Charles Harper wrote several books on cycling around the start of the 20th century. “The Great North road, the old mail road to Scotland” was first published in 1901. A revised edition was published in 1922.
Here he is on the approach to Alnwick:
“It is something of a shock to the sentimental pilgrim, northward-bound, that the entrance to historic Alnwick should be by the gas-works, the railway station, the Farmers’ Folly (of which more shall presently be said), and other unmistakable and unromantic evidences of modernity that spread beyond the ancient confines of the town to form the suburb of Bondgate Without ; but man cannot live by medievalism alone”.