685: Carlisle-Newcastle

This post has been written during the lockdown period as inspiration for days out that you can take only once it is safe to do so and the lockdown has been lifted. Leisure travel should currently not be undertaken.

The 685 runs across the narrowest point between the east and west coasts of northern England, parallel to Hadrian's Wall. It's jointly operated by Stagecoach and Arriva under the Cross Pennine sub-brand.

Discover more great bus routes across the North West here, and the North East here.


See the full timetable on any of the following sites:

Places served


Here are extracts from the maps that cover the 685's route:

Map of Stagecoach local routes in Newcastle. The 685 follows the same route as the X82.


The cheapest day ticket valid on and available to buy on all buses, regardless of operator, throughout route 685 is the North East Explorer at £10.90 for an adult. It's great for connections at the Newcastle end, being valid on all services between Berwick and Scarborough operated by Arriva, Go North East or Stagecoach, plus the Tyne & Wear Metro. It isn't valid for any connecting services in Carlisle however.

The cheapest day ticket valid throughout the route is the Arriva North East Day ticket at £8.50 for an adult. It's valid on all Arriva buses throughout their North East zone, which stretches to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Scarborough. It is also valid on 685 journeys operated by Stagecoach, but it can only be bought on an Arriva bus or via the Arriva mobile app.

For shorter journeys on Arriva:

The Stagecoach North West Explorer day ticket at £11.50 for an adult is valid throughout route 685 on journeys operated by Stagecoach or Arriva, but it can only be bought on a Stagecoach bus or on the Stagecoach mobile app. Unless you're connecting with other Stagecoach routes in Carlisle, you'd be better off with either a multi-operator North East Explorer or the Arriva North East Day ticket, mentioned above.

For shorter journeys on the 685 to and from Carlisle with Stagecoach:

If you're arriving in Carlisle, Hexham or Newcastle by train, then a Plusbus ticket bought with your train ticket is valid on the 685 in the following zones:


You can see a full list of stops served on the following pages:

Here are some of the major stops served:


Change in...


For end-to-end journeys, the train is the only alternative. All of the railway stations mentioned above under Connections are on the same line. See times here and fares here.

For shorter journeys within Carlisle, Stagecoach 76 offers an alternative between the city centre and part of Warwick Road, near the stadium.

Between Hexham and Newcastle, Go North East 10 takes a parallel route from Corbridge, running via Prudhoe and the Metrocentre. Go North East X84 and Arriva X85 offer a faster journey to Newcastle.

Between Throckley and central Newcastle, Stagecoach X82 runs the same route as the 685. Both routes are limited stop here, with the X82 serving most stops.

Things to do

Selected shops and amenities

Discover more great bus routes across the North West here, and the North East here.

All of the information in this post is correct at the time of writing, but please check the relevant links before travelling.