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C2C


Route Summary

From the Georgian streets of Whitehaven, the Coast to Coast cycling route departs on a journey that spans the full breadth of northern England.

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Winding roads lead the way through the glittering heart of the mountainous Lake District and onward into the Pennines, before descending to Northumberland and the industrial cityscape of Newcastle.

This is not an easy route to complete: the ascents are considerable and frequent. If you're looking for a challenge, however, the Coast to Coast route is immensely rewarding. Those tough climbs grant access to far-reaching views across a wide range of English landscapes, while the many layers of local history give the ride a truly epic feel.


TOURING HIGHLIGHTS

Whitehaven itself is classified as a Gem Town: it's the most complete example of a planned Georgian town in Europe, with plenty of beautiful architecture to take in upon your arrival. Cleator Moor's memorial sculptures are well-worth a look, while Whinlatter Forest Park offers outdoor activities and plenty of information about the local wildlife.

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© B Campbell

Keswick, meanwhile, is the largest tourist hub in the northern Lake District, and has plenty to see and do: if you want a sneak peek along the route, don't forget to try the panoramic viewfinder at the top of Crosthwaite Church. Long Meg and her Daughters is accessible via a short detour out of Little Salkeld. This impressive stone circle is 60 stones strong.

Nenthead is incredibly welcoming to cyclists, with a community-owned general store, a cycling shop, and an excellent pub and restaurant. The mining history of the region is evident here and even more so in Allenheads, with its heritage centre and an Armstrong hydraulic engine. Considerably older remains stand at Ebchester, where Roman hypocausts can be seen in a museum at Mains Farm.

The largest hub is, of course, at the route's end in Tynemouth. Here in Newcastle you can find famous bridges, various excellent museums, the Tynemouth Priory and Castle and plenty more, including a Roman Fort and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

ELEVATION VARIED

Flat ground leads out of Whitehaven to gradual climbs and descents past Loweswater. Whinlatter poses the first steeper climb, awarding a pleasant descent to Keswick. The route rises up to Threlkeld and, on the off-road alternative, continues this climb along Old Coach Road all the way to Troutbeck. The on-road route rises and falls less taxingly, with a mild sloping descent through Greystoke all the way to Newton Reigny - the off-road route joins it partway.

The route hits two sharp, steep climbs toward Langwathby and two milder, longer ascents into Renwick, after which it's a long, hard climb to Hartside. The steep descent into Leadgate requires some care, and is followed by further climbs after Garigill and again between Nenthead and Allenheads, including the route's highest point at Black Hill.

All this hard work makes the descent into Allenheads itself exceptionally rewarding. A stop here might be wise: there's a steep ascent ahead before the slope down to Rookhope, which continues down to Stanhope if you take this optional route. If avoiding Stanhope, the route rises rapidly through Rookhope before becoming one long, sloping descent all the way to Tynemouth itself.

Route profile

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THE TERRAIN

  • Cycling lanes
  • Minor roads
  • Disused railway lines
  • Off-road tracks
  • Cycle paths

© Kyle Taylor

Good tarmac roads form the majority of the Coast to Coast, which favours quiet lanes and traffic-free streets, with a few busier sections. An off-road alternative stretches from Threlkeld along the Old Coach Road, but a road-based option is always available.

Route NEWS

12/06/2017 Update
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Route Details

Length: 140.5 miles / 225 km
Start & end: Whitehaven / Tynemouth
Season: 19th March to 15th October

Itineraries


TOUR CODE ITINERARY NO LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
WITH LUGGAGE
TRANSFER
GRADE more info more info  
C-C2C1 3 nights, 2 days £245 £340 Epic More Info Book Now
C-C2C2 4 nights, 3 days £325 £440 Hard More Info Book Now
C-C2C3 5 nights, 4 days £405 £535 Hard More Info Book Now

The above itineraries show our preferred overnight stops. If accommodation is unavailable at any of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly.

Please note that if you choose not to book luggage transfers for your holiday, you must make sure that you are able to carry all of your luggage with you for the duration of the holiday, whether this be via the use of panniers or any other method you wish. Ensure that you test the weight of your luggage while riding well in advance, so that you are comfortable transporting your own luggage during your holiday. We particularly recommend booking mountain biking holidays with lugagge transfers included.


Pricing Information

Our prices are based upon two people sharing a room. If you are riding on your own, or are part of a group, but require a room of your own, one of the following charges applies:

  • Solo rider supplement: £45 per person / per night
  • Single supplement: £20 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

  • Extra night (Standard) : £50 per person / per night

What's Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • A comprehensive information pack containing maps and/or guide books, a full itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency assistance.

Travel Information

Detailed travel information is sent to you in your holiday pack, but we have provided a summary below.


