From Darlington, the road runs north, bypassing Bishop Auckland, and running through West Auckland, Toft Hill and Tow Law, past Consett and Corbridge. The road used to run through the centre of Corbridge but now runs on a new single-carriageway alignment to the east of the town, crossing the River Tyne over Styford Bridge. To bring the road back to the previous route of the A68 it now overlaps the A69 for 2.9 miles (4.7 km), before turning off north again.
The A68 passes through rural Northumberland, following the route of Dere Street for much of this stretch. It reaches the Scottish border at Carter Bar, where there is a junction with the A6088, leading to Hawick. The road then runs through the small Border towns of Jedburgh, St Boswells, Earlston and Lauder before going over Soutra Hill, passing through the village of Pathhead and by-passing the town of Dalkeith, before reaching the A720. Prior to September 2008, the A68 passed through the town of Dalkeith before terminating at the Sherriffhall Roundabout on the A720. The bypass has removed large volumes of traffic from the centre of Dalkeith.
The A68 used to run all the way into Edinburgh, but that section within Edinburgh became part of the A7 several years ago.
It is the only major road to cross the England/Scotland border for a long distance either way (the next crossing being the A697 road near Coldstream/Cornhill-on-Tweed in the east, and the A7 near Canonbie.
Apart from the A69 concurrency the road is entirely single carriageway apart from a short section before it crosses the A1(M) into Darlington. The A68 is famous (or perhaps infamous) for the number of significant 'blind summits' (brows and dips) it features, especially to the west of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The A68 is part of Euroroute E15 (Inverness-Algeciras) between its northern terminus on the A720, and its junction with the A696 just on the English side of the border. The E15 continues northwards and southwards on the A720 and A696 respectively.
|Part of E15|
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The A6079 is a road in Northumberland, northern England, that runs eight miles (13 km) from Hexham to the A68 road. The road begins off the A69 road to the north of Hexham, before passing the villages of Acomb and Wall before meeting the B6318 road just to the south of Chollerford - unusually, traffic on the A6079 must give way to the traffic on the B6318, despite the fact that "A"-roads are more important than "B"-roads. The A6079 continues through the village of Chollerton, and terminates at its junction with the A68 road to Edinburgh, nine miles (14 km) north-west of Corbridge.Aydon
Aydon is a village in Northumberland, England. It is about 2 miles (3 km) northeast of Corbridge on the B6321 road. The village is about 18 miles (29 km) from Newcastle along the main A69 road. The A68 road is close by, leading to Jedburgh and Darlington. Aydon lies near the course of the ancient Roman monument, Hadrian's Wall.Bildershaw
Bildershaw is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated on the A68 road between Darlington and West Auckland.
Bildershaw is primarily an agricultural village and is the one of the only villages left in the world that uses feudalism. The town is run by a group of local officials who meet every month to talk about legal matters like farming boundaries and trades. It was established in 1169 under the rule of Henry II. Bildershaw mainly produced soy beans, squash, and peas.Carter Bar
Carter Bar is a point on the England–Scotland border, in Roxburghshire and Northumberland.
Carter Bar is where the A68 road crosses the border and forms a pass located at the top of Redesdale in the Cheviot Hills at an elevation of 418 metres (1,371 ft).
The nearest Scottish towns are Jedburgh (12 miles (19 km) north), Hawick, and Kelso, and on the English side, Byrness, Redesdale and Otterburn. From Carter Bar, Newcastle upon Tyne is 45 miles (72 km) away and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, 58 miles (93 km). The A696–A68 route is a popular scenic tourist route between Newcastle and Edinburgh.Castleside
Castleside is a village in County Durham, England. It is situated a short distance to the south-west of Consett. The village centre is located on the main A68 road which runs between Edinburgh and Darlington and the village crossroads allow easy access to Consett, the North Pennines and Stanhope. To the northeast lies another small village called Moorside.
The parish church, dedicated to St John, was designed by Ewan Christian and is a reproduction of a church he had seen and admired while on holiday in Switzerland. The church was consecrated on 7 March 1867.
Castleside is covered by the civil parish of Healeyfield.Catcleugh Reservoir
Catcleugh Reservoir is a reservoir in Northumberland, England adjacent to the A68 road; just north of Byrness; and to the south of the border with Scotland.Colt Crag Reservoir
Colt Crag Reservoir is a relatively shallow reservoir in Northumberland, England adjacent to the A68 road, and 9 miles (14 km) north of Corbridge. The A68 road at this point runs along the course of Dere Street, a Roman road.Corbridge Bridge
Corbridge Bridge is a 17th-century stone bridge across the River Tyne at Corbridge, Northumberland, England.
The bridge used to carry the A68 road over the River Tyne, but since the opening of the Hexham bypass (A69) the A68 now crosses by the Styford Bridge, 3 miles (5 km) downstream of Corbridge. It is listed as a Grade I building by Historic England.Corsenside
Corsenside is one of the largest parishes in Northumberland, however the area is mainly a vast expanse of rolling hills and farmland, with three tiny villages: West Woodburn, East Woodburn and Ridsdale with about 600 inhabitants in total. The area runs alongside the A68 road about 17 miles (27 km) north of Corbridge. The A68 roughly follows the route of the old Roman 'Dere Street'. There are many historic points of interest in this area including the remains of the Roman Camp of Habitancum, Bell Knowe an Iron Age burial site and the remains of Ridsdale Iron Works, which had its heyday in the Industrial Revolution.Cottonshopeburnfoot
Cottonshopeburnfoot is a hamlet in Redesdale in Northumberland, England. It lies on the A68 road, 2 miles south east of the village of Byrness. The hamlet takes its name from Cottonshope Burn, which flows into the River Rede here.
