Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycling Holiday
Ride across the roof of England
Our Coast to Coast cycling holiday on the C2C cycle route between Whitehaven and Tynemouth is a superb option for a challenging and hugely rewarding cycle ride. Covering a distance of 136 miles (218km) from the Irish Sea to the North Sea we’ll cycle through some of the north of England’s most dramatic scenery on a combination of country lanes, quiet roads and disused railway lines.
The Coast to Coast cycle route is Britain’s most popular long distance route, but it never feels crowded. In fact the camaraderie with the other cyclists and locals you’ll meet on the way is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the journey.
We offer open C2C trips on set dates, which you can join either as an individual or group. If you prefer more independence we can also organize a tailor-made holiday to suit the level of challenge you’re looking for. Most cyclists complete the Coast to Coast over 3 days, but we can arrange trips for any duration. Just contact us and we’ll do our best to arrange a cycling holiday to remember.
Coast to Coast Cycling Holiday Route: Starting at the impressive Georgian harbour town of Whitehaven, we’ll ride through the superb scenery of the Lake District and onwards into the wide-open spaces of the North Pennines. The route climaxes with a ride alongside the River Tyne through the heart of Newcastle before finishing at the North Sea coast in Tynemouth. The combination of the sublime beauty of the Lake District, dramatic open moorland of the Pennines, and the variety of towns and villages en route make for a unique cycling experience.
Please note: Whitehaven to Tynemouth is our standard route, but the ride can also be started in Workington or St. Bees and finished in either Sunderland or Tynemouth. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ place to start and finish as they’re all waymarked and part of the official C2C route.
Terrain: A combination of rolling country lanes with steep long climbs and exhilarating long descents. Some off-road sections on disused railway lines mean a road bike is not ideal for this route unless fitted with wider x-country tyres.
- Coast to Coast Cycling – from the Irish Sea to the North Sea.
- Natural beauty – ever changing scenery from the Lake District, across the North Pennines.
- A wonderful sense of achievement as you cross England by pedal power.
Day 1 – Join Tour Whitehaven.
Whitehaven – a small, former mining town and port on the Irish Sea – is the start point of your Coast to Coast ride and you’ll spent the first night here so you’re in place for the start of your ride the next day.
Overnight: Hotel, Included Meals: None
Day 2 – Cycle through the Lake District.
After breakfast you’ll freewheel down to Whitehaven Harbour for the start of your journey leave the town heading east. You’ll soon be travelling along a disused railway line heading towards the stunning mountain landscape of the Lake District. Your first real test will come as you make the long climb up to the forested pass at Whinlatter. You’ll spend the afternoon riding on more disused railways, back roads & quiet lanes, passing through quiet Cumbrian villages and hamlets en-route to your night stop in the market town of Penrith. Your accommodation is a comfortable guesthouse close to the town centre, so there’s not too far to walk into town for a well earned dinner and drinks.
Total distance: 53 miles / 85 km
Total ascent: 1509m / 4950ft
Total descent: 1385m / 4543ft
Overnight: Guesthouse, Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 3 – Cycle across the Pennines.
This morning you head uphill and east out of Penrith, before crossing the rolling terrain of the Eden Valley. After about an hour and a half the scenery and gradient change as you start the climb to Hartside Pass. The road zigzags its way up the side of the hill to the summit at 580m (1903ft). Whilst not the steepest hill on the ride, it’s a steady climb up to the café at the top – the highest in England! Then it’s a gentle descent for several miles towards the picturesque Pennine village of Garrigill. The steep pull out of Garrigill towards Nenthead is one of the most challenging of the trip, but the climb is over sooner than you expect and you’re cruising downhill to Nenthead before long, with just one big climb remaining for the day. After Nenthead you reach the highest point of the C2C route, crossing into Northumberland before another good descent, a short climb and a final descent into Allenheads.