By Air
The most convenient major cities and international airports are Manchester Airport and Newcastle Airport.

By Rail
There is a railway station at the start of the route (Whitehaven). The closest railway station to the end of the route (Tynemouth) is Newcastle Central (about 10 miles away).

From London - There is a regular train from London Euston to Whitehaven and Newcastle Central.

Please note that most train lines will allow for bikes to be taken on board. We advise that you check on https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ as you may need to book a space for your bike or there may be a limit as to how many bikes the train can store.

By Car
For advice on driving to the start of the trail, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

Please note that most buses in the UK are unable to store bikes on board so we would recommend avoiding this form of transport.

Return to Start
The easiest way to return to the start of the route is by taking a Metro from Tynemouth to Newcastle (please check website for cycle information: https://www.nexus.org.uk/metro/guide-metro/cycles-and-dogs), and taking the train to Whitehaven, changing at Newcastle and Carlisle.

Extra Night / Rest Day

As this trail spans the width of England from coast to coast, it should come as no surprise that it passes through countless fantastic towns and villages that are worth exploring. By adding in a couple of extra nights into your holiday, you will have plenty of time to really make the most of these areas.

Dubbed the Georgian Gem of the North, Whitehaven is a fantastic base for the start of your cycling holiday, and well worth an extra night to give you plenty of time to explore. Not only is there a variety of eateries, health food shops, swimming pools and sports centres to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure, but those interested in the local history will want to check out the various museums, as well as St Nicholas' Church, Whitehaven Castle and the old harbour, all found around the local area.

The old market town of Keswick is another good choice for an extra night, particularly if you are looking for a sports shop to refresh your cycling kit. This bustling little town is the North Lakes' most popular holiday and day trip destination, with plenty of shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants to enjoy. There are regular boat trips on Derwentwater and a number of great short trails to discover, including a walk to the mystical Castlerigg Stone Circle or a climb up Skiddaw, the fourth highest mountain in England.

The market settlement of Alston, alternatively, is nestled in the heather-clad landscape with far-reaching views in all directions. With steep cobbled streets and ancient stone buildings dating as far back as the 17th century, Alston has a rich history specialising in lead mining that can be discovered at the nearby Nenthead Mines Heritage centre. If you choose to spend an extra night here, be sure to sample the village's many locally-produced specialities including Cumberland mustard and Alston Cheese, as well as enjoying the friendly atmosphere and a drink in The Angel Inn.

The village of Tynemouth is another great choice for an extra night, and would make a wonderful location in which to celebrate the end of your epic journey. Not only is there a great range of bars, restaurants and cafes to enjoy, but there is also a local physiotherapist and acupuncturist if you have some aches and strains in need of attention. For those looking for some gentle recovery exercise, there are plenty of options, from taking a dip in the local swimming pool, going for a gentle jog along the beautiful sandy beach, testing your skills at the golf course or simply enjoying a leisurely walk around the local area, making sure to visit the historical Tynemouth Priory and Collingwood Monument.


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GRADE 1: Beginner

Daily distance: approx. 10 – 20 miles / 16 – 32 km
These itineraries are perfect for beginner cyclists, families or explorers eager to sight-see along the route. Expect plenty of time to relax along the way thanks to short-mileage days, with barely a hill in sight!

GRADE 2: Easy

Daily distance: approx. 15 – 25 miles / 24 – 40 km
With longer-mileage days, these itineraries will suit occasional riders who want a bit more of a challenge. As they still steer clear of steeper or more frequent climbs, they're perfect for quick riding, so you can still make plenty of time for lunch or a spot of exploration.

GRADE 3: Moderate

Daily distance: approx. 20 – 40 miles / 32 – 64 km
Longer daily distances team with a few challenging sections on these itineraries, ideal for regular cyclists confident in their fitness. Exploration stops may require an extra rest day - but there should still be time for a relaxing lunch!

GRADE 4: Hard

Daily distance: approx. 25 – 50 miles / 40 – 80 km
If you're looking to test your abilities as a keen cyclist, these are the itineraries for you. The daily mileages aren't just high, they may also include tough or frequent climbs. Get ready to pedal hard and push yourself!

GRADE 5: Epic

Daily distance: approx. 50 miles + / 80 km +
For these itineraries, you're going to need previous experience cycling long distances over consecutive days. Each is designed to test your strength and your stamina, with high mileage days and tough, frequent climbs.

*** Occasionally our itineraries can straddle between two levels of difficulty, such as 'Easy-Moderate' or 'Hard-Epic' etc. This can be for a number of reasons, such as if there is a wide range of distances between the days of the itinerary, or if the distances are ‘Easy’ but the hills and terrain involved are a bit tricky and more ‘moderate’ etc. If you require more information about any of our itineraries, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance.

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