The Pennine Way passes through the hamlet.
The place claims to have the longest name in England, closely followed by the neighbouring hamlet of Blakehopeburnhaugh. The place is also spelt Cottonshopeburn Foot, which would make Blakehopeburnhaugh the longest name, but the Ordnance Survey favours the single-word name.Crichton Collegiate Church
Crichton Collegiate Church is situated about 0.6 miles (0.97 km) south west of the hamlet of Crichton in Midlothian, Scotland. Crichton itself is 1.4 miles (2.3 km) west of Pathhead and 7.5 miles (12.1 km) south of Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. The church is reached by leaving the A68 road at the north end of Pathhead and turning on to the B6367 minor road at Crichton on a single track lane signposted Crichton Castle. Before reaching the castle car park, on the left, is the church, situated at grid reference NT381616.East Woodburn
East Woodburn is a village located in Northumberland, England.
Located on the A68 road just south of Darney Crag, it was created in conjunction with the Darney quarry, which provided its distinct fine to medium grained pale gold through, light buff to almost blond in colour sandstone.Little Swinburne Reservoir
Little Swinburne Reservoir is a small reservoir in Northumberland, England less than 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of the A68 road, and about 9 miles (14 km) north of Corbridge. The A68 road generally follows the course of Dere Street, a Roman road, but has deviated at this point a little to the east, to facilitate a bridge crossing of the Swin Burn.Pathhead, Midlothian
Pathhead village is a conservation area in Midlothian, Scotland.Ramshope
Ramshope is a hamlet in the civil parish of Rochester in Northumberland, England located in Northumberland National Park. It lies on the A68 road, between Byrness and Carter Bar on the Scottish border.
Historically Ramshope was an extra parochial area. In 1851 it had a population of 13.There are very few houses in Ramshope today, including a farm and Ramshope Lodge, both located on the A68 road. The name can also be found in Ramshope Burn, a tributary of the Catcleugh Reservoir and the River Rede.Rochester, Northumberland
Rochester is a small village and civil parish in north Northumberland, England. It is five miles north-west of Otterburn on the A68 road between Corbridge and Jedburgh. The village is the site of the Roman fort of Bremenium, built there to protect the important Roman road of Dere Street, which passes through the village.
The civil parish extends north west of the village to the Scottish border. It includes the settlements of Byrness, Ramshope and Cottonshopeburnfoot, and the now closed Redesdale Camp, an army base in the Otterburn Training Area. In the 2001 census (when Redesdale Camp was open) the parish had a population of 358, reducing to 344 at the 2011 Census.Styford Bridge
Styford Bridge is a modern concrete bridge carrying the A68 road across the River Tyne east of Riding Mill, Northumberland, England and forms part of the A68 bypass of Corbridge.Sweethope Loughs
Sweethope Loughs are two freshwater lakes almost 1 mile (1.6 km) in length, the smaller one just east of the larger, in the southern part of Northumberland, England and lying between the A68 road, and the A696 road. They lie about 18 miles (29 km) west of Morpeth; 4 miles (6 km) west of Kirkwhelpington; and 6 miles (10 km) east of Bellingham. There is a crossing between the two lakes, which are lined with trees and surrounded by hills. To the north west are Great Wanney Crag and Little Wanney Crag.West Woodburn
West Woodburn is a village in north-western Northumberland, England.
The 2001 census recorded a population of 492 in the Parish Council area of Corsenside of which West Woodburn is the main settlement.
The village is situated 15 miles (24 km) south of the border with Scotland and about 13 miles (21 km) north of Hexham.
West Woodburn lies on the line of Dere Street, a Roman road which linked Eburacum (York) and to the area around Din Eidyn, and thus later York to Scotland. To the west is the remains of a Roman fort known as Habitancum. The route is now the A68 road.
The River Rede, a major tributary of the River North Tyne, flows through the heart of the village.
West Woodburn's most famous resident of recent times was PC Joseph Carroll, husband of Caroline Carroll, a primary school teacher. On 13 April 2006 PC Carroll was killed in a road traffic incident. PC Carroll was killed by Stephen Graham, a communications instructor at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in an incident that was later found to be manslaughter. Mr Graham engaged the handbrake (at 70 mph) of the PC's patrol car whilst he was being taken to a cell for the night after being arrested. Since this incident regulations of the transport of people in police custody have been reviewed. It is believed that if PC Carroll had not been wearing his seat belt he would have survived the incident. Inspector Kerr Henry who was in the car with PC Carroll and Mr Graham was injured along with Graham.
Another little known, but extremely influential resident of West Woodburn, was Adam Telfer and his sheepdog 'Old Hemp'. Telfer was a shepherd who lived in the village circa 1893 and is best known for being the man who first bred the Border Collie sheepdog.
A campaign was started to install a memorial to Telfer and Hemp, and permission was granted by the relevant authorities.
The memorial was unveiled on 8 September 2015.
A roads in Zone 6 of the Great Britain road numbering scheme