bike issues. We also have spare inner tubes, CO2 & more .

Rider Support Vans

We are here to make sure you have a great day on the gravel. If you have any major mechanicals or need collecting, support vehicles are a phone call away.

Beer at Finish Line

You will be greeted at the finish line with a beer & food available from our food truck. Perfect to chat about your day with fellow riders.

Event Program

4th July: GPX files and pre ride briefing video sent by email to each rider.


7th July – 7.30am: Ride village in Rothbury opens. Collecting your ride number takes approx 10 mins.


7th July – 8am to 9.30am: Ride start. We will give you a short ride briefing and set you off in small groups.


7th July – 6.30pm: Rider village closes


7th July – 7pm: Link to ride times & rider photos sent to each participant by email.

Long Route

Starting in Rothbury, the route climbs up through the gravel of the Simonside Hills to catch a glimpse of the Cheviot Hills and into Scotland (on a clear day). 


The route then continues on fast gravel tracks through Harwood Forest, to descend the infamous Gibbert and to the first feedstop in the village of Elsdon.


The route then heads uphill towards the Otterburn ranges on a mixture of undulating fast gravel and tarmac roads. 


After the next feed stop near Alwinton, the long route riders take on Kidland forest. A mixture of smooth gravel tracks and grassy bridleways to descend the spectacular old Drove Road, Clennell street and back to the last feed stop.


The last part of the route follows quiet back lanes, what Northumberland is renowned for with cyclists, and finally climbs up on gravel roads to descend back to Rothbury. 


Percentage of Route Off Road: 70% 







Medium Route

The medium route follows the same route as the long, however misses out the loop in Kidland Forest. 


Percentage of Route Off Road: 65%







Short Route

The short route is a selection of the best parts of this area of the world without the mammoth distance. Don’t come unprepared though, the North Yorkshire Moors doesn’t have many flat ways in or out from the coast, so bring your climbing legs and reward yourself with gravel trails through Broxa forest and follow part of the moors to sea cycle route. Finish the ride with stunning views over the shores of the North Sea on the Cinder Track. 


Percentage of Route Off Road: 75%







Bike Selection & Packing List

Bike Choice: The route has a good mixture of quality off road gravel trails, a few short technical bridleways and some grass in the middle B-roads, so we recommend a gravel bike though a mountain bike will be fine. E-bikes are allowed on all of our rides.


Tyre Choice:Both gravel and hardtail MTBs will be great for this route. Weather depending, a bit more tread wouldn’t go amiss, we would recommend 40-50mm width


Packing List: Bring equipment to be self sufficient on the route (inner tubes, sealant, multi-tool, pump or CO2 etc). We recommend a bell to warn walkers / runners of your presence.


Clothing: Early July in Northumberland should be nice but even if the forecast is good, the weather can be very changeable so pack layers & a waterproof jacket. Helmets are mandatory, you will not be able to ride without one.


The ride starts and finishes just outside Rothbury (approx 45 mins from Newcastle). There is free parking onsite as well as toilets & refreshments. We will send the ride village address by email. 

Yes, e-bikes are allowed on all Glorious Gravel ride. These must comply with UK law.

We have first aiders & mechanics at the feed stops. There will be a phone number on the back of your ride number – call this if you need collecting.

Yes, we start between 8am and 9.30am and set people off in small groups so the off road sections are not too busy. Please come to the start line with anyone you want to ride with, we will give a short ride briefing and set you off.