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4
Moderate to Challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 6 nights accommodation in B&B's / Guesthouses
Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days£1350GBP

Overview

Trip Code: C2C

Cyclist's Coast to Coast Trip highlights


  • Ride across England from Irish to the North Sea, crossing the Lake District and Pennines
  • Biking through the hills and dales
  • Industrial heritage, lead mines and the River Tyne
  • Conveniently have your bicycles delivered at the start & picked up again at the end
  • A satisfying challenge ride
  • Attractive hamlets and villages
  • Includes good quality bike hire for 6 days

For all keen cycle enthusiasts. The ‘C2C’ or 'Sea to Sea' stretches from the harbour at Whitehaven on the Irish Sea to the Abbey and castle at Tynemouth on the shores of the North Sea. This 142-miles cycling route is a great way to see northern England and how the landscape changes sometimes abruptly, and then more gently as you cycle along. There is so much to see, the Cumbrian Lakes and Fells, the bleak Pennines, beautiful Dales, towns and villages of all sizes. Along the way you should find plenty of time to visit tea shops, pubs and interesting historical sites. There are some quite big hills as well, but nothing that could be classed as Alpine! You will generally be pedalling with the wind at your back and conveniently have your bikes delivered to your first hotel and picked up at the end of your tour.

Countries:

England

Starting Point:

Whitehaven

Finishing Point:

Tynemouth


Make your own way to Whitehaven. This is a pleasant blustery Georgian seaside town, with an attractive harbour and remains of pit wheels and shafts from its mining past. The town was designed in a grid-like fashion a way that was soon to be adopted across North America. It also has the carnet of being the only place in the UK that has been attacked by the USA (1778)! There is an interesting harbourside museum and you can visit the church where George Washington's grandmother is buried. Accommodation: Our guesthouse is situated just a few minutes’ walk from Whitehaven town centre and the waterfront. This fine example of a late Victorian townhouse has been transformed into an elegant bed and breakfast offering all modern amenities whilst retaining its original features.

Meals:  Nil

Your bikes will be delivered to you this morning where you have them for the next 5 days. Having dipped your wheel in the sea, the ride rolls out gently for the first few miles along the former Ennerdale Railway Line. Leaving this, you approach the Lake District with views over Ennerdale Water and then you pedal around Loweswater. The big hill of the day is up over Whinlatter Pass (318m), shortly after the top there are views over Keswick and to the peak of Skiddaw. It is then a fast and undulating descent and ride into one of the most popular towns in Cumbria: Keswick. Literally, an old cheese town, with a market charter going back to the 1200s. From those days the town grew wealthy from local mining, from the popularity of Lakeland poets and writers and finally from the coming of the railways and the growth of popular tourism in the Lakes. There are plentiful shops, pubs and restaurants. Keswick is a town that nestles beneath giant Skiddaw by the shores of Derwentwater. Accommodation: Our family run bed, breakfast is located only a few minutes walk from the busy town centre.

Meals:  B

A hard but perhaps the most picturesque day. A steep climb out of Keswick takes you to the famous ancient stone circle, which bestrides a hillside reflecting the contours of the mountains around it. Descending to cross the River Greta, you wheel through pretty Threlkeld Village before a quiet road takes you on a loop round the hamlet of Mungrisdale, which at intervals offers beautiful views of the northern Lake District. Next is a long traverse of the Vale of Eden starting with a visit to the 'Green Village' of Greystoke and then on to historic Penrith. Accommodation: We use a number of welcoming B&B's in Penrith town. *It is possible to combine the ride between Keswick and Alston into a 75-km day, making this a 6-day C2C trip. Ask our team for details.

Meals:  B

Today is punctuated by a number of steep climbs culminating in the longest ascent of the trip up to Hartside Summit 1903 ft / 580 metres, which is also the watershed between the Irish and North Seas. Here you enter the Pennines, great viewpoint from the summit over the Vale of Eden and there is a convenient cafe stop, before a fast ride down into the traditional market town of Alston. Accommodation: Alston House Hotel is a small hotel with comfortable rooms and a dedicated pub restaurant. Small B&Bs may also be used in the town.

Meals:  B

Ascend out of Alston and into the region of old lead mines through the village of Nenthead. There is a steep climb out of the village and you reach Black Hill, the highest point on the C2C, leaving Cumbria for Northumbria. You then descend into the valley of the River East Allen and through the village of Allenheads with its heritage centre and coffee shop. There are also interesting Victorian pumps, especially the Armstrong steam pump that was used for clearing water out the lead mines in the area. From here, there is a steady climb out of Allenheads until you reach the summit of the hill at Currick, entering County Durham and riding with the sound of the Curlew. This is followed by a long descent into the Rookhope Valley. Scars (or hushes) from centuries of lead mining are evident in the valley. Another climb takes you along the ridge of a hill before descending into the small pretty town of Stanhope, which has a fossilized tree stump in its churchyard and a range of attractive local shops. The final stretch to your accommodation is a ride up out of Stanhope which is the steepest, but not the longest ascent of the C2C, it parallels where once train engines were steam hauled up the incline. Accommodation: Parkhead Station House where the old station makes a remote, attractive overnight stop.