Total distance: 33 miles / 53 km
Total ascent: 1428m / 4684ft
Total descent: 1173m / 3874ft
Overnight: Guesthouse/Inn, Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 4 – Cycle to Tynemouth, tour ends Tynemouth.
The final day’s ride starts with another early morning steep climb as you leave the village and climb up through the head of the valley. The reward is open moorland views and a long, enjoyable descent towards Rookhope. After a couple more steep climbs you’ll be pleased to hear that the final 30 miles are all either downhill or flat! From Parkhead – the old miners’ railway station at the start of the ‘Waskerley Way’ – you follow the disused railway line across open moorland as you start to descend towards Consett. Skirting the old steel town you soon join another disused railway line which takes us all the way to the outskirts of Newcastle. The C2C signs take us round docks and over bridges as you approach the city alongside the Tyne, with the view of the bridges in the centre of the city beckoning us on. From Newcastle there’s still another 12 miles to go and with the river on your right you weave your way towards the North Sea and the small bay at Tynemouth, with the ruins of the Priory on the headland above which mark the end of your Coast to Coast ride.
Total distance: 50 miles / 80 km
Total ascent: 1093m / 3585ft
Total descent: 1476m / 4841ft
Included meals: Breakfast
Which bike to bring?
Due to the varying nature of the surfaces on the Coast to Coast route, hybrid bikes are the best choice of bike for the ride. Suspension is not really necessary as the majority of the route is on a flat riding surface. Mountain bikes fitted with slick or semi-slick tyres are also suitable and if you can lock-out the suspension (particularly the rear shock on a full-suspension bike) you’ll find the long miles on the road more enjoyable. Road bikes are not recommended unless fitted with crosscountry tyres with a width of 30mm or more as there are numerous off-road sections on gravel tracks that make riding on narrow racing tyres very difficult. You’ll need to ensure that your own bike is in good working order – ideally serviced by a qualified mechanic before the ride – and you have sufficient spare parts with you on the ride.
We can provide you with one of our hybrid bikes for an additional £60 (based on a 3-day itinerary) so you don’t have to worry about transporting yours to and from the route. You will be provided with a Ridgeback Meteor hybrid bike, with a frame size that suits your height. The bikes have 21 gears and fast-rolling 700c wheels and are perfect for the Coast to Coast route. The bikes are fitted with a bottle cage and come with a pannier bag, spare innertube and tyre levers, pump and bike lock. If you wish to bring your own saddle and pedals these can be fitted to the bikes for you.
What you’ll need to bring
You’ll need to bring your own helmet, water bottle/hydration pack and cycle clothing. We strongly recommend you wear cycling gloves and padded shorts.
Your main luggage will be transferred each day from your start to end accommodation, leaving you free to ride carrying only your supplies needed for the day. Please note: your luggage is limited to one item and must not exceed 15kg in weight.
What’s not included
Personal travel insurance, any relevant entrance fees, meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary, any charges for travelling with your own bike (if applicable).
|Accommodation and baggage transfer.
3 nights B&B accommodation (based on twin share). Baggage transfer each day – your bag will be waiting for you in your room at the end of each day’s riding. Detailed route notes and a Sustrans C2C map are also provided.
|Hybrid Cycle hire.||£60.00|
|Electric Cycle hire.||£85.00|
|We can provide you with one of our hybrid or electric bikes so you don’t have to worry about transporting yours to and from the route. Click on our cycle hire page to see details of our bikes.|
|One way transfer from Tynemouth to Whitehaven at the end of your ride.
The journey time for this is approximately 2½ hours.
|Guaranteed single room upgrade.
If you’re happy to share a twin with another group member then there’s no single supplement to pay, but if you’d prefer a guaranteed single room then choose this option.
If you want to ride the Coast to Coast over a different number of days or on dates that are not displayed on this page, we also offer tailor-made coast to coast cycling trips.
We can organize Coast to Coast cycling trips for private groups of any size and for any duration. Please contact us with your request and we’ll give you a specific price according to your requirements.