After doing a few miles in Scotland over the previous few days then the riding in Northumberland was always likely to fall a little short of the magnificent Scottish scenery.
As with previous days on this short trip, I had no particular plan in mind other than that I did want to be home for mid afternoon, which ruled out doing the full journey on the better roads – at least some of it would need to be pretty direct.
I was packed and away from my overnight stay at The Sun Hotel in Walkworth by around 09:00am.
But before getting away properly I rode around to Walkworth Castle for a few pictures.
I had looked at my map whilst I was taking breakfast and decided that I would first of all head to Rothbury, then Otterburn and Bellingham.
Otterburn is a pretty small village about 30 or so miles from Newcastle in the Cheviot Hills and about the same distance from my morning starting point. My route took me across open moorland and I decided to pick up the A68 as it was a road I had been on before and recognised as I made my way.
The A68 is really one of those roads that’s worth doing – its not full of sweeping bends or exciting curves but it is well known for the number of blind summits and its remarkable up and down nature – and if getting your bike airborne is what you want to do then with the right forward velocity then its just going to happen. It wasn’t what I wanted to do on this trip so my ride was pretty steady and I just enjoyed the nature of the road and the incredible openness across the moors..
In a juvenile moment I couldn’t help but stop and take a picture for the small village of Shilbottle – it had been altered well and even at my age it still made me laugh.
By the time I had traveled along the A68 it was time to think of a quicker route home so I decided I would head a bit more to the east and pick up the A1, where I would trade good riding for some boredom but a quicker pace.
I’d had a cracking few days and done a significant number of really enjoyable miles so racking the last 140 or so off directly wasn’t too bad a trade off.
I was home before 3pm – and despite it being October, the weather had been good and I had done close to a 1,000 miles without a drop of rain and in reasonable temperatures as well.
My accommodation had been good, I’d ate reasonably well, enjoyed a couple of beers, met and chatted with some decent folk and all in all enjoyed myself.
The Z1000SX had demonstrated once again what a good bike it is for touring on, although I’ve got to be honest and say that I very much fancy a few days away again on my own in Scotland (but it will be Spring at the earliest now) and next time I’d really like to see how our Vulcan S copes with that sort of a journey and the type of roads I traveled on. I have no reason at all to think that it wont be great fun.
It’s hard to decide which was the best bit but if I did have to get off the fence it would probaly be when when I traveled from Dalmally to Oban and then back to Dunoon – it was just magnificent and a journey that I wouldn’t have done had I not been inspired by a post about going shopping.
All in all a cracking good trip.
A few more pictures from Day Four are posted below.