Meals:  B

Make your way for a good 12 miles generally flat or downhill along the Waskerley Way, a reclaimed railway path. You will cross the Hownsgill Viaduct, and then continue on bypassing Consett and joining another ex-railway cycle path along the Derwent Valley with some beautiful views over the Durham countryside. The route crosses the River Tyne and turns towards Newcastle, soon passing under its different bridges including the famous Tyne Bridge which was built by the same company who built the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Tyne is now wide looking across to Gateshead and by the Millennium Bridge is a great dedicated bicycle cafe. The ride progresses out of the suburbs, passing Wallsend, where Hadrian’s Wall ends, or begins! The final run and you pass docklands and new marinas to reach the bay near Tynemouth. You can dip your wheel in the sea here, because where you finish at the castle and Abbey is high above the water! There is a pub right at the end where you can celebrate your completion of the famous C2C. Accommodation: Tynemouth 61 Guesthouse is one of the attractive guesthouses that is used in the centre of Tynemouth.

Meals:  B

Depart from Tynemouth, there is a convenient metro train to Newcastle Central Station to join the National Rail network.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 nights accommodation on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 18kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX Files
  • Bike hire for 6 days: Hybrid bike will be delivered to your hotel on Day 2 & picked up from your accommodation. E-Bikes on request (supplement applies)
  • Helmet hire: For hygiene purposes we do recommend that you bring your own. Request at time of booking if required
  • 1 x 20 ltr pannier
  • lock, repair kit with a pump

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Guide – this is a self guided cycling holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess Luggage
  • Electric bike hire ask for details

Accommodation


Bike information


Suitability

Moderate to Challenging

4

Moderate to challenging. Some long steep hills especially across the Pennines. Most cyclists of average ability should be able to complete the route especially as the cycling days do not exceed approx 75 km/46.5 miles, presenting a bit of a challenge for some but giving stronger cyclists the opportunity to explore enroute. What can make the tour harder is the incidence of poor weather. *Please note that by UK law, you can ride an electric bike if you’re 14 or over.


Departure dates

Daily from 31 Mar to 09 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
Note:
Please note that minor changes to your 2025 itinerary may apply.
Note:
By UK law, you can ride an electric bike if you're 14 or over.

Priceper person from

£1350GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • E-Bike SupplementGBP£190
  • Single Supplement 2024GBP£350
  • Single Supplement 2025GBP£380
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2024GBP£760
  • Solo Traveller Supplement 2025GBP£840
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

This original C2C cycling route was developed by ‘Sustrans’, a charitable organisation aiming at the development of sustainable transport networks in the UK. They took minor roads and ride-able ‘off road’ bridleways that could be used to thread together small towns and country areas across Cumbria, the Pennines, through the Tyne & Wear watershed and onto the more urban parts of the North East. The route so created is called the “C2C,” literally “Sea to Sea,” to differentiate it from the “Coast to Coast” walk, which covers an altogether different route and embraces different scenery.

The C2C cycle route is most definitely different. You are further to the north on the cycling tour and you will obviously not be cycling across farmland or on mountain tracks.

The Cyclist's Coast to Coast does have a few optional off road sections, but the main route keeps you on the tarmac roads. You must not use the hire bikes for off road riding as they are not suitable.

Of course you can bring your own bike. Please contact our team for exact details on the price reduction.

The bicycles that are included on this trip are generally hybrid bikes, they are not designed for off-road routes. You also have the option to upgrade to an electric bike hire, depending upon availability and at a premium.

Yes, you can choose an e-bike on this trip, there is a supplement for this as detailed in the "Options & Supplements' section on this page.

Yes, one 20-litre pannier is included with your bicycle.

It is a good idea to have your own tool as the hire bikes often come with limited tools as people often loose them. You might want to bring lights as well, as you can always have low cloud and low visibility, or maybe you want to cycle somewhere in the evening.

The hire bikes should be all ready to go, but during the course of the tour you may need to replace an innertube after a puncture, perhaps fix an innertube, do minor brake adjustments and be able to adjust seat pillar and handle bars, if necessary with Alan keys etc. There are a couple of bike shops along the way, but the bike hire will not be able necessarily to drop everything and come out to you.

Under British Law it is not compulsory to wear a cycling helmet, but for safety and insurance purposes you should do. We recommend bringing your own helmet on your UK cycling holiday.

There can be a bit of traffic when cycling over the Whinlatter pass and down into Keswick, which can also be busy. Going over Hartside can be busy as well as coming into Tyneside, note that you will be largely on cycle paths, which could make your cycling slower at times.


Cyclist's Coast to Coast Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Cyclist's Coast to Coast Videos

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