Seven of us met at the Delaval Arms at 9.30 am on a pleasantly warm morning. We headed north down Beresford Road towards Blyth, pausing briefly at South Beach to meet up with the eighth member of our group.
The route follows the south end of the Coast and Castles cycleway and winds its way through Ridley Park, onto Blyth Quayside, skirting the town centre and along Morpeth Road before following the course of the River Blyth towards Bedlington. There follows a fairly tedious road section through Bedlington Station, East and West Sleekburn before joining the cycle path which runs alongside the A189 Spine Road towards Ashington. Just outside Ashington it is necessary to cross roads at several points and we were pleasantly surprised to find on two occasions that motorists stopped and held up the traffic to allow us to pass unhindered.
We took a slight diversion which allowed us to go into the QEII Country Park before heading towards Newbiggin.
Once in Newbiggin we made a bee line for Caffe Bertorelli, one of our favourite coffee stops. Here we met up with another two members of our group to bring our number up to ten.
Frank, the cafe owner is an excellent host and always keen to make us feel welcome.
Bizarrely, the conversation centred around the colour of one of the group's socks!
Leaving the cafe, we cycled along the promenade, through Sandy Bay Caravan Park, along the River Wansbeck then back onto the track alongside the A189. As a variation on our outward journey we went through Cambois before picking up the route through East Sleekburn, Bedlington Station and back along the river to Blyth.
Arriving back in Seaton Sluice, we had completed 32 miles and, I think, a good time was had by